Things to Do When Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking cold turkey is not easy. It requires will power and not everyone succeeds but not everyone can handle the nicotine gum or patches without getting sick. One of the worst parts of quitting are the cravings. They get easier over time, but in the beginning they get intense. The first three days are breaking a physical addiction, so once you get over the 72-hour mark, you will find that you’re not feeling physical withdrawal but you are still feeling desperate for a cigarette. That’s because addiction changes your brain chemistry so your brain is trying to get that hit to relieve the withdrawal.

Normally when you quit, you will experience cravings. Those will be like hunger pangs and won’t last long. The best thing to do is try to wait out a craving- it can be as little as a few seconds (just count to ten and see if they go away) to an hour or two. If they don’t go away with counting to ten, try to distract yourself.

Ways To Distract Yourself

  1. Go out and prep dinner
  2. Bake something
  3. Read a couple pages of an interesting book or blog
  4. Watch part of a TV show
  5. Take up knitting/crocheting
  6. Take up loom knitting
  7. Take up making earrings or jewelry
  8. Start sewing
  9. Do a small craft
  10. If you’re a writer, start writing something- a book, short story, blog, article for a client- anything
  11. Play a game with your kids
  12. Play a video game

One of the reasons many people light up is because of boredom. You tend to feel bored when you have nothing to do. If you find something to do, you’ll be less likely to pick a cigarette up and more able to fight a craving.

You will find that you’ll go through some pretty bad withdrawal symptoms while you’re trying to quit. Withdrawal can be very annoying and can make you feel desperate for a cigarette but if you know what to expect and prepare ahead of time, you should be able to fight back against the symptoms to be more successful.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

  1. Cravings– they can vary in severity but typically only last a few seconds to a few minutes. If you can distract yourself long enough, they usually go away on their own but will come back. The best game plan is to decide how you will distract yourself. Come up with a list of things you can quickly switch to doing and do them when a craving hits. Try to also come up with why you crave them.
    Common reasons people have cravings- people they usually smoke with, memories or positive feelings associated with smoking, being hungry or overly tired or being stressed. Different people can have different triggers but it’s best to try to either avoid triggers or reduce them as much as possible.
  2. Mood swings– there isn’t much you can do. There are some methods to controlling anger or emotional outbursts- like stopping and counting to three, walking away from whatever is about to make you snap or using a stress ball. Like dealing with triggers, different methods work for different people at different times. If you normally use video games to relax and you’re at work, you won’t have an option to play. You might find that taking a stress ball to work helps ease the tension enough to get you through your shift.
  3. Feeling anxious and restless– cigarettes give you stuff to do with your hands. Many people find that stuff like suckers and tooth picks help with calming the hand to mouth habit. Chewing gum and brushing your teeth can also help- both give you a fresh feeling in your mouth that will feel better than the stale feeling of cigarettes.
  4. Lightheadedness– Make sure to eat and when this symptom hits, remember that your blood pressure is dropping and some lightheadedness will be common. This should go away by the time the nicotine is fully out of your system. Try to avoid doing anything dangerous while dealing with this symptom; even if that means pulling over into a parking lot while driving.
  5. Being hungry/weight gain– Nicotine is a stimulant and appetite suppressant. It both helps metabolism and decreases your appetite. The best thing to do to handle both of these side effects is to make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables/nuts and other healthy items to snack on and to exercise. Also, eat very slow so you will avoid eating past the point of feeling full. The first few bites of a super sweet item typically are the positive bites- the rest isn’t needed and won’t feel any better.
  6. Feeling depressed or lethargic– you may feel down. You may feel more stressed and you may feel that you’ve lost a good friend. All these are normal. You may even feel grief- it could be understood because in a way, it’s like losing a long term friend. Cigarettes were always there when you “needed” one so it’s normal to feel like you’re losing a part of you. It’s best to remember in times like this that you are getting out of an “abusive” relationship. Cigarettes may always be there but they are contributing nothing and they are killing you. If you met friends or bonded with people over cigarettes, the memories may come rushing back. Remember the memories with the people and not the activity. You miss the bonding with people, not the smoking. To try to remedy this, find things to do with those same friends that don’t involve smoking. If they are true friends, they won’t leave you when you quit. They will support you.
    Also where Nicotine is a stimulant, it may mask depression symptoms. It may also suddenly make you feel depressed. The best way to fight that is to either get help for depression, or if it’s situational depression; go out and do things you like. Eat as healthy as you can and make sure to get plenty of sun. Do things like work out that help with those same receptors in your brain but make sure not to replace an addiction with another addiction.

Keep in mind that slips may happen and relapses almost always happen before the final quit, but if you’re able to quit you will need persistence. Make a plan, plan how to handle triggers and ways you can distract yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over a relapse and try to learn from it.

If you have successful quit, what advice would you give to a long time smoker trying to quit?

Today is the day before I start Whole30

Technically, its still 7-29, but once I wake up it will be the day before.

I’m getting myself used to unsweetened tea already (I already liked it.)

I’m not feeling nervous, even though I’m going to try to go without tobacco as well. (I’m creating a 30 day no nicotine challenge for myself as well)

I’ll be posting daily updates and working on focusing on other things.

Last week, I gave up Facebook. I now have no way to access it to unset it up for deletion so next month, I’ll be focused on learning new recipes I’ll post on here, writing and learning pottery/sewing clothing.

I’m going to try to switch things up to spend the time i would smoke

Tomorrow I’ll post up my before pics and weight.

New Years is Coming Up

I’ve been extremely busy. Every year I do resolutions, just for fun but most of the time I keep them to some degree.

I have been extremely busy with my Etsy, working retail- the holidays had me slammed with hours at work and orders on Etsy. I’m still catching up but I’m manageable now.

I’ve been thinking (and my main listing on Etsy is astrology, so I have a large idea of how the astrological energies are going to be this coming year)

I have some major plans coming up- so I have financial goals set. Hobby Lobby just opened right down the street, so I have more options in person for candle supplies- I have a line I’m going to be working on and adding to Etsy in January but I never talk financial goals publicly. (or with other people, they stay between me and my husband)

I have been working overtime now that hours are cut on organizing and minimizing my stuff at home. I finally have my closet pared down- 5 jackets (I wear jackets almost daily, I wear them until they are filled with holes and destroyed), 1 winter coat (here in my state, we may get a month of hard winter weather- but winters have been mild lately), 3 bathing suits, 4 covers (all different styles, lengths and I wear all 4 even while swimming), 3 sweaters, 3 hoodies.

I now have 1 drawer of band/sports and volunteer graphic tees, 1 drawer of regular screen tees and other causal shirts and 1 drawer of work shirts, 4 good pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of leggings and 2 or 3 pairs of black or khaki pants.

Now that I’m down to those, and about 6 or 7 comfy pairs of PJs, I feel I’m finally down to what I normally wear and really like.

Now that I have my closet cleared out and somewhat organized, I’m planning on keeping it like that, get rid of shoes and I’m also working on being strict with myself and only buying what I really want/like/need.

This year, my goals are


  1. Move closer to living a minimalist lifestyle

    It’s appealed to me for years. I love the concept and I would much rather have less clutter and more space. We bought a home and downsized pretty major- 40 feet. At first I didn’t think 40 feet would be much, but we lost a spare bedroom, several walk in closets and a whole storage room. We didn’t really downsize our stuff when we moved, we didn’t have tons of time between both of us working and the time our lease was up, so now, I’m trying to get stuff out.

  2. Change my diet

    In the past 2 months, I had a weird cancer screening that resulted in an ultrasound. The ultrasound came up with 2 different conditions- so in the middle of January, I’m getting a minor surgery. I should be functional again by a few days after the surgery (they are doing a laparoscopic). One of the conditions will be cured, the other one I likely had since I was a teen and it’s tied to blood sugar problems. I’ve had Reactive Hypo since I was a teen. Now, I am autoimmune and have issues with dairy and gluten so I’m looking at something that would go with bloodsugar, gluten and dairy free. I’ve been looking at the Keto and seeing if that helps. I’m also debating whether I want to do a sugar fast or Whole30 again on January 1. I’m thinking start with a sugar fast

  3. The others are mainly for my business/Etsy. I also have the goal of getting one book published and 1 edited and ready to publish. I’m putting an end to starting new for a while, until I get some of my drafts finished.

What are your goals? Do you set them? I always do it just for fun but this year is a massive milestone for me. January 2nd will be one full decade clean. 10 years ago, I told people I would be high til I died, and on January 2nd, I woke up and realized I was wasting time, money and resources, put it down and never looked back. I’m hoping I can use this milestone to quit my final vice- Nicotine. I did quit for a while last month but started up due to the stress from Black Friday with the intent to quit again after the holidays. With my upcoming surgery and goal to get back on a workout regime and back to a decent weight, I’m hoping I can use the diagnosis’s to get the final kick of motivation to fully quit- for good.