1. Pause. Take a breath.
Take a moment to think that this chemically-induced feeling will be gone in ten minutes. This may seem like a long time when you’re in the moment, but you can get through 10 minutes. Take it minute by minute if you have to.
- Breathe in for 6 seconds and then breath out for 6 seconds. Then do it again. See if you feel a little better.
- If your iPod or iPhone is nearby, listen to an upbeat song that can distract you.
- Drink some water.
- Stand up and stretch.
2. Give yourself a neck massage.
It’s normal to feel irritated, frustrated, nervous, and restless when you are first quitting. The longer you stay smoke free, the less you will feel this way! To help you get through this craving, take a deep breath and rub the tension out of your neck (who doesn’t like a neck massage?).
3. Text “smoke” or “crave” to the StopMySmoking phone number for a Text Crave message!
Need some tips in the moment? We’re here for you. Text Crave will immediately send you back an idea on how to get through. Don’t like the tip? Text again and we’ll send you a different idea. How’s that for service? (Message and data rates may apply)
4. Don’t forget your Quit Buddy!
Quitting can sometimes feel like a lonely experience. But remember: hundreds of people in any given moment are also quitting at the same time! It’s like there’s a whole group of you going through this together! If you’ve signed up with StopMySmoking.com, text your Quit Buddy and see how she’s getting on with her quitting. Maybe she can give you a quick ounce of support. You don’t have to do this alone! (Message and data rates may apply)
5. Take a shower.
You’ll feel less like lighting up when you’re clean and refreshed! A shower can be a very relaxing distraction after a stressful day at school or work.
6. Do 20 jumping jacks.
Maybe it’s been since middle school gym class since the last time you did jumping jacks, but trust me: they can keep you busy for a couple of minutes – and are a great conversation starter for those who happen to be walking by! Exercise that gets you breathing hard also helps pump oxygen into body. This will help you think more clearly while also distracting you from your craving – bonus!
7. Read a very, very interesting book—while eating a lollipop
It may be hard to remember what you used to do with yourself when you were waiting for things to happen (like waiting in lines, waiting for class to start). Consider using your newfound time to read a good book.
Don’t know any good books? The Web is full of recommended reading lists: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/2014-books_n_4550607.html
8. Eat a healthy, crunchy snack.
Satisfy the craving for a textural experience without packing on too many calories. Baby carrots, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, radishes, jicama, apples, pears, grapes, nectarines, cherry tomatoes, baked vegetable chips, banana chips, pita chips, pretzels, almonds, trail mix, granola—the options are tasty and endless. Feeling full with a healthier diet reduces cravings and can increase your willpower to resist cravings. Plus it gives you a reason to spend more time in the produce aisle to see what interesting dating opportunities appear.
9. Remember your reasons for becoming smoke-free.
Think of this experience as a way to become a smoke-free person, rather than as a way to “give up” smoking. If you haven’t already, write a big list of reasons for why you’re committing to a smoke-free you. Make copies of this list and put them everywhere you usually smoke (your office desk, your patio, your car, etc.). When you are craving a cigarette, look at your list and remind yourself why this is so important to you.
10. Celebrate when you’ve overcome a craving!
Celebrate each step of the way. Get yourself a little something with the money you’ve saved by not spending it on a cigarette. For more ideas on treating yourself, check out our post on celebrating each milestone of your quit.