Quit Smoking and Breathe Easy
Rather than viewing this time as a loss of friends and loved ones whom you may associate with smoking, this can be a great opportunity to focus on relationships with those who support you in your desire to be healthier. Contact those individuals whom you know will provide you with the most positive influences and make plans to spend time together, or at least put them on standby when you need someone to talk you through a craving.
“When I first quit smoking, I spent a lot of time in places and with people where smoking wasn’t an option,” says Dennis. “My son would never let me smoke around my grandchildren, and I used to find myself avoiding spending time with the grandkids because of it. Once I wasn’t smoking, I discovered how rewarding it was to be around those kids and it really encouraged me to keep going.”
One challenge you might face is that someone you expected to be supportive may have trouble with your attempt to quit. This is especially true if your spouse or best friend is a smoker and isn’t ready to quit. In those instances, you’ll have to be extra vigilant about your own smoking, while remembering their lack of support doesn’t mean a lack of love. They may simply not be ready to face their own addiction and seeing you quit can be difficult for them.
Remember that your support system is there to help you when you relapse. You may feel bad for disappointing friends and loved ones if you slip and have a cigarette. So, remind your circle that you need their encouragement even if you have a momentary lapse; you need them to help you persevere. Be honest with them about your struggles, and they’ll remind you of your reasons for quitting, and help you get back on track. Just as you wouldn’t quit running a marathon if you had to stop to catch your breath, quitting smoking is not an all-or-nothing proposition either.
One of the most delightful things about quitting smoking is that, unlike many other goals, it’s not focused on a finish line that you have to reach. You already realize your goal of being a non-smoker as soon as you put out your last cigarette. Your challenge in quitting smoking is merely to maintain what you have already done. That may sound easier said than done, but you are already achieving it. Each day you live without smoking is a victory and is worthy of recognition as an accomplishment in its own right.