5 Practical Strategies TO: Manage Smoking Withdrawal

Earlier, we highlighted some of the common withdrawal symptoms which ex-smokers face when they try to quit. Today, we can delve further into the topic and provide some answers about how these withdrawal symptoms can be managed. Its not mean feat as we mentioned last week. Here are some useful ideas you can use to manage smoking withdrawal symptoms

Woman Jogging
Exercise often.

1. Exercise

Yes, exercising helps because it releases the feel good hormone (endorphins) which makes you feel better mentally, and also allows you to burn off excess calories. One of the reasons exercising is beneficial is that a lot of people can suffer mental health problems such as anxiety and depression after giving up smoking. In addition, its a great workout which allows you to burn the excess calories. This leads us to..

2. Eating Right

Some former smokers admit that quitting smoking leads to an increased appetite. If you feel hungry, make sure you use that opportunity to eat right. Make sure your diet has plenty of vegetables, fruits and a balanced amount of carbohydrates and proteins. This helps in a couple of ways- it provides you with an outlet to distract yourself and the healthy food assists in reducing the strength and length of your withdrawal period.

3. Achieved a Small Win? Celebrate it!

Start small- if you celebrate a ‘small win’ such as one week, one month without smoking give yourself a mini reward. It is a proven way to motivate yourself further  as you can see that you making progress towards achieving your ultimate goal; stop smoking for good. The celebration doesn’t need to involve food-just indulge in something which you enjoy.

Celebrate small milestones and other ‘wins’

TIP: If you have a smartphone (you probably do!), then look for apps which help you to manage withdrawal symptoms- they use timers to see how long you’ve given up smoking, the costs you’ve saved and most importantly, the years you’ve added because you have abstained from taking a cigarette. Take a look at your app store and see what works for you.

4. Find Another way to relieve your stress

A lot of people take a puff in order to relieve stress. Since smoking is bad for you, you need to find a better, healthier alternative. For some it could as simple as walking, cycling, yoga, boxing, zumba, listening to music, reading etc. The point? Find something which makes you relieve your stress and keep sticking to it, as it will make you less inclined to smoke since you have another method to relieve your stress.

Young woman silhouette practicing yoga on the sea beach at sunset
Activities such as Yoga can assist in relieving stress. Find what works for you

5. Be the change

Now comes the hard part- be active and change your environment if its not being support. Remember, you have decided that you want to quit smoking. So, ensure that you get the assistance from those who care about you; friends, family and loved ones. Be brutally honest and tell them that you want to quit and they will be more inclined to help you achieve your goal of putting that cigarette down for good. In addition, stay away from situations where people smoke (even if they are friends or family members). If they are respectful of your decision, they will not smoke around you and will refrain from asking you to join them.

Kicking a habit is never easy. We hope that you use these tips to stay in control. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

10 Common Withdrawal Symptoms when you stop smoking

If you’ve been following our series on quitting smoking {insert link(s) here}. Given that the first few weeks are usually described by ex-smokers as the toughest, smokers ought to put away their pride and seek assistance in order to kick the habit for good. Withdrawal symptoms can often begin as early as a few hours after the last cigarette, peak for about one week and gradually fade away after 2 weeks. Here is an overview of the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms:

Physical Symptoms: If you’ve experienced one of more of the following symptoms, do try to take it easy and understand that your body is adjusting due to a lack of tobacco;

  • Intestinal disorders (cramps, nausea)
  • Symptoms of the cold (sore throats, coughing as your lungs clear out the nicotine)
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Headaches
  • Excess sweating
Headaches are very common during the withdrawal process. Hang in there

Mental & Emotional Symptoms: Most, if not all heavy smokers have experienced at least one of the following emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms listed below:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Significant craving for tobacco
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of anger & depression
stress ball
Follow our tips so that you stay in a good frame during the withdrawal process

It usually takes a few months for an individual to feel comfortable and be able to describe themselves as being ‘smoke free’. A recurring issue is that nicotine (a chemical found in tobacco products) is highly addictive, which is why those who are trying to quit need the urge to have ‘just one puff’ in order to satisfy their cravings. Now, if the body has developed a need for nicotine, and then stops entirely (because you’ve quit smoking) – your body undergoes these particular symptoms highlighted above.

I know the symptoms, now what?

Be mindful and take appropriate action. Arguably focus on eating healthy and exercise (link to how to start exercising), as well as taking time out to de-clutter your mind with activities such as yoga (link to yoga article). Most of all, do make it a point to build a good support network- stay with a trusted group of family and friends who help you stay grounded and inspired. If you prefer doing it online=try 7cups of tea (http://www.7cupsoftea.com/) or call Sumithrayo on 011 2692909. If you’re feeling brave, you can do a little volunteering and give back to the community, as there are a lot of opportunities available in Sri Lanka.

Activities such as yoga can help you to declutter your mind

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe for more and leave a comment if you can relate to this. We wish you the best on your road to recovery! HNBA logo new

Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.