Here we are…perhaps 2-3 weeks since the last cigarette and there is a felt-sense that the early enthusiasm and motivation has waned slightly. It’s completely natural too – the high energy we create and employ in preparing for the quit date is not possible to keep at the same level, and as the weeks go by the quit journey can seem hard to maintain with no ‘end’ insight!
The thought of never smoking again may creep in at this point and that can be overwhelming! As best you can, see if you can stay with what’s happening now, we have no control over the future, only with how we respond to now – taking each day as it comes. Also, is it the ‘smoker’ in you that’s feeling worried about never being able to smoke again or you, the ‘non-smoker’ who’s committed to improving their life? It’s worth exploring - the ‘smoker’ that’s ceased to exist will throw doubt and uncertainty into the mix time to time, after all they’d be happy with ‘just the one’!
Knowing that temptation will arise enables us to either avoid them altogether (at least for a while whilst we build up more confidence) or prepare and develop coping strategies. For example, making sure we’re stocked up on morning orange juice because we’re aware that early coffee is a tempting trigger for us. Or buddying up with a non-smoker on when out for drinks to ensure we’ve got someone to chat with when others head out for the inevitable smoke.
Remember, to get to this far has taken an intentional attitude change most likely driven by our inner values. What do you value most, what got you started in the first place to overcome the habit? Health, finance, the children or fitness? Whatever the reason, it’s embedded in you – keeping them front of mind can help us stay on track when things may get wobbly.
Have some rewards in place to celebrate the small wins – remember with each day that goes by you are building resilience and assurance that you can continue to go through this process of change.
If you do slip, promise to not be too hard on yourself or give up all together – gently reminding yourself that relapses are common and a natural part of the process of long-term lifestyle change – well discuss this in more detail in the next stage! 😊
If you’re maintaining your quit at the moment, these short videos will speak to you: Behaviour Change | Maintenance
Stoptober is round the corner, it could be the perfect time for you to give quitting a go – get in touch with us if so: firstname.lastname@example.org