Knowledge of the health risks of smoking does not make it any easier to drop the habit. Whether you’re an occasional smoker or a dedicated one, quitting can prove to be quite a task.

Think of it as preparing for a football match, not only do you have to find the right strikers which in this case would be your resolve to quit, you also have to get defenders which would be finding healthier ways to manage your mood.

Here are 10 tips to help you get started

Lean on loved ones

Speaking to friends and family and asking for their advice, or simply confiding in them, can work wonders for your determination to quit, especially when you’re tempted to light up.

You can also join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies.

Take it a day at a time

Thinking of it as years without smoking might make it seem like a great task. Everyday when you wake up, tell yourself that you will not smoke today.

You can even wear a rubber band on your wrist so you can snap it when you see your thoughts go in that direction.

Give yourself a break

One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need new ways to unwind. There are many options. You can exercise to blow off steam, tune in to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby. Try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.

Avoid alcohol

When you drink, it’s harder to stick to your no-smoking goal. So try to limit alcohol when you quit. If you usually smoke after meals, find another distraction instead, like brushing your teeth, taking a walk, texting a friend, or chewing gum.

Tidy up your environment

When you quit smoking, you wouldn’t want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking.

Toss all of your ashtrays and lighters. Wash any clothes that smell like smoke, and clean your carpets, draperies, and upholstery. Use air fresheners to get rid of that familiar scent. If you smoked in your car, clean it out, too.

Eat fruits and vegetables.

Don’t try to diet while you give up cigarettes. Too much deprivation can easily backfire. Instead, keep things simple and try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Milk and Ginseng tea or sweets have also been known to help with cravings.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Nicotine suppresses the effects of caffeine, so after you quit, coffee will have a stronger effect on you. Try cutting back your caffeine intake. Coffee makes dealing with stress more difficult. It might also be responsible for at least some of your insomnia, so cutting back on it can help you sleep better.

Find new interests

Seeing as you would need to keep yourself occupied, you could begin to read more books or join a fitness club. The possibilities are endless.

Find your go-to healthy snack

When you quit smoking, your appetite increases. Find a healthy snack you could always carry around, so when the cravings strike, you would always have something to nibble on and help occupy your hands and mouth, and the familiar movement will make it easier to relax and gather yourself.

Talk to your doctor

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. If you can’t see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy, including nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum.

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