Quitting smoking is a challenge in itself without the added stress of loneliness. Many of us are feeling alone and isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic; stuck in our homes for weeks on end, unable to gather in groups and visit with those we love. If you’re feeling lonely, you can still ditch that smoking habit, and it may, in fact, help you feel a lot better about things in general.
Smoking has been shown to have a link to depression. While scientists are still uncertain what exactly that connection is, it seems that smokers are more prone to experience depression and feelings of isolation. If you’re feeling lonely this summer, it might be time to give up smoking once and for all. Not to mention, taking better care of your body (and especially your respiratory system) can reduce your chances of catching COVID-19.
Here’s how to quit smoking, even when you’re feeling alone.
Set Some Goals For Yourself
Setting goals is one of the most important steps in quitting smoking. Having something to reach for and then celebrate once you’ve reached it can actually help increase your chances of success. Goals don’t have to be huge at first, but the key to setting goals is to be as specific as possible.
Let’s say you want to start by smoking a little less each day until you’ve dumped the habit altogether. Instead of saying “I want to smoke less every day”, say instead “I want to smoke two fewer cigarettes on week one, and three fewer cigarettes on week two”. This is more specific and gives your mind something to focus on.
Once you reach an important milestone, don’t be afraid to celebrate! We seem to hold back when it comes to our own accomplishments while celebrating our loved ones’. You should be happy about what you’re doing, and you’re doing a great job; don’t forget to remind yourself once in a while what you’re doing.
Try Tobacco Alternatives
The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal could potentially be too much to handle on top of feelings of loneliness and isolation. In this case, the best choice is to utilize tobacco alternatives. This way, you’re still getting a dose of nicotine without all of the nasty chemicals in cigarettes.
Tobacco free dip is a popular choice, as well as things like CBD oils and gummies, nicotine gum, the patch, and more. Nicotine withdrawal can actually make you feel depressed, which could increase your feelings of loneliness. Being one of the most addictive substances on the planet, nicotine creates intense feelings that there’s something missing when you don’t have it.
Don’t let withdrawal bring you back into bad habits. It’s a hard road, quitting smoking; but it’s well worth it in the end. The effects of smoking cessation go well beyond benefitting just your health. You’ll be contributing to a healthier world in general, reducing pollution by refusing to support big tobacco, and taking control of a very widespread health pandemic.
The world smokes about six trillion cigarettes in a single year. Let that sink in for a moment. Do you think all of that smoke is good for the air? What about the cigarette filters that wind up on the ground?
Use Smoking Cessation Apps
Technology can aid you in your cessation journey with helpful apps to guide you along your newly-found path to personal health. In addition to providing tips, progress trackers, and access to community forums and advice columns, smoking cessation apps also connect you to a community of like-minded people. This will not only help increase your chances of success, but also help reduce those feelings of loneliness.
Connecting with a supportive community makes the journey a lot less stressful. You’ll have people to fall back on and give advice when you start to falter, and you can be inspired by those who have already completed their journey and are living in post-smoking bliss.
Focus On The Benefits
It’s easy to get lost in how miserable you feel without cigarettes, but focusing on the negative never did much for anyone. Focusing on how quitting your habit will benefit your life can offer reassurance and motivation when things get tough.
Why did you want to stop smoking to begin with? Was it a personal choice because of your health? Did you do it because smoking is expensive? Remember your motivation to quit, and then remember all of the great benefits that accompany ditching the smoking habit:
- More money
- Better mental and physical health
- Lowered risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc.
- More social opportunities
- More job opportunities
- Lowered contribution to global pollution/poor air quality
- Improved dental health
- Better hygiene
These are just a few important benefits of smoking cessation. When you find yourself feeling unmotivated, remember that you’re within arm’s reach of a happier, healthier, more conscious lifestyle.