Quitting doesn't usually happen without a plan. I know a few exceptions to that statement, but those are stories for another day. This week one or more of our friends will ask,"Have you got any plans for the long weekend?" Well, my friends I hope you do have plans - plans to get/stay smoke-free!
Filling the deck with a couple friends or the backyard with a couple dozen and you'll be filling your lungs with arsenic unless you're careful! If you were going to have a get together you'll need to spend some time planning what to eat, what to buy, who to invite or where to go. You may need to scrape the grill or sweep the deck. Planning and preparation are part of any holiday weekend. So be sure you plan and prepare to get/stay smoke-free.
If you're hosting the get together, consider how or if you want to make accommodations for your smoking guests. You can find an outdoor spot, perhaps slightly out of sight of the deck or picnic table and place an ashtray there. Two chairs can identify the space, but chairs may make it too comfortable for folks to smoke. Think about the message you want to convey to smokers. (We all hated feeling judged when we were smoking, so try to be gentle on the soot-suckers!) Having the designated smoking area out of sight can really help since seeing others smoke presents a very strong trigger for many of us.
Preparing lots of low-calorie nibblies is a good idea too. Being able to grab some crisp chopped veggies can help us keep our hands and our mouths busy. Consider adding a hot horse radish dip because hot and spicy foods can be more "fun" for our mouths and may even trigger the release of endorphins. Our brains like that!
Think before you drink! Alcohol may seem like a party essential, but remember that alcohol lowers our resistance. Identifying a satisfying substitute is a better idea, especially for newly 'smober' folks. A tall ice cold glass of mixed fruit juice with a scoop of sherbet and a bendy straw can convince me that I'm not missing anything! Best of all, my judgment is intact and my weekend can be regret-free!
Friends, be sure you include taking good care of YOU in your holiday plans! I'd love to hear about smart smober plans you're making!