I am very bored at work today (as you can probably tell), and I've had to take a lot of painkillers which make me go a bit mad! So I thought I'd do something productive with my afternoon and write down my list of top tips. These are things that I found helpful in the first few weeks, if they help to get someone else through a craving then even better...
* write down your reasons for stopping, make the list as detailed as possible. Carry it around with you and promise yourself that you'll read it before giving in. If you read the whole thing and still want to smoke then fair enough, but at least you'll have reminded yourself of the reasons you don't want to.
* have a list (yes, I am list obsessed) of distractions - things that will occupy you for a few minutes. Mine included things like washing up, call someone, puzzles, putting the washing away, putting a CD on and singing something, trying clothes on, posting on here, making a shopping list - anything that will distract you from the craving for a few minutes, by which time it will be on its way out anyway.
* drink lots of water. Sipping cold water really seems to help. Also fruit juice, especially during the first few days when your blood sugar is all over the place.
* tell people. The more people that know the better in my opinion. If it's only saving face that keeps you going it doesn't matter - it still works!
* use this forum. There's no way I could have done it without this place, there's always someone that will listen to you rant, offer advice, make you laugh, sympathise with your cr*ppy days and congratulate you on your milestones. You can be inspired by the people in front and help the people who have just started - I love this place!
* treat yourself. No matter how much or little you smoked you're better off financially when you stop so use some (or all) of that money on rewarding yourself - you deserve it! I find to start with smaller, more instant treats felt better - things like something nice for dinner, a magazine, a lottery ticket, lovely shampoo. Then watch the money pile up and maybe think about the bigger things you can afford - gym membership, a car, a holiday, a sofa.
* allow yourself to feel however you feel. If you're having a bad day don't despair that you shouldn't feel like that - just accept that today is pants but chances are tomorrow will be better. There's a big difference between wallowing and allowing yourself to have a down day.
* change your toothbrush when you stop and then again a week later to make the most of your new fresher mouth.
* have a shower when you get in from work, really enjoy your hair smelling clean. Spend the evening in lovely fluffy clean jimjams instead of stinking outside in a scummy old tracksuit!
* think of yourself as a non-smoker. You're not trying to stop - you have stopped:).
Nothing very original there I know. I think it boils down to planning - plan the things you know will be hard (for me it's stress, for others it's drinking, or boredom, etc). Know what you're going to do when those times arrive and it will be less scary when you have to face them.