You kicked tobacco to the curb and you’re doing all you can to stay quit. But with every season comes new reminders of your old unhealthy habit that will need to be replaced with healthy ones. The good news is that you can stay smoke-free this summer, and we’ve got tips to help you have fun in the sun while you’re doing it!
Count your money. First, put all the cash you’re saving in a clear jar where you can watch it add up. It’s a good visual reminder of how far you’ve already come, and you can use some of it for your smoke-free summer adventures.
Take up a summer sport. Even if you’re not that “outdoorsy,” everyone enjoys a little time in the fresh air. Check out your local pool. Join a summer softball league. Hop on a bike and explore your city. And don’t forget: Yard work counts as an activity, too. So instead of lighting up, make your yard or garden the pride of the neighborhood.
Load up on fruits and vegetables. A Duke University study found that eating healthy produce actually makes cigarettes taste bad. Plus, it helps you stick with your healthy eating habits. But on the flip side, certain foods and beverages can make the taste of cigarettes more appealing. So steer clear of alcohol, coffee and meat if they trigger cravings for you.
Bet on it. Have a friend who has also quit tobacco? If not, then make one – and make a wager that neither of you will smoke all summer. Make sure the penalty is one you’ll both work hard to avoid (such as losing money). And get together often for fun summer outings so that you can check in and help each other stay on track.
Escape the scent of smoking. When you kick the habit, the smell of cigarettes past can still linger. Give your surroundings (like your home and car) a good cleaning and deodorizing to help ditch that smoky scent faster. Then head out to explore spots where you’ll want to take deep breaths. Fill your lungs with fresh air in a national park or local botanical garden, or enjoy the salt air with an ocean getaway.
Find the smoke-free fun. There are lots of places you can go for fun that don’t even allow smoking. Think major league ballparks, museums, amusement parks, theaters, shopping centers and smoke-free beaches. Making plans at one of these spots means you can enjoy yourself and not have to worry about a cigarette because you can’t have one anyway!
Most of all, remember that even though it’s vacation season, you don’t have to take a break from your goals and forget the reasons you quit in the first place. Know that staying quit will get easier, and the urge to light up will diminish over time.
Tips to help you stay on track
Get more pointers on staying quit via our How to Quit Smoking Tips Pinterest board.