6 Productive Ways to Steer Clear of Smoke Breaks
People who are in the middle of quitting smoking know how difficult it is to say “no” when your smoking buddies invite you outside for a quick smoke break. The key to avoiding these smoke breaks and keeping your mind off them is to keep yourself busy. Do activities that will get your brain going so that it’s not lingering on that cigarette you could be having.
If the urge seems too strong for you to resist, you can also use such opportune moments to seek help from loved ones, so they can remind you of the reasons why you’re choosing to quit smoking.
Try doing one or two of these activities the next time you have to decline a smoke break.
⦁ Read a book.
Reading is an excellent way to keep your mind busy. Dive back into your favorite book or explore a new literary genre. A book can pull your mind to faraway places, so you definitely won’t be thinking about cigarettes as you read. You might not even notice the minutes passing by.
Don’t want to lug a heavy book around all day? One of the best things about technology is that you can download reading apps on your smartphone or tablet. Load your favorite books into the reading app of your choice so you can power through all those smoke breaks.
⦁ Listen to some music.
If you’re not a fan of the written word, then perhaps music is more your speed. Music is widely considered as an effective form of therapy, for both physiological and psychological purposes. Music can help you relax and distracts you, so your mind isn’t going crazy thinking about cigarettes. Certain songs with compelling lyrics can even help you avoid relapsing.
Put a playlist of your favorite tunes on your phone or music player, so you can easily listen to it if you’re feeling the itch to have a smoke break. If you really want to relax, find a quiet spot and close your eyes as you listen in.
⦁ Play some games for your brain.
One of the best things you can do during the smoke breaks you’re not taking is to sharpen your mind with brain games. Combined with the fact that you’re improving your health by not smoking anymore, brain games can really help you be an overall healthier person by the time you’ve completely quit smoking.
Try visiting websites such as Lumosity, Smart-Kit, and Posit Science. These websites give you scores of brain games that can help improve your memory and cognition. Some games can even make your reflexes faster. Pull up these websites on your computer while your coworkers are on their smoke break. You can even download a Lumosity app on your smartphone so you can play these brain games and keep your mind occupied the next time you get the urge to light up.
⦁ Do some small tasks.
We all encounter those little tasks that we end up pushing later and later into the day until we end up not doing them at all. What you can do is list down three to five of these small tasks so you can get to them during the time you previously used for smoke breaks. Organize your desk, answer those emails waiting in your inbox, or call back that contact you’ve been meaning to get in touch with. All these should help keep your mind on things other than smoking.
If you have a longer-than-usual break coming up, list down more tasks that you can do. You’ll end up feeling more productive having done these little tasks as you would have if you’d gone out for your smoke break.
⦁ Make a quick call.
Many smokers swear by the effectiveness of having a call list when you’re trying to avoid those smoke breaks. There’s nothing like a couple of quick phone calls to distract your mind and body from the urge to smoke a cigarette or two throughout the day, so it might be helpful for you to keep a call list handy.
How many times have you told yourself that you’ll catch up with your best friend from high school or that former coworker you were close with? Or maybe you’re long overdue for a phone call with your parents or siblings. Put these people on your call list and give any of them a quick call when you feel like going on a smoke break. It’s even better if these people know that you’re trying to quit smoking; they can give you the encouragement and support you need to keep staying away from cigarettes.
You can even make quick calls to people from your local quit-smoking support group.
⦁ Focus on your motivational mantra.
In the process of quitting smoking, many smokers come up with a motivational mantra. This mantra signifies all the reasons why they’re quitting smoking in the first place. You can come up with a mantra of your own to remind yourself of all the reasons why you’re choosing to quit smoking. If you’re really fighting your body when it comes to lighting up a cigarette, slow down and focus on your mantra. Think of all the reasons why you’re choosing to quit smoking.
There are many more activities that you can do to steer clear of smoke breaks. No matter what you choose to do during these breaks, what’s important is that you keep your mind busy so you’re not focused on the cigarettes you’re not smoking. Once your body gets used to the fact that it won’t be getting nicotine anymore at these times, it becomes easier for you to say “no” to smoke breaks.