5 Tips to Avoid Stress This Holiday Season
The holiday season is a time to relax, give thanks and celebrate all things merry and bright.
The holiday season is a time to relax, give thanks and celebrate all things merry and bright. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to be — but if you’re on a journey to quit tobacco, the holidays can also bring a lot of stress. Stress is a major cause of tobacco cravings — and between holiday shopping, cooking, entertaining and cleaning, those cravings can come on strong.
Here are five ways to avoid holiday stress, manage anxiety and keep the urges at bay throughout the season.
If you have a holiday party on the calendar, take additional steps to limit your tobacco exposure ahead of time. Ask the host if smoking or other tobacco use will be allowed at the event. If the answer is “Yes,” try these tips:
- Steer clear of any designated smoking areas.
- Distract yourself with a pack of gum.
- Focus on your friends, coworkers or family.
- Give yourself permission to leave if the urges intensify.
If you’re concerned about peer pressure from family and friends this holiday season, set clear, upfront boundaries about your quit journey and needs with these tips:
- Explain your triggers, including which smells, activities or situations can increase or intensify your cravings.
- Ask them to avoid using tobacco around you. If they do, designate an area in the backyard or off the property.
- Lead with kindness, and keep the conversation free of judgment.
- If boundaries are crossed, respond thoughtfully but firmly.
When it comes to setting boundaries, it’s all about communication and acceptance. Focus on the things you can control and accept the things you can’t — and if worse comes to worst, don’t be afraid to say “No.” Remember: This is your quit journey, and your friends and family are here to support you.
Stick to Your Healthy Habits
Don’t let your healthy habits fall to the wayside this season — especially since being active and eating healthy are great ways to help fend off stress and cravings! Over the holidays, remember to:
- Stay active every day. Go on walks, stretch or get moving around the house.
- Drink plenty of water and get full servings of fruits and veggies every day.
- Enjoy holiday treats in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep every night.
Over time, you’ll notice that prioritizing your physical health will directly improve your mental health — and it’ll also lower your stress all season long.
Enjoy Some “Me Time”
Want to be your best self so you can confidently show up for others? Make time for self-care! Set aside a few minutes each day to focus on yourself and your mental health, whether it’s by:
A few times a month, plan to recharge for a few hours or even a whole evening by:
- Taking a bubble bath
- Making your favorite meal
- Crafting holiday items with loved ones
- Another relaxing activity you love
Bottom line: Don’t forget to enjoy peacefulness and gratitude this holiday season.
Take Time to CELEBRATE
Hopefully, joy and laughter are at the center of your holiday season. Celebrate with your loved ones, remind yourself that you no longer use tobacco and remember your “why” for quitting.
No matter how you spend the holidays, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is here to support you throughout your quit journey. Whether you need help managing your stress, Quit Coaching, free patches, gum or lozenges or other support, we’re here to help.