Rethink Your Routine

Congratulations! You decided to quit tobacco and you’re sticking to it! Maybe you did it for a loved one. Maybe…

Rethink Your Routine

Congratulations! You decided to quit tobacco and you’re sticking to it! Maybe you did it for a loved one. Maybe it was a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you decided it was time to prioritize your health or save some money. Whatever your reason, know there will be good days and bad days when it comes to cravings.

The good news is you don’t have to grit your teeth and power through cravings alone. There are several ways to fight them off and small changes you can make to avoid them.

Here are a few ways to turn daily routines into your “ditch smoking routines.”

Morning: Rise And Shine

Morning: Rise and Shine

Mornings can be rough if you used to start the day with a cigarette. However, starting the day off on the right foot is an important part of your “ditch smoking routine!”

If you wake up to tobacco cravings, try one or all of these tricks:

  • Wake up earlier. If the stress of rushing out the door sends temptation up your spine, wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier. Those few extra minutes will allow you to slow down, gather your things and move through your routine without all the chaos.
  • Change up your morning. Sometimes, the boring and the mundane can trigger cravings. Throw your body into the unexpected by swapping around the parts of your routine. Jump in the shower before brushing your teeth, eat breakfast first or swap out another standard part of your routine. If that much change is too much for your perfectly timed mornings, refresh other parts of your “ditch smoking routine,” like opening the curtains or listening to music.
  • Add some flair to breakfast. Food and drinks, like coffee, can trigger tobacco cravings. If you find yourself searching for cigarettes while the coffee is brewing, add something new to your morning meal. Maybe a new yogurt flavor or a big glass of water is enough for you. If the cravings stick around, try doing a crossword or playing a phone game while eating.
  • Take a new route to work. As we already mentioned, the mundane moments in life can also be the hardest — and there’s nothing more boring than a morning commute! If there’s a different route available, mix it up with a detour. If not, try a new radio station or playlist on your drive!

Afternoon: Find Your Midday Momentum

Afternoon: Find Your Midday Momentum

As the day progresses, it’s natural for cravings to rear their heads, especially during times of stress or boredom. However, you won’t have time for cravings in your new “ditch smoking routine!” Instead of giving in, try one of these healthy alternatives.

  • Grab something new for lunch. Many of us eat the same thing for lunch day after day, week after week. While it may make the lunch hour a little easier, that repetition may also trigger a craving. Switch things up by ordering something new from your favorite spot, buying a new lunch meat or sandwich topping or reaching for a delicious new side. com also has a few easy lunch ideas to pack in your lunchbox!
  • Go for a stroll. If time allows, turning your lunch break into an active break is a great way to fend off the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. A quick stroll around the block or even a lap around the office or hallways can help you power through the temptation. If you work in an environment that allows breaks, turning your smoking breaks into walk breaks is a positive way to revamp your normal routine into your “ditch smoking routine.”
  • Find a replacement. Nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum or lozenges, fights off nicotine withdrawal directly. When you sign up with the Helpline you can receive a FREE supply of them to discreetly keep with you at all times. Granola bars, toothpicks, sunflower seeds and sugar-free candy are also great options to distract your tobacco cravings.

Evening: Shake up sunset

Evening: Shake Up the Sunset

Now that you’re winding down, think about ways to turn your evening routine into your “ditch smoking routine.” Kids, work and life may get in the way of true calmness, but there are a few ways you can adjust your normal to be tobacco free.

  • Pay at the pump. Sometimes, the easiest way to stay tobacco free is to avoid situations altogether. If you used to buy cigarettes every time you stopped for gas, consider paying at the pump. After all, you can’t purchase tobacco if you don’t go inside!
  • Get active. Physical activity is a healthy way to distract your cravings away and the perfect addition to your “ditch smoking routine.” If a gym membership isn’t an option, try an at-home aerobic exercise instead! If you’re looking for FREE tips and ideas, head to com.
  • Find a new hangout. Quitting smoking doesn’t mean you have to miss out on time with friends. However, if your usual spot allows smoking, it may not be the best place to visit. Instead of skipping your plans, suggest a location change. Find local restaurants, venues and bars that are smokefree, so you won’t be tempted to join in.

Night: relax and unwind

Night: Relax and Unwind

As you prep for bedtime, congratulate yourself on another day tobacco free! No matter how small it feels, every day of progress is a success. Tiny victories are what “ditch smoking routines” are built on. If the cravings are still there, try these healthy tips.

  • Turn off the TV. While your nightly TV show or social media scroll may help to distract your cravings, the blue light can also disrupt your sleep. A good night’s sleep is vital to a tobacco-free life, so try reading a book, taking a bath or meditating instead.
  • Focus on self-care. You probably already have a set nightly routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little self-care! Simple changes like buying a new scented soap or wearing your favorite pajamas to bed can turn your night around for the better.

It may seem silly; however, the smallest changes can often have the most impact. You don’t have to change everything, a few small swaps may be enough for your “ditch smoking routine,” and you may start to realize how fast your cravings melt away!

For more tips to help you get through the first 31 days of your quit journey, check out our quit calendar!