It is that time of year again for New Year's Resolutions! While I do not buy into the cultural pressure of needing to make a resolution, many people are motivated to make healthier changes, such as quitting smoking.
Smoking cessation is a specialty of mine and I have worked with many people who have difficulty quitting. One situation that can be especially difficult is work. Here are five tips for managing your cravings to smoke at work.
· When possible, find a way to do something active. Exercise helps reduce cigarette cravings. Keep small hand weights at your desk, go for a walk during lunch, or do a little chair yoga.
· Keep healthy snacks at your desk. Have a snack break instead of a cigarette break at work. A bonus is that by always having healthy snacks handy, you can keep yourself from replacing cigarettes with junk food that can lead to weight gain.
· Carry a water bottle around with you. Many people who quit smoking struggle with needing to do something with their hands. A water bottle helps with this and can be used no matter where you are when a craving strikes.
· Socialize with non-smokers on breaks. Many people who quit smoking miss the social aspect of cigarette breaks. Ensure you get your fix of human interaction by allowing yourself time each day to socialize with people who aren’t smoking during breaks.
· Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), like nicotine gum or lozenges, can be used as a discrete way to deal with cravings at work. They can be useful at reducing the intensity of cravings and can be used without anyone noticing you are using them. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if NRT is right for you.