6 tips to avoid the morning urge to smoke
How to avoid the triggers that make you light up in the morning and set yourself up for a successful smoke-free day.
Routines make the morning easier. When you’re still half asleep, familiar comforts like a cup of coffee or your favourite playlist can help you out the door. But routines also reinforce certain habits, and that can make quitting smoking more challenging if you associate parts of your routine with having a cigarette.
Try these helpful tips to tweak your morning routine and avoid the urge to smoke – because a strong start in the morning can set you up for success for the rest of your day.
- Prepare yourself the night before
- Take a look at your morning routine
- Mix up your usual schedule
- Squeeze in some exercise
- Try a different route
- Give yourself credit for staying smoke-free
Before you go to bed, remove all the reminders and triggers for smoking – get rid of cigarettes and ashtrays, and air out your house and car to remove odours. This is especially important if tomorrow is your quit day. If you live with someone who smokes but isn’t yet ready to quit, ask them not to smoke in front of you and to avoid leaving any cigarettes lying around.
When and where did you smoke in the mornings? Was it with that first cup of coffee, or while you read the newspaper? Maybe it was a cigarette while you walked to the bus stop. By taking note of these triggers, you can make a plan to avoid or modify them and improve your chances of success.
Once you've looked at your morning routine and triggers, work out ways to change things up and disrupt your urge to smoke. If you’re used to starting your day with a coffee followed by a smoke, try taking a shower or brushing your teeth instead. Or you might like to try a 5-minute deep breathing exercise to give yourself a calm start to the day.
Rise a little earlier than usual and go outside for a walk, or do some simple stretching exercises at home to get your circulation going. Just a few minutes of activity can boost your energy levels and mindset for the day ahead.
If driving to work is one of your smoking triggers, try taking a different route and turn the radio up loud and sing along. It’s not easy to smoke while you sing, and some great tunes can improve your mood too!
When you've resisted temptation and made it through to a morning coffee break, acknowledge the good work you've done with some positive self-talk.
Every morning that you succeed is a victory on your journey to a smoke-free life, so focus on your success and take it one morning and then one day at a time.