11 PRE-MATCH PEP TALKS
TO HELP BEAT THE CIGGIES
1. GET YOUR GAME PLAN TOGETHER
Quitting smoking is every smokers’ goal. If you want to kick the ciggies (or give the e-cigarettes the elbow), you need a plan. Does a great football team just stroll onto the pitch and expect to win? No, they study the opposition. They sort out tactics in advance. And so should you.
What’s your motivation? How much do you want to win? Which approach suits your style? Who are your best supporters? Think about your game plan. Talk to your coaching staff – family, friends, or doctor. Feel free to talk to your team mates at SmokeFreeLiverpool – 1-to-1, on the phone or face to face – and they’ll help put you in a winning position.
2. THE RESULT IS WHAT MATTERS
What’s your reason for quitting smoking and becoming smoke-free? Your kids? Your health? Your partner is pregnant? You want to feel fitter and look younger? It doesn’t matter whether you want to get rid of an annoying cough or help avoid a serious illness, just focus on what matters most to you. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be able to pull through the tough times.
3. QUITTING SMOKING – WANT IT MORE
Most things in life that are worth doing aren’t easy. You need balls to win a major trophy. Quitting smoking and kicking a nicotine habit are no different. Whether it’s tobacco or e-cigarettes, addiction is costly. So, you’ve got to be in it to win. You’ve got to take the heavy tackles and make those last-gasp goal-line clearances. You’ve got to play to the final whistle – and never give up.
4. STUDY YOUR OPPONENT
Millions of people have become smoke-free. We’re not saying that quitting smoking is easy but nicotine addiction can be beaten. First, you need to understand how it’s playing with your mind and body. It won’t give up without a fight. The withdrawal symptoms start around 2 hours after your last ciggie – and often peak about 3 days later. So, weirdly, the worse the cravings, the closer you are to the goal. The nearer you are to winning, nicotine tries to drag you down, trip you up, kick you: you’ve just got to keep going.
5. STAY ACTIVE
After just 3 days, breathing becomes easier. You feel like you’ve got more energy. So, one surprising tip to beat the cravings is to do a little exercise. Just a 5 minute stroll or a quick stretch gets oxygen into your system. It helps you focus on the game in hand and all the benefits that come from quitting smoking and living nicotine free.
6. EAT WELL
Weirdly enough, your sense of taste gets better after just a few days when you stop smoking. So you can enjoy food more. But here’s the good news: fruit and veg can help you – they can make ciggies taste terrible. Try to avoid meat and booze and cola and tea and coffee – they can make smoking feel more satisfying.
7. MIX WITH SUPPORTERS
If your partner smokes, why not try quitting smoking together? If you’ve got kids, you can show them a great example. Ask them to support you and cheer you on too. If all your friends smoke, why not try and stop together as a team and support each other? Plus if you take professional advice from your doctor or talk to one of your friendly team mates at SmokeFree Liverpool, you’re four times more likely to reach your goal.
8. FEEL RICHER
On average, most people who quit save about £250 a month. That’s £3000 a year. Imagine having that money in your savings bank instead of going up in smoke. Especially when money worries are one of the biggest stress points in our lives. (Think how much more relaxed you’d feel with a little bit of money behind you.) Life would be easier, you’d be able to treat yourself and still feel better off. So, with the money you’re going to save, plan a treat for yourself at the end of the first month. Track your progress and check how much money you’re saving with the free app from SmokeFree.nhs.uk
9. PLAY SWEEPER
Many people find that ‘spring cleaning’ their home and car can be a real boost to stopping smoking. And if there are rooms in your home where you don’t allow yourself to smoke, spend more time there.
10. CONSIDER SUBSTITUTES
If you can fight the nicotine cravings with nothing but willpower, well done. However, nicotine is a seriously sneaky addictive substance. It’s hard to shake off on your own. If you’d like support, there’s sure to be an option to suit you. Patches, gum and mouth-sprays can help you fight the cravings and make it easier to break the habit. They’re available free if you don’t pay for prescriptions. For your nearest participating venue, get in touch on our information line 0800 061 4212 (free from landlines), make an appointment online or text QUIT to 66777 .
11. PLAY TO THE FINAL WHISTLE
It ain’t over till it’s over. As you try to go smokefree, you might find an overwhelming urge to have a quick ciggy or have a sneaky drag with a friend. Like losing a goal, it’s a setback, but it’s not the end of the world. You’ve just got to pick yourself up and re-start the game, newly determined. For text and email support to help you stay in the game, see SmokeFree.nhs.uk