One thing many motivated smokers fear during their quit journey is having nothing to do. Smoking was a way for them to pass the time and deflate during stressful situations. The truth is, when you’re bored during your quit journey, you feel much more inclined to light up.
Hobbies, old and new, are things you can do instead of smoking and being idle. If you had worked on something previously or want to try something different, go for it. The more committed you are to it, the higher your chances of quitting for good.
In this post, we’ll look at some great hobbies to take up to distract you instead of thinking of (or actually smoking) a cigarette.
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Physical activity has always been good for the body. After a strenuous session, your body releases endorphins, hormones that make you feel good. These hormones have been invaluable in helping ex-smokers regulate their moods and curb withdrawals.
If you think you can’t exercise because your lungs are in bad shape, it’s not true. Your body goes through an amazing recovery process after you decide to kick the habit.
Here are a few activities you can try for yourself:
- Walking: A quick 3 or 4km brisk walk for 15 to 30 minutes can increase your heart rate, improving your heart’s health and endurance. Regular walking also improves meditation, another useful tool for quitting smoking.
- Running: If walking feels easy for you, you can progress to running. It improves your cardiovascular health and lowers your risk of heart attacks. Running also helps improve your lung health and endurance.
- Weightlifting: A better perception of your body or the capacity to lift heavy objects can make you feel much more confident in yourself. Be sure to train with a coach to prevent injuries by doing the exercises properly.
- Cycling: If you’re not too comfortable walking or running, you can cycle while watching your favourite shows. It can increase your heart rate and improve your cardiac health.
Smokers find consuming cigarettes relaxing, but it’s only short-lived. True relaxation comes from calming yourself down regularly after a stressful workday and finding a safe release for your triggers and emotions.
Here are some activities that can help you relax completely.
- Mindfulness: This lets you focus on your actions, forgive yourself for where you lacked, and praise yourself where you became successful. Spending about 5 to 10 minutes a day in mindfulness meditation is helpful. You can do it while walking or while seated in a quiet room without disruptions.
- Yoga: This practice also qualifies as a physical exercise once you can do the complex poses. A yoga session typically lasts around 30 to 60 minutes.
- Minimalism: Decluttering your space also declutters the mind. Here’s a great way to implement minimalism.
- Journal Writing: The power of putting thoughts into words through writing helps you overcome your current challenges, talk and comfort yourself, and internalise your goals to stop smoking. Spend just a few minutes a day talking about your day through journal writing.
Smoking is addictive – a problematic way to stimulate your brain. Instead of smoking, stimulate your brain the right way. You’ll surely feel better reading or writing something creative after a long time.
Here are some activities to stimulate your brain without nicotine and other addictive activities.
- Reading: A good book always has a splendid and memorable adventure. If it’s been a while since your last book, try spending 15 to 30 minutes reading. Surely, you’ll increase the time you read as you go along.
- Writing: Even if creative writing isn’t your forte, it’s a great way to generate unique ideas. For a start, you can write about how successful you’d be after you kick the habit 10 years from now.
- Learning a New Fact Every Day: The internet is a wonderful repository of facts you’ve never heard of. You can head to Wikipedia and find a random fact or click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google’s search engine.
- Learning a New Instrument: This might seem as difficult as quitting smoking completely, but it’s always enjoyable to hear something sound good by your own hand.
Arts and Crafts
Creating something unique mentally and physically stimulates you. Regardless of the result, they’re always a worthwhile use of your time, especially if you need something to do after you’ve been thinking about smoking and struggling with withdrawal.
Here are some activities that we recommend doing if you’re just getting started or are already good at doing art:
- Drawing and Painting: If you spend at least 15 minutes drawing or painting anything, you help your mind relax. It also activates your creative side naturally. Drawing and painting is the easiest hobby to get into for almost anybody.
- Photography: You don’t need professional equipment to start photography. If you have the basics down, you can use your phone’s camera to take beautiful shots. Surely, you’ll feel good and accomplished after seeing your skills improve with one of the easiest hobbies around.
- Diorama Making: Recreating a historic or fantasy setting in a shoebox is always a great activity and is easy to display anywhere. Here’s how you can get started.
Exercise is just one type of activity you can do outside. There are other activities that are equally rewarding. Here are some of them:
- Camping: Relaxing has never been more fun than spending time under the stars and hearing the sounds of nature. Be sure to go with an experienced camper to keep you safe.
- Hiking: It’s a physically tiring but rewarding experience. By hiking, you can see the beauty of nature, discover hidden creeks and lagoons, and see the vast beauty of the world.
- Beach Bumming: Heading to a quiet part of the beach and hearing the waves is a relaxing experience that takes your mind away from withdrawals and anything that causes stress and anxiety.
Keeping your mind and body occupied at all times with hobbies and activities makes it easy to forget about smoking and the withdrawals and cravings of quitting. The road to quitting may be difficult, but working on something is the key to coping well with it.
We know you’re here because you want to know more about how to stop smoking and deal with the withdrawals and cravings associated with it. You’re in the right place for good advice.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
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