In an ideal world we’d all give up smoking for good on our first quit attempt.
But for many smokers, the road to a smoke free life is a rocky one. Having navigated their way through cravings, many smokers find themselves back where they started after relapsing and lighting up again.
If this happens it’s crucially important not to adopt a defeatist attitude and start to believe that you are incapable of quitting. Just because you’ve slipped up it doesn’t mean you are not perfectly capable of picking yourself up and getting back on the road to recovery.
To help you on your way here is our guide to recovering from a relapse.
🤔 Marvellous mistakes: Mistakes can be a brilliant learning opportunity. A slip-up gives you a chance to re-evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and find out how best to deal with the situations you find challenging. You may need to decide on a different quit smoking strategy. Don’t treat your slip up as a mistake but as a bump in the road that you must cross in order to come one step closer to giving up smoking
🚭 Remember your reasons: It can be easy to focus on your failure after a slip up. Instead direct your thoughts to the reasons why you wanted to quit in the first place. Whether it’s health concerns or money that drove your quit attempt, remind yourself that those reasons haven’t gone away.
🏆 Keep your eye on the prize: The benefits of giving up smoking are huge. If you’re lacking motivation to carry on quitting, then visual yourself as a non-smoker with more money, better health and without the smell of cigarette smoke clinging to your clothing. Focussing on this goal will go a long way to helping you to stay on track.
👬 Share the burden: Sometimes it’s embarrassing to tell friends and family that we’ve failed. Particularly if you’d announced that you were going to stop smoking. But there’s no shame in admitting that you’re only human and you’ve slipped up. You will need to support of friends and family to quit again and by hiding the truth from them you are denying yourself that help.
☎️ Call for help: Research has shown that only 3 in every 100 smokers manage to quit permanently using will power alone. In fact, the most effective way to tackle cravings is a combination of stop smoking medicine and behavioural changes. Help Me Quit offers free help to all smokers who are trying to quit. If you’ve relapsed after trying to go cold turkey then get in touch with them by calling 0800 085 2219 and find out what support you could access.