It will take time to settle into new routines and find new ways to manage life-stress now that smoking isn’t an option. Within six months of quitting most people report that their overall mood is better and their stress levels lower than when they were smoking.
Generally there are two types of stress to manage:
- Day-to-day stress
Time-out or “me time”
One of the great challenges of successful quitting is finding a new way to take time-out. If you’re finding you’re still stressed a month or more after quitting, consider how you take your breaks and get your “me-time” now that you’re not smoking. Common time-out times are during breaks at work, when you first get home from work and after dinner.
Some people find it helpful to set up a relaxing area in their home or revisit an old hobby or start a new passion. See managing day-to-day stress for some great time-out activities.
Break the smoking stress-cycle
It's important to remember that while smoking may feel like it helps you cope with stress, it’s only a short-term fix. Having a cigarette is not going to take the problem away, it just gives you a momentary reprieve from it and feeds the smoking stress-cycle. Research shows that smokers tend to have higher stress levels than nonsmokers so the real way to de-stress in the long term is to become a nonsmoker.