Regardless of which option you choose that you feel will assist you to stop smoking, the first three days are the hardest. This is when the physical symptoms of nicotine leaving your body is felt the most. Common symptoms such as irritability, feeling sleepy or fatigued, and that slight headache that never seems to go away, are all common symptoms of withdrawal.
Preparation is the key. By knowing what you are in for, you can make plans to deal with the feelings and symptoms and not have to hide away where you won’t bother anyone. However it is also a good idea to inform your family and friends (but only if they are supportive) of your goals. This also gives them the opportunity to stay clear if they think you might be a little bit cranky!
Keep in mind, that by making plans in advance on how you are going to handle these symptoms, it can really help if they present themselves. What are you going to feel? What are the symptoms of withdrawal? You may want to include these things on your list:
Angry or agitated: I will find a task to take my mind off the fact that I can’t smoke.
Feeling overly emotional or sensitive: Find yourself some solitude and let the feelings out.
Feeling tired: I will allow myself to be able to rest and heal from my addiction.
Feeling nauseated: I will drink a glass of water (helps with nausea, as do apples and ginger).
After I eat I will: Find something to do so I don’t crave the ‘after-dinner’ cigarette.
Drinking lots and lots of fluids, especially water, is a great way to clear the nicotine from your system as the fluids will metabolize your body’s chemical stores. Side effects, at worse, are more frequent bathroom breaks and a water-logged stomach. The upside is that the faster the nicotine leaves your system, the sooner the physical symptoms will subside.
There are a lot of theories as to what makes withdrawal symptoms worse or better. Some say that you should also give up caffeine when you stop smoking and there are others who found that it makes no difference in their case. If drinking beverages with caffeine in them makes you suddenly crave a cigarette, it is probably better to not to have any, or at the very least cut back.
Just be careful not to overload your willpower by giving up too many things at once. Perhaps just cut back slowly on the caffeine in the beginning and replace those types of drinks with things that will help rid your body of the nicotine, like fruit juices and water.
Another common side effect of stopping smoking is the inability to fall asleep or to stay soundly asleep. Regardless of how tired you might have been throughout the day, it seems like your mind won’t shut down for the evening and comfort is nowhere to be found.
Taking a nice hot shower or a soothing bath, just prior to going to bed can be very helpful and can help you become relaxed enough to fall asleep. Normally, this will only last one or two nights at the most, but if it becomes persistent, you may want to consider taking an over-the-counter sleep aid for a night or two. Your sleeplessness won’t last for long.
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