Using the 4Ds to Conquer Cravings
When a craving hits, it usually only lasts between 3 and 5 minutes. Since you will not always be able to avoid a trigger, the trick is to have a plan to ride out the craving until it passes. Make a list of ways to beat cravings using the 4 Ds strategy: Delay, Distract, Deep breathing, Drink water.
Here is the big secret to beating cravings: they rarely last more than a few minutes. Wait 5 minutes when you feel the urge to smoke or vape and the feeling will pass. Do activities to pass the time like take a shower, clean out a closet, or go for a jog.
Do something else to take your mind off of your desire to smoke or vape. When the craving hits, stop what you are doing immediately and do something different. And remember, you do not have to do this alone. Call or text a friend or call one of our Quit Coaches at 1.877.455.2233.
Inhale through your nose and hold it for a count of 5. Slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of 7. Repeat a few times to reduce your cravings, stress and anxiety. Inhaling and exhaling tricks your body into feeling as though it is already relaxed, which in turn relaxes you.
It is important to replace the hand to mouth behavior of smoking with another healthy activity. Drinking water will change the feeling and taste in your mouth and will actually help to reduce the cravings. Try sipping slowly, holding each sip in your mouth for a few seconds.
Tips to Manage Withdrawal
Celebrate Your Wins
Quitting is not always easy, and each new day nicotine-free is worth celebrating! Reward yourself when you reach your goals — a day, a week, a month, six months of being nicotine-free. Treat yourself to some downtime — maybe indulge in a bubble bath, watch your favourite movie, or treat yourself to your favourite food. Looking back on your wins can help keep you motivated.
Find a distraction for when you feel a craving coming on. You might try playing a game, reading your favourite website, or going for a walk. The goal is to get yourself away from the temptation to smoke or vape and keep you busy by focusing on a different activity.
30 minutes of exercise each day can help beat the fatigue that can arise during nicotine withdrawal by boosting natural “feel-good” endorphins in your body. Exercise may also help you sleep better.
Get Some Sleep
Quitting can cause a lot of changes in your body as it gets adjusts to the lack of nicotine. You might feel extra tired during the first couple of weeks after quitting, so try going to sleep a bit earlier or take a nap if you need one.
It is common to use smoking or vaping as a way to help deal with stress. Now that you have quit, you can start building up new tools and techniques to help manage stress. Deep breathing techniques or meditation can help you find calm, as can getting more sleep, moving your body, and eating healthy foods. It might take some time to find something that works for you. Be patient with yourself. Remember, you can always call a Quit Coach if you need some extra support.