Let's talk about how to survive the holidays without your vape.
The holidays are here, and this year you're not letting your vape get in the way of family time. No more secretly vaping in your parent's powder room or sneaking outside to hide stawberry-ice clouds from grandma.
In some ways, being around family for the holidays is a great forcing function to take a break from (or altogether quit) your vaping habit, because you’ll most likely have a change of scenery and lots of distractions. On the other hand, though, extended time with family can be both stressful and a time of indulgence, making it the perfect storm for wanting or needing to vape.
Whether you're looking to vape a little, less, or not at all, this holiday season will go smoother with The Quitter Holiday Survival Guide—8 tips on how to make it through the holidays vapeless.
Tip 1: Start cutting back before you get home
Living under your parents’ roof is stressful enough. If you pair that with severe nicotine withdrawal, you’re going to have a bad time. As you approach the holidays, see if you can start reducing your nic intake - this way you’re ready to make it through a 2 hour meal without cravings. One method is cutting back on how much you inhale each time you vape: make a commitment to yourself that when you pick up your vape, you’ll only hit it once or twice. Another method to cut back is setting limits on when you start vaping - can you make a rule that you’ll only vape after 5pm? Finally, you can swap out specific triggers with a new habit. For example, try this template: When I [feel stressed during the workday], I will [take 5 deep breaths, one NRT mint, and get up to refill my water bottle] instead of vaping.
Tip 2: Come prepared with other coping mechanisms
Stress is one of the most common triggers that can set you back on your quitting journey. Odds are, someone is going to say something inflammatory at the dinner table and you’re going to want some nic. Before you get home, think through other ways you can manage stress or other triggers, so that when Uncle Jeff makes an unsavory comment about the Middle East you’re already prepared.
Some examples we’ve heard from our Quitter community are to step outside for a walk (even better with a buddy), put on your favorite song, and using the Jones breathing guide when you have a craving:
1. Breathe. Three times. 4 seconds in, 6 seconds out.
2. What will a puff do for me? Nothing.
3. How will a puff make me feel? Worse.
4. THANK YOU (to yourself).
Plus, you can play Quittle as a fun distraction.
Tip 3: Keep NRT handy
Nicotine replacement therapy is the top tool recommended by doctors for quitting. It’s been clinically studied for over 50 years, and it’s a safe way to reduce withdrawal symptoms - like cravings, irritability, and grogginess. If you know you’ll still be feeling cravings around your family (let’s face it, breathing exercises can only do so much…) and you don’t want to vape or smoke, discreetly taking nicotine mints will keep you sane over the holidays. For that matter, they work anytime. Jones mints even come with a sleek, child-proof tin that you can use at the dinner table, or on your flight home.
Tip 4: Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water can help curb cravings and keep you feeling refreshed. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and make it a habit to take sips throughout the day - if you use a straw top it’ll also help with oral fixation.
Tip 5: Stay active
You don’t have to be a Turkey Trot family to stay active during the holidays. Setting aside time for a daily walk, doing an online ab workout, or taking advantage of fun outdoor activities like ice-skating or sledding is enough to help manage your cravings. Plus, getting moving and having some fun is always a good idea.
Tip 6: Stay busy
Fill your schedule with anything that doesn’t involve vaping. Plan outings with friends, try cooking a new recipe from your favorite chef (mine’s Molly Baz), or volunteer for a local charity. Boredom is one of the most common reasons for vaping, so idle time on the couch is not your friend when you’re cutting back.
Tip 7: Lean on your support system
If you feel comfortable telling your family that you’re off the vape, sharing is caring. They can help keep you busy, celebrate you for making this healthy (and difficult) choice, and go easy on you when you’re more tired or grumpy than usual. If your family doesn’t know you vape or you don’t want to share, you can lean on the Jones community for support. Share and chat with other Quitters going through the same thing on our iOS or Android app, or chat with Coach Jones for a totally neutral place to vent.
Tip 8: Treat yourself
Quitting is HARD and you should be proud of yourself for any amount of time you go vape-less. Set a small goal like making it through one meal, one morning, or one day without your vape, and reward yourself for achieving it. Not only does this make quitting more fun, but it’s shown to be the most effective way to build new habits! So yes, you deserve that massage.
Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to quitting so you’ll want to try a few (or all) of these tips to figure out what works for you. Let us know what sticks! If you can make it through the holidays vape-less, you can make it through anything. Godspeed and happy holidays, Quitters.