Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
Finding it hard to stay smoke-free while hanging out with your smoking buddies? Why not find a new hobby and make new friends?
First of all, congratulations! You’ve made the decision to stop smoking and followed through with it. Maybe you quit cold turkey and focused on hobbies to quit smoking or maybe you had help from HPB’s smoking cessation programme. No matter how you did it, you deserve a pat on your back for kicking the habit.
You don’t suffer from nicotine withdrawal symptoms anymore, and you no longer have the urge to smoke. You want to stay this way, but your social circle might be making your smoke-free days a thing of the past at the moment.
Ever heard of the phrase, “you are who you surround yourself with”? Before you kicked the habit, you probably had a group of smoking buddies whom you hung out regularly with. Now that you’ve quit, it might be tougher for you to keep from lighting up when most of your friends are smoking.
So, why not expand your social circle? Meet new people and surround yourself with new, non-smoking friends to take your mind off smoking and stay smoke-free? Here are some ways for you to do just that.
4 Hangout Spots that Don’t Involved Smoking or Drinking!
Have you ever tried knitting or cross-stitch? Every time you feel like smoking, keep your hands busy by perfecting your knit stitch and your purl stitch instead! Gather some of your favourite stitch patterns and share them with your fellow knitters to exchange tips and pointers.
Not a knitter? Try painting, sculpting, or even woodworking. If you’re musically inclined, this might be the perfect time for you to pursue your interests and pick up an instrument.
Want to learn a skill but don’t have the motivation to sign up for classes? Well, here’s something to motivate you: joining courses is a great opportunity for you to meet new people.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out the many courses offered by the People’s Association. Channel your inner Shah Rukh Khan and sign up for a Bollywood dance course, let your creative juices flow in a clay-sculpting class, or even pick up a bankable skill by learning how to make a mobile app!
It’s also easier to make new friends when there is a shared common interest. So, how about registering for one of the many interest groups offered by your nearby community centre, which range from karaoke for those who are more musically-inclined, to basketball for the sportier types.
Expressing Yourself Through the Arts
Make new friends while getting healthy by joining workout classes. Try out exercise activities offered by the
Health Promotion Board (bonus: many of them are free!) and ActiveSG.
Mall Workouts are a convenient (and free) way to meet new people. Many of these workout sessions are held at neighbourhood shopping malls on weekday evenings or weekend mornings, making them perfect for busy working adults.
Sign up and bond with fellow shoppers over-energetic Zumba moves or with other Kpop lovers over a session of Kpopx Fitness. Not so much an indoor sports person? Perhaps you’d enjoy a walk on the wild side.
Getting fit is an excellent idea that scores you many benefits. Not only will you be able to avoid gaining weight unnecessarily, you will also find yourself gaining muscles (and new friends!) instead.
Getting Fit at Free Exercise Classes
Enjoy the outdoors? Try one of the programmes offered by the National Parks Board. For example, you can make some friends with fellow history buffs by exploring the Heritage Roads in Singapore such as Arcadia Road and Mandai Road.
If you love the flora and fauna, keep your hands busy and fingers green when you join the Community in Bloom Initiatives. Beautify your neighbourhood through gardening and meet other like-minded plant-lovers.
Take It Outdoors to Unwind
Finally, why not meet kindred spirits by volunteering your time for others in need?
A good place to start your search is Giving.sg, where you can find and volunteer for causes that you are passionate about. Meet fellow pet lovers by contributing your time and efforts at an animal shelter, or find fellow patrons of the arts by volunteering at a neighbourhood art event.
Now, who says it’s hard to meet new, non-smoking friends? Pick up a hobby to help yourself stay smoke-free. And if you have a friend that’s trying to quit, get them involved. Picking up hobbies may just help them to stop smoking and finally quit for good.
I Quit 28-Day Countdown now! Call QuitLine at 1800 438 2000 for support, and visit
participating retail pharmacies for advice that can help you quit.
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, September 9, 2019
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Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.