You might face withdrawal symptoms when you’re trying to stop smoking. It’ll take time to get rid of your nicotine dependence; do not resort to smoking a cigarette just to feel good again. Here are some ways to deal with these symptoms so they don’t get the better of you.
You’re on Day 1 of your quitting journey, and you find yourself irritated by the smallest of things. Plus, you feel tired, have headaches, and are having trouble concentrating. What's going on?
You might be facing symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, as your body gets used to not having nicotine. That’s a good thing — it means your body is recovering from the damages of smoking.
Even better news: withdrawal symptoms don't last very long. They're usually strongest in the first week of quitting, and often go away after two to three weeks. So hang in there! Don’t give up on your smoking cessation journey and start smoking a cigarette again.
Here are some tips to help you handle some common withdrawal symptoms.
Related: The Journey to Smoke-Free
If you’re having difficulty concentrating on your daily tasks, take frequent mental breaks. Do stretching exercises to energise yourself. You can drink a cup of spicy
teh halia or mint tea to recharge and stay alert.
Related: Tea — An Old Beverage Chock-Full of Benefits
Another common withdrawal symptom is irritability — your brain is trying to get used to the absence of nicotine. To cope with it, try calming down by practising deep breathing or yoga.
Or turn to the best medicine: laughter. Laugh out loud by catching a funny movie or watching your favourite sitcom on TV. There are no negative side effects to this medicine!
Related: Burn Calories while Watching TV!
Headaches happen because your brain is adjusting to the higher oxygen levels in your blood.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep — around seven to nine hours — to prevent your headaches from getting worse. Going for a massage or acupuncture might help ease the pain too.
Related: Headache and Migraine
Arm yourself with healthy snacks to munch on between meals, like fruits or low-fat yoghurt to tide over the withdrawal without excessive weight gain.
Carry a water bottle with you at all times so you can take sips of water whenever you feel thirsty. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and try a soothing cup of oolong tea or green tea instead.
Related: Kacang Puteh, and Other Healthy Snacks to Pack
Take walking breaks in the office and move your body so you feel more energised. Get as much physical activity as you can.
Exercise doesn’t just keep you energised; it’s also a mood booster. And when you feel good, it’ll be easier to get your mind off your withdrawal symptoms and control your urge to smoke!
Do regular exercises like swimming and cycling. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, get your friends and family to join you. Go cycling with your family at East Coast Park, play beach volleyball with your friends at Sentosa, or grab your
kakis for a football match.
Make exercise part of your daily routine while you’re trying to stop smoking. And keep at it even after you've successfully stubbed out to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Related: Get Active!Get Up and Go! Tips to Get Started on Your Exercise Journey
If you find that your withdrawal symptoms unbearable, consider tapping onto nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which increases the chances of quitting by easing these withdrawal symptoms. NRT supplies nicotine to the body to replace the nicotine from cigarettes and to help reduce nicotine cravings when quitting. The amount of nicotine supplied is slowly reduced over time to decrease dependency and help you quit smoking. Consult a pharmacist or doctor to find out more.
Join the I Quit Programme and remain smoke free for 28 days and you are 5 times more likely to quit smoking. You can nominate your loved ones as a supporter when you sign up for the programme. Validate your smoke-free status and redeem a HPB eVoucher* worth $50 at the 28th day milestone. Keep going and you'll also receive eVouchers* worth $30 and $20 at the 3rd month and 6th month milestone respectively!
*Terms and conditions apply.
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This article was last reviewed on
Thursday, March 3, 2022
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The Health Promotion Board (HPB) conducts annual school health visits to provide free health screening and immunisation services. HPB also conducts health education and health promotion programmes on lifestyle practices. HPB’s Student Health Centre, which generally provides preventive and screening services, follows up children referred from the school visits above.
Youth Preventive Dental Service (YPDS) provides oral health screening for pre-schoolers at some childcare centres as part of the Preschool Oral Health Screening and Fluoride Therapy Programme. Parents will be informed of the screening findings and recommended follow-up action through an "Information Sheet for Parents" that is downloadable from HealthHub.
YPDS also provides free basic dental services to Primary and Secondary students through school dental clinics and mobile dental clinics.
Annually, Primary 1, 2, 4 and 6, Secondary 1 and 3, and ITE Year 1 students who are enrolled in the school dental programme will be screened and treated by YPDS. Students in other levels who require dental services may visit the school or mobile dental clinics for free consultation and treatment.
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