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16 Smoke-Free Ways to Relax

Some smokers say that cigarettes help them manage stress. We say: Who needs cigarettes when there are so many other awesome ways to get rid of potential stress? Here are 16 ways to relax without cigarettes:

1. Meditate

Sometimes all we really need to calm down is a deep breath in, deep breath out. Take a step back, go to a quiet space, and steal a moment for yourself, while noticing that you may be breathing easier now that you’ve kicked cigarettes to the curb.

2. Listen to calming music

Create a chill playlist that you keep in your car or on your phone so you can plug in and sway to the gentle tunes whenever you need. That said, be careful to avoid melodies that may trigger the urge to smoke.

3. Phone a friend

A great solution for stress is to talk about whatever’s getting to you. Find a friend who’s willing to listen. Maybe assign one buddy to be your on-call de-stresser while dealing with withdrawal.

4. Squeeze a stress ball

Tense? Let your hands work it out. Find a fun, squishy ball that you can keep at work or in your bag for on-demand stress relief.

5. Cook a great meal

Some feel that cooking up some delicious, healthy grub may manage stress. Get into the methodic chopping and stirring, and kick back with a yummy dish.

6. Color in the lines

Literally! It may seem silly, but it has been reported that adult coloring books are a good way to de-stress. So grab yourself a coloring book and channel your inner artist.

7. Stretch out the kinks

Take a break from whatever you’re doing to give yourself a recharging stretch. If you’re at work, maybe even rolling your shoulders back and flexing your feet will do the trick.

8. Do a yoga routine

Take stretching one step further with a yoga routine to start or end your day.

9. Play with a pet

For many, there’s nothing more relaxing than a game of fetch or cuddling up with your pet.

10. Have a sip of tea

Whether your favorite tea is green, black, oolong, or white, it’s time to find a tea kettle! Enjoy that comforting, warm beverage.

11. Go on a walk

Get a breath of fresh air and walk out any negative energy you may be holding inside. Even a quick walk around the block can help get those endorphins working.

12. Write it down

Sometimes penning how we’re feeling helps us deal with emotions. Stressed about something? Write it down to work through how you’re feeling and maybe it will help you come up with other ways to cope.

13. Shake it off

Turn on some music and boogie out those pesky stressors. Whatever your signature move may be—the Running Man, the Funky Chicken, or the Worm—get your body movin’ to help release any pent-up tension.

14. Sweat

Exercise helps us manage stress and relax. No matter your choice of exercise—jogging, basketball, or even throwing a disc—getting your heart rate up is a great tactic to deal with tension. Remember to check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise routine.

15. Laugh!

Got a friend who always knows how to make you chuckle? Or a video that has you rolling on the ground in giggles? Get in a good laugh or 2. It’s often a great way to move past whatever’s bugging you.

16. Keep your eye on the prize

Collect images of the things you want to do or places you want to go once you’re smoke-free. Paste them into a scrapbook, which can serve as a reminder of all you stand to achieve by giving up cigarettes.