Did you know that people who participate in Stoptober are 5 times more likely to quit smoking entirely? Join the Stoptober initiative and commit to stop smoking in 28 days this October. With the help of the Dutch Stoptober app and newsletter and their English alternatives you will get the accountability and support to help you stop and stick to your new healthy habits. Over 350.000 smokers have quit with the help of Stoptober and you can do it too!
Change where you shop
Shaking up your usual shopping haunts can help with breaking an established habit. Why not try out new surroundings and seek out delicious comfort foods in the process? Expat stores like Kellys Expat Shopping have got you covered when it comes to cravings for British and American staples. When making a big lifestyle change, it’s better to tackle things as they come, so avoid dieting and make sure to nourish your body so that it can readjust to your new lifestyle.
Add some exercise to your day
Amsterdam is the perfect setting for some exercise. From casual walks to new cycling routes, it’s so easy to make adjustments without special effort. Venture outside the city centre to tour the castles and gardens or explore Zuidoost, an underestimated part of the city that is brimming with street art. The Amsterdamse Bos is perfect for an escape into nature while the canals can be great for rowing or just act as a backdrop for a morning run. Since exercise releases endorphins, it can be a great mood booster that will leave you energized and empowered for the rest of the day. As little as fifteen minutes a day can have a considerable effect on your mood and mindset, so don’t knock it till you give it a try!
Give yourself a break and avoid stress
Many people don’t even realize just how much stress feeds into their smoking. There can be many internal and external pressures in your way in the first weeks of quitting. Breaking the habit can be hard, so make sure to unwind when possible and avoid triggers and stressful situations. This can mean establishing boundaries with family or friends, asking for help at work, and putting your wellbeing first. If your home environment doesn’t always foster calmness, why not take a walk through Amsterdam to discover its gardens or just take a moment in your favorite Amsterdam park.
Make time for new rituals
There’s nothing better for replacing an existing habit than forming a new one. Whenever you find yourself absent-mindedly reaching for a cigarette, consider grabbing some gum, drinking a glass of water or simply going outside for some fresh air rather than giving up on your break altogether. Don’t be afraid to spend some quality time with yourself, no matter how small those moments can be. From reading the news in the morning to watering plants or listening to birdsong, these moments can tremendously improve your quality of life and make you forget your desire to smoke.
Clean your apartment
You’ll be surprised just how much it helps to get rid of any reminders that you used to smoke. Don’t forget to pay special mind to getting rid of items that have that residual smell. Give yourself a clean start to make sure you go on as you begin! If you’re looking for maximum effect with little effort, consider getting some votive candles or fragrance sticks, as well as laundry softeners that can give you that clean, fresh smell. Amsterdam stores like Dille en Kamille, Anna + Nina and others are sure to gave your living space a morale-boosting face lift.
Every milestone is worth celebrating. Use this opportunity to put the money you’d otherwise spend aside and spend it once you hit a new benchmark. A wishlist can be a huge reminder of your progress and goals: focus on your motivation and on all the perks of your new lifestyle. It doesn’t matter whether a reward is big or small, but it also doesn’t have to be monetary: embrace the guilty pleasures, things you’ve always wanted to do, and enjoy your healthy new lifestyle.
Balance your mind
Make an effort to be present in the moment. Meditation can make a great habit that helps you cope in moments of overwhelm, whereas yoga and similar practices will connect you with your body and put it in alignment with your headspace. This is the perfect combination for those prone to stress and anxiety as it will reduce situations in which you would normally resort to smoking, making the process of quitting smoother and easier. Check out these places to find your zen in Amsterdam, from a Mongolian yurt meditation and movement classes to a freeing floating session in a saltwater tank and more.
Pick up a new hobby
Keeping busy is one of the best ways to make sure you miss smoking as little as possible. It also helps to be surrounded by people outside of your usual circles when you have to break long-established habits. It doesn’t matter how good get, or how long you spent doing it: as long as it’s a hobby you like, it can only improve your life.
Don’t be afraid to search for like-minded people who can join you in your search for new hobbies: Amsterdam has plenty of expat communities that will welcome you whether you want to learn a new language, cook, or crochet. Need ideas? How about you:
- Take a cooking workshop at Moederskeuken where you can get acquainted with Dutch and international cuisines.
- Join the JoySing group to sing along to famous Dutch songs and make new friends
- Step into woodworker atelier Espenaer to learn all about traditional techniques and skills that go into creating beautiful furniture