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Managing Your Stress to Avoid Tobacco Use

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As you work towards becoming Tobacco Free there are tools, strategies, and techniques that can help you manage the stress in your life. They may not make specific problems or challenges go away, and they won’t cure a loved one who has a disability or who is ill, but they will help to build your resilience.

We recognize that as a Military and Veteran Caregiver you may not have the resources that are available to others in terms of stress relief, especially during your path towards quitting tobacco. A vacation or even a dinner out with friends may seem unattainable. Here are quick stress-relief
activities you CAN do to aid in quitting tobacco.

Breathing exercises — A quick way to relax and can be done anywhere. Breathe deeply from your abdomen to get as much fresh air and oxygen into your lungs as possible. Then completely expel all the air in your lungs on your exhale breath.

Muscle relaxation through stretching and basic yoga poses — This is an easy-to-do technique that can be combined with breathing exercises to help fall asleep.

Aromatherapy—Essential oils have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.

Journaling — Document observations, thoughts and emotions. Journaling can be public such as an online blog or a private diary. This can become part of your daily routine, or purely when you are inspired to write/share. Journaling can be quick such as making a list of things you are grateful for or frustrated by. You can even tear up what you have written and experience the release of emotions through the act of writing and tossing.

Soothing Sensory Touch — Examples include rubbing the back of your neck, give yourself a bear hug and squeeze yourself down the length of your arms, exercise your hands through hand self-massage.

Find more tips for managing your stress by downloading Living Tobacco Free: A Toolkit for Military and Veteran Family Caregivers now!

Try these tips for staying tobacco free.

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