Having a hard day?


Well, you’re not the only one. It’s sort of unfair, but very true, that part of quitting for lots of us can mean some bad days; maybe feeling low and lonely, bad moods, and anxiety or irritability. There may be some tears and you may over react to things that normally wouldn’t bother you.

Please know that this is normal. You are not used to coping with life without cigarettes and yes, it may make you irritable. You might be someone who used to use cigarettes to deal with day-to-day annoyances, or to pass time when you feel lonely, or to comfort you when you feel down. When you take away the cigarettes, you suddenly become more aware of those annoyances or difficult feelings. So, while you are doing something wonderful for your health by trying to quit, your emotions might take a week or two to catch up with you.

You’ll be fine in no time and we find that people like to know that this isn’t just happening to them, that it’s common, and that it’s not going to last forever. While they might be unpleasant or surprising, these are temporary feelings and might only last for a few hours or a few days. Even if it takes longer than that, it will get easier, especially after the first four weeks.

What can you do?

Now, you can try out some new ways to cope with bad days, and they’ll stand to you long-term as you start looking at a smoke-free life. Talking to someone is always a good place to start, so you could chat to a friend, or someone you know who has quit smoking before. You will always find someone on our Facebook page who’s having a bad day, and they quite like to have a safe rant on the page, get it off their chest, and get lots of support from their pals. And our QUIT team are trained, and paid, to listen to quitters’ angst! So call or Live Chat us for some support.

It’s also good to find ways within yourself to manage these feelings, and you’ll find that getting through a tough day can often make you feel very proud of yourself – as it should.

These tips may help you – they are proven to help all of us:

  • Remind yourself that your choice to smoke or not to smoke is still there.
  • Discover new ways of dealing with negative feelings rather than reaching for a cigarette – talk to someone, go for a walk for 5 minutes, take some deep breaths.
  • Remind yourself that the feeling is temporary; it will go away.
  • Congratulate yourself for coping with life without smoking.
  • Ask others to understand and be patient.
  • Do things that make you feel good.
  • Eating healthy food help to improve your mood
  • Get a good night’s sleep as often as you can.

Getting bad news

You may be used to reaching for a cigarette when you get bad news about something in your life and that’s a challenge if it happens in the early stage of your quit attempt. One very good piece of advice, if you feel you want to smoke, is that smoking will not change the news or help the situation. It will only reduce your chance of quitting for good. Have a good cry, tell someone how you are feeling. Take 20 slow deep breaths over a period of a few minutes to help relax.

There’s a really good reason you decided to quit, so be kind to yourself, remember why you started, and hang in there if you can.

Browse through the rest of our topics aimed at helping you in your QUIT attempt:

Cravings and withdrawalsKnow how to spot them and beat them

Having a hard day?Don't worry if you're a bit weepy or irritable, it's normal

Get help nowContact our QUIT team for some advice and support

Support GroupsSee if there's a QUIT support group or clinic near you

I slipped upHad a slip up? Here's what to do

1 in every 2 smokersScary stat, and it's true - but what's behind it?

Smoking and...Specific Tips for Pregnancy, Young People, Mental Health, Fitness, Alcohol