20 things to do instead of smoking weed!

Need to distract yourself from the cannabis cravings? Tick these 20 things off your list!

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We know from the research there are some proven techniques to help overcome cannabis cravings for those trying to quit. Cravings come in waves and tend to only be strong for about 20 minutes, so if someone can push through the danger zone, the cannabis cravings start to become less intense and less frequent. Enter the four D’s: distract, delay, deep-breathing and de-catastrophize. The first of these – distraction – is the most important tool in your mental toolkit to riding the waves of those cravings.

Here are 20 things you can do to entertain your brain and body that don’t involve smoking weed. Maybe you’ve tried some of them before, or perhaps there’s something you’ve always been meaning to try but have never got around to – now’s your chance to give it a go!

Everyday activities

1. Clean your room: this one’s not exactly fun but it will definitely clear your headspace and give you a sense of satisfaction. Plus getting rid of all your cannabis paraphernalia such as bongs, lighters, scissors and bowls will decrease the temptation to smoke in the future.

2. Write a letter: Yep – good old snail mail! When’s the last time you either sent or received a hand-written letter? Can’t remember? Then a great reason to get out a fancy pen and some nice paper and send some kind words to friends or family near or overseas.

3. Chat on the phone: Yep we mean talking; not texting, snapchatting or whatsapping! Call a friend you have been meaning to talk to for ages and be sure to chat about their problems and successes as much as yours. Let them be proud of you for the progress you’re making!

4. Netflix time: Cath up on your favourite series, movie or comedy, or watch a documentary and learn something cool in the process!

5. Listen to some music: make a Facebook post asking for recommendations from friends then turn them into a playlist and hit ‘play’ every time you’re riding the craving wave. Our trawl through these sites for inspiration: https://soundcloud.com/; https://www.mixcloud.com/, https://www.spotify.com/au/

Creative activities

6. Play or learn a musical instrument. Harmonica, ukulele or kazoo anyone? Check these out for inspiration: http://list25.com/25-bizarre-and-unique-musical-instruments/

7. Origami: ancient proverbs say that folding 1000 paper cranes grants a wish by the Gods. Start simple with these basic origami Japanese folded beauties http://www.origami-instructions.com/

8. Get out into the shed: Use your hands and get creative with metal work, wood work or a building project.

9. Learn a language: Download podcasts, audio books or learn online in your own pace and impress your mates, or better yet – plan a holiday to test your new skills! https://www.duolingo.com/

10. Art for art’s sake: paint, draw, stencil, sketch, mould or spray. Being creative is a great self-esteem boost, increases your feelings of productivity and satisfaction and you’ll have something cool to show for it at the end of your creative process. Head to your local craft shop for inspiration and watch some YouTube videos for a little assistance if needed.

Social activities

11. Volunteer! Be it for events, emergencies, the environment or charities you feel passionately about. Feel doubly great about quitting weed and using your extra time to give back to the community. https://govolunteer.com.au/

12. Meetups: Find Meetups and meet people in your local community who share your interests. http://www.meetup.com/

13. Cook dinner for friends: Try and recreate that MasterChef recipe from TV last night, or cook something ambitious and delicious. Let your friends know you appreciate them, as you’ll probably be leaning on them a little more at the moment www.Taste.com.au

14. Head to the museum: Get cultured and get some kudos on your next Instagram post ;-). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_Australia

15. Go to a sporting match: Did you know that supporting a sports team is good for your mental health and gives you a sense of community and belonging? Read more on that one here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/sports-fan-mental-health-benefits_n_6565314.html?section=australia

Physical activities

16. Meditate. Try a guided mediation, progressive muscle relaxation or simply sit quietly and clear your mind for 20 minutes till that craving is gone.

17. Get adventurous: Try rock-climbing, abseiling, stand up paddle boarding or go karting. Just make sure to wear your helmet!

18. Yoga: Yoga has proven mental and physical benefits and can help promote sleep, bone and muscle strengthening and ease digestive complaints. You don’t even need to pay for a class. Start with these freebies on YouTube in your own lounge room! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0FxPT0O0SA

19. Go for a hike or trek: grab some friends (make sure to tell someone exactly where you plan on going) and head to your nearest national park, beach, mountain or bushland for some fresh oxygen in your lungs. This free activity is a great mood booster and great for your waist line too! http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/national-parks

20. Join a gym: You’ll have a lot of free time on your hands now you’re not smoking and why not use this time to start some healthy new habits. Find a gym in your local area or better yet – try them all with membership options like www.classpass.com and www.bodypass.com

Good luck and enjoy your new found pursuits!

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