Beating your addiction to weed this winter

Find out how to beat the winter blues and begin quitting weed now!

Beating your addiction to weed this winterHibernation – the key to surviving the cold

We all know winter is a time for indulging – it gets dark at 5pm, the cold creeps into our bones and the grey days never seem to end. For many of us, a nice hot tea, a couple of chocky biscuits… and for some, a joint, can help ease those long, cold months. And without these little craved comforts, we just don’t feel like we can get through the rain, clouds and hail!

So why do we seem to crave comforts most in winter?

Some say it’s an evolutionary thing – our instincts drive us to pile on the pounds and find a warm, dry place to hibernate to ensure our survival. When it comes to drugs like weed, it could be said that the temptation to smoke is greater during the colder months, as we tend to stay indoors more, do less exercise and generally indulge in more comfort-seeking behaviours. Also, quitting may seem more challenging as there are fewer options for distraction, daylight hours are limited and quite frankly, who wants to get off their butt and make changes when it’s freezing outside?

Well, we have news for you – winter is as good a time as any to quit! In winter we do hibernate – we spend more time at home, and that means we have time to set ourselves a plan, deal with all the temptations and stay on track.

The 5 D’s that can help you quit weed

  1. Distraction. One of the best ways of cutting down or quitting cannabis is to distract yourself. Getting out and about, walking on the beach, having a picnic in the park with friends, going for a swim – there are endless options to help you get through those cravings… in summer! A bit more creativity is required in the winter months. How about seeing a movie, going out to a great new restaurant with a big open fire, hitting the department store sales (with all that money you’ve likely saved from the weed budget), catching a game of footy, checking out the latest exhibition at the art gallery and discovering a new museum, or warming up to a new band – these are all great distractions from weed cravings and they are especially good in winter.
  2. Delay the urge to smoke. Putting off smoking by even just a little bit can put your routine out of whack and see you smoking less. Winter is a time when you really don’t want to go outside at night, so maybe putting off that after dinner joint so you can avoid the cold is a great way to give up a little bit of weed each day.
  3. De-stress. Stress can often be a trigger for smoking weed if you don’t deal with it so well. Summer is a big time of stress, we tend to stay later at work because there are more daylight hours, then fit more in after work, and the weekends are always jam-packed. In winter, when many of us shy away from heading outdoors even to get to the car, removing some of those summer stresses – and the related temptations – can be easier.
  4. De-catastrophise your cravings. So your cravings get so bad that you get to a point where you think you just can’t get through them. You say things to yourself like, ‘I feel like I’ll die if I don’t smoke’, ‘I’m not me if I don’t’ smoke,’ and other such emotive statements. In order to have a better chance at quitting, you need to have some perspective and put those thoughts away. Cravings can be hard to bear, but they peak and then they crumble – it’s up to you not to let your willpower crumble first.
  5. Drink more water. Funnily enough, drinking water can help fight off some of the withdrawal symptoms you may have when quitting. Maybe drinking hot chocolate sounds like a slightly more attractive way of dealing with some not so welcome feelings and discomforts, but keeping hydrated is a good way to beat headaches, fatigue and listlessness that will only make it harder to resist those urges.

Quitting weed with a buddy

If you’re game to take on a challenge this winter, why not enlist the help of a buddy and quit together. You can sign up to our Joint Effort program where you’ll receive advice, help and heaps of online tools to make this winter the one where you’ll well and truly be fit and ready to go by summer – smoke free, addiction free and hopefully feeling happier and healthier in time to hit the beach come December. The NCPIC website has heaps of free advice, resources and information about quitting cannabis and our Cannabis Information and Helpline (1800 30 40 50) is also available free of charge to provide counselling, referral and advice around cannabis-related issues.

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