Stop Smoking This Year
2017 is the year to stop smoking

It is many people’s New Years Resolution to stop smoking in 2017.

The third week of January is designated National Non-Smoking Week in Canada. The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control coordinates the efforts. The agency asks everyone to have a Weedless Wednesday by giving up all smoking on this day. The entire week is dedicated to the conversation about smoking and its impact on your health.

Common Concerns When Trying to Stop Smoking

You know the reasons to quit smoking: It’s better for your health, the air and the people around you. However, it’s not easy to stop smoking after years of relying on cigarettes. Too, there are many fears about how you will adapt to life without smoking. Many people are concerned about weight gain and withdrawal. However, by working with cessation experts, you can minimize your concerns and prevent weight gain. There has been a lot of research dedicated to the cessation of smoking and its impacts on your life. One key finding is that stopping smoking is better for your overall health than gaining a few pounds or going through withdrawal.

Benefits of Quitting

It takes two hours for your blood pressure and heart rate to return to normal after smoking a cigarette. Blood circulation also improves in this time frame. Imagine if you gave up half of the cigarettes you smoked each day. Your body would have more normal vitals that much longer. After 12 hours without a smoke, the carbon monoxide in your blood decreases to normal levels and the amount of oxygen in your blood to increases to normal levels.

In just one day without a cigarette, your risk of having a heart attack or developing coronary artery disease declines. You still have to watch your health, but you’re taking major steps toward increasing your lifespan. In two days, your ability to taste and smell improves because nerve endings are able to regenerate. It takes three days for the nicotine to be out of your system. This is when the biggest onset of withdrawal symptoms occurs. You’ve saved money for the past three days by not smoking, so do something for yourself. Get a massage, go out to the range or buy something nice for yourself as a reward.

In the next two to three weeks, you’ll be feeling much better and able to get back to exercise and do physical things without getting winded. The withdrawal symptoms should begin to subside by this time. You’ll be able to breathe easier and enjoy more of life’s fun. After four weeks, the cilia in your lungs are repaired to the point of being able to help you fight off lung infections and respiratory issues. This helps your lungs repair. The longer you go without smoking, the less withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience. After one year without smoking, your risk of heart disease is reduced by half of what it was when you were smoking.

Set Goals

Once you’ve decided to stop smoking, set goals. Make sure these goals are manageable and measurable. Instead of trying to give up smoking for one year, take it one week at a time. Just for seven days you’re going to stop or at least reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Use the intervention programs that are available to you. Through the Council for Tobacco Control, you have access to helplines, telephone counseling, therapy and community-based programs. Your healthcare provider can even provide interventions to assist you through the withdrawal symptoms. It’s up to you to ask for help. Gain the support of your family. Talk about your fears and expectations. Make a commitment to your health by giving up cigarettes. Take up a new hobby to replace the time you spent smoking. Do it for yourself and your loved ones who want you around for years to come.

Holding a Holiday Wedding – Pros and Cons
Holiday Wedding Ceremony

Some people think that a Holiday Wedding will be easier due to family being in town, however it can cause more harm than good.

All of your family will be home for Christmas, which might make you think holding a Holiday wedding on that weekend would be good. But will it? Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t the only holidays that are wedding favorites; Valentine’s Day or Easter weekend are other special events where people consider marrying. Before planning your celebration of vows on a three-day weekend, consider the advantages and disadvantages.

The Benefits of a Holiday Weekend

  • If you’re having a destination weekend, more of your family and friends might have time off to travel.
  • Even if you’re staying at home, you probably get more vacation time around certain holidays. This lets you steal a few extra days to get ready for the ceremony or to go on the honeymoon.
  • You can work more themes into your wedding if you’re holding it over a holiday weekend.
  • It’s just one more holiday party for guests to have when they’re taking time off work.
  • Celebrating future anniversaries is easier, because you can always remember the date. And if it’s around a holiday, you’ll know you’ll be able to get an extra day off.

The Disadvantages of Holding Your Wedding on a Holiday

  • Guests may have other standing plans with family or other holiday obligations.
  • You can’t assume people have vacation days around the holidays. People who work retail may be required to work extra shifts during the Christmas season. Healthcare workers may not be able to apply for time off.
  • December is already expensive for many people. Adding the extra expense of a wedding may be prohibitive. While you’re not having the wedding to get gifts, you certainly don’t want to make it harder for those who want to give you a present.
  • Airfare can be higher during holidays because the demand is higher.

Etiquette for a Holiday Wedding

If you’ve had your heart set on a wedding held on New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day, then go for it. Be understanding when guests decline the invitation. After all, it’s a request for their presence, not a command. Here are some tips to help your guests make decisions about whether they can attend your wedding over a holiday weekend.

  1. Give your guests a lot of notice. Send save-the-date cards a little earlier. Remember, if you send someone a save-the-date card, you should send them an invitation. Make your guest list first. Don’t send out save-the-date cards indiscriminately. One wedding website recommends at least a year in advance with a holiday wedding.
  2. Give more RSVP time. You should also plan time to follow up with RSVPs.
  3. Use the holiday as a starting point. Don’t play Christmas music at your Christmas wedding. You want people to remember your day, not the holiday.
  4. Incorporate touches of decorations from the holiday, but don’t overdo. You can make the party theme-driven and unique.
  5. Have a signature cocktail and appetizers to get the reception started.
  6. Remember to book vendors early. You may need to remember to budget a little more than you would if it were on another weekend. Vendors may have to charge more for a holiday event.
  7. Plan to give servers who are working on Christmas a larger tip. They’re not with their family because they’re serving yours. Be kind and considerate to those who are working.
  8. Make hotel reservations early too. Get a room block to get a reduced rate and save rooms for those who need it.
  9. Advertise on your wedding website which amenities you are providing. Make it easy for guests to find accommodations and local information.

Before setting the date for your wedding, discuss any plans thoroughly. This way you understand the pitfalls and can overcome the disadvantages before you spend a lot of money.