Sat | Apr 21, 2018

How do I kick smoking, drinking habits?

Published:Saturday | January 19, 2013 | 12:00 AM
  • How do I kick smoking, drinking habits?

Dear Counsellor,

I have developed some bad habits to help myself cope with stress. I smoke a lot and I drink alcohol in large quantities. I would like to kick these habits.


Dear Angela,

Life is stressful and challenging. Sometimes where there are problems, there are also opportunities. You need to view events as an opportunity to move forward. Life is not static; it changes from moment to moment. Do you have a mentor? Sometimes having someone to discuss issues with, will help to diffuse a situation. A mentor can guide you and help you to focus on what it is that is important.

It is a challenge to quit smoking and drinking, but it can be done. Some people gamble or spend foolishly or consume large volumes of caffeine. There is also the issue of emotional eating. Habits are formed to help people to cope. You need healthy coping habits. You need a supportive system like a Faith community. Here you will meet fellow travellers who are trying to cope with life's challenges.

Get involved in the search for relaxation and enjoy meditation. Some people start to drink alcohol after the death of a loved one. Death of family members is very painful and people feel that doing these various things will help to reduce the pain. Counselling is helpful and you need to see a counsellor to work on healthy coping strategies. People find yoga, deep breathing and visualisation to be healthy and practise them. Stress causes problems and problems cause stress. Get involve in activities that are not harmful to you.

  • Making the grade

Dear Counsellor,

I would like you to discuss some study tips to help me excel at school.


Dear Marjorie,

Management of our time is important and studying is a vital activity. You need to organise your time and activities so that you can optimise your opportunities. You need to prepare a term calendar. Record your school assignments with their due dates and your scheduled tests. Record your planned school activities and update them as the term goes on.

Prepare a schedule each week on Sunday. Update them as the week goes on. Record your daily classes. Enter things to be done for the coming week from your term calendar. Review your class notes from the previous week to see if you need to add any school activities.

Add any out-of-school activities in which you will be involved during the week. Be sure to include times for completing assignments, working on projects and studying for tests. These times may be during the school day, right after school, evenings and weekends.

Prepare a daily organiser each evening before a school day. Enter the things to do for the coming day from your weekly schedule. Enter the things that still need to be accomplished from your daily organiser from the previous day. Add any out-of- school activities in which you will be involved the next day. This level of organisation can be done using a diary. Get a diary and put in the term calendar, the weekly schedule and the daily organiser.

Email questions and feedback for Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson to or call 978-8602.