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Stopping smoking made me find myself again


Our wellbeing affects how we feel every day and many of the things we do and the decisions we take have an impact on it. Aneta works as a logistics material planning supervisor at our Nowa Ruda plant in Poland and she shared with us how she improved her wellbeing by quitting smoking. It has been four years since she last smoked. It not only changed her health. It also led her to discover a whole new world of hobbies. 

“I must confess it wasn’t my first attempt. I had tried to stop smoking before and failed. I think that’s important to share: it’s ok to try again. You have to have your head in it first. If you don’t want it mentally, it won’t be easy.” She found quitting difficult, at least for the first six months. “Stress or being at social events can put a lot of pressure on you to go back to it. But I always knew if I smoked one, just one, I would go back to it. I wasn’t alone though. My husband was there to support me. He stopped smoking a long time ago so he had some good tips. And sharing the experience/talking about it with colleagues helped me get through it, too”. 

But what made her want to stop? “I decided that I wanted to improve my life. Stopping smoking definitely improved my wellbeing. I didn’t tire so easily anymore, so I could start doing more sports, like jogging or Nordic walking. I always wanted to try those but never could. My condition definitely got better. That gave me a chance to discover new things about myself.” Stopping smoking has a big impact on your physical wellbeing but for Aneta it was so much more.

We eat with more than just our mouths

Aneta has always been interested in cooking, but when she stopped smoking and started taking better care of herself, she discovered it was her passion. “I’d had some issues with my health for a while, specifically insulin levels, so I had to change and rediscover the way I ate, as well. Cooking healthy recipes quickly became my hobby. Slowly I noticed that we eat with more than just our mouths. Making a dish look attractive is also important and that’s when I took up photography”.

“Cooking makes me feel better. It releases my stress, gives me energy and helps me distract myself. Photography makes it fun. Now my dishes look very nice! That definitely puts me in a good mood”.

Aneta tries a lot of different recipes during the week and photographs them at the weekend. Her dishes are like art, so much so that she sells her pictures on stock photography banks. 

“My favorite recipe is Thai soup with shrimp and noodles. It took some time to learn how to make food look good. Not all dishes are easy to photograph. I am proud to say I have learned a lot and I can share healthy eating and recipes with people and inspire them to try them out. I don’t only keep it for myself. My favorite part is finding colleagues who also enjoy cooking or photography and exchanging tips and tricks on both topics”. 

At Umicore, we offer various programs to help colleagues improve their wellbeing, from sports groups to stop smoking programs.