We know what happens when we don’t get our morning fix – withdrawals! It’s funny how a stop to my neighborhood café and one sip of my favorite drink can take away my headache and cheer me right up. Unfortunately, buying coffee everyday isn’t too kind to my wallet, nor is it to my health. Coffee has a reputation that is suspected of causing high blood pressure and contributing to diabetes and heart disease. Caffeine can also raise your heart rate and blood pressure, while increasing feelings such as stress and road rage (this is especially concerning if you battle traffic every day). One day, I went cold-turkey on the cups of coffee, trooped through the withdrawals for a week and reluctantly broke my morning coffee routine.
That all went well for a few months until I started working in a coffee shop. I fell in love all over again with the smell, flavor, and even found new absolutely delicious staple drinks. To my dismay, it came with strings attached. The amount of sugar in each cup was pretty scary; and I always felt the afternoon crash. If I wanted to even feel awake, I had to double the sugar and caffeine intake to get the daily gears going.
Alas, once I stopped working at the café and transitioned into a new workspace, I gradually quit coffee. This time, I lessened my intake of coffee in a less abrupt way:
- I understood caffeine is habit forming and should not be stopped cold-turkey. I began to cut out sugars from my diet. I also checked labels of other drinks or snacks I consumed and removed those from my diet also
- I made sure to balance my diet. Each meal had carbs, proteins and meat
- Instead of sipping on coffee all day, I made sure to replace it with tea and healthier beverages
- Infusing fruits, herbs, or flowers into your water is a simple way to add essential vitamins into your diet. I enjoy adding strawberries or mint to my cold glass of water
- Instead of switching to half-caf or decaf, I lessened the amount of caffeine I drank in small amounts
I really started to miss my cup of Joe since I cut it out entirely from my day. So, I compromised with myself. It can become a pick-me-up before I face a long day or a treat when I meet up with my friends. Making this change has made me feel like I have more energy because I sleep soundly, and do not have any withdrawal effects. Whenever I feel like drinking more than usual, I remember why I lessened my caffeine intake:
- Too much caffeine can boost unwanted anxiety and nervousness
- Reducing or avoiding caffeine may help to prevent irritability and promote calmness
- I can have more energy and sleep better when I skip coffee for a long duration of time
- I have more patience when I go without coffee
- Sometimes, larger amounts of coffee make me feel mindless
- Caffeine is a powerful appetite suppressant and skipping meals is very unhealthy
- The money I would have spent at my café that week or month can now be put towards a movie night or renting a Redbox (which is enough motivation for me!)
Sometimes, it can be difficult to break habits, especially if they are long-term. In these cases, professional support can be very beneficial in changing unhealthy. Fortunately, the services and specialties found at Therapy Changes can assist in creating realistic goals and making positive transitions a lot easier!
I’ve noticed a lot of differences. If I do drink coffee, I am more productive and awake, and that lasts my whole workday. But, that doesn’t mean I should make that every day. Yes, coffee can be addictive and bad for your health in large quantities, but in moderation and with reasonable balance, I don’t feel “guilty” and I can enjoy every sip!