Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Coffee Crutch

I decided to give up coffee. It had become a crutch over the last several years as I woke up was awaken many times during the night and (therefore) felt tired during the day. But now all the kids are sleeping through the night. I have the impression I was healthier in the days before my coffee habit. And now I have NINE glorious hours to myself each week.  It seemed to be the right time to readjust and pull myself back together without caffeine.

I miss many things about coffee. I liked ordering coffee. I liked sitting at a table and drinking coffee with other people. I reeeeally liked drinking coffee on the weekend, across the table from Fritz, after brunch, while the kids played. Drinking coffee also reinforced that I am an adult even when I am surrounded by the kid's needs and wants and schedule. It is an activity that people frequently do together, so just doing it, even alone, made me feel less lonely. The ritual of making coffee gave my day an organizational point when it was otherwise filled with chaos. I frequently treated it like a motivational reward. If you just make it through X, then you may have a cup of coffee or I just made it through X, I deserve a cup of coffee.

I find when I am trying to kick a habit, the best thing for me is to have some sort of substitute habit. For example, I might say to myself: Every time I would normally have a cup of coffee, I'm going to drink some tea instead. Except this time I don't want to drink tea since the goal here is to get rid of stimulants (caffeine). Integral to the substitute strategy is that I hope to replace what has become a bad habit with a better habit. So, what should it be? I'm not exactly sure, but I know I need to feel somewhat motivated by the idea of it, or it won't stick.

So far I've been caffeine-free for a week. I've made it through the headache phase of caffeine withdrawal. Just the prospect of going through the headache phase again has stopped me from making myself another cup. But I'm sure the threat of the headache will fade, so it's time to find a substitute habit.


knittedwings said...

Ann, have you tried Roibos tea? It is made from an Aftican redbush root and has no caffeine. I like flavors like vanilla or toffee and I get a marcipan flavored one (my favorite) in Germany. They do have them at teavana. If you want to try some I'd be happy to bring you some samples!

Ann Wyse said...

Yes, thank you for reminding me! I have tried Rooibos/Redbush. I drank a lot of it during pregnancies. I think I might even have some in my cupboard. It's true, that might be a good substitute.... Hmmm.