Quitting coffee can be one of the best decisions you ever make. Unfortunately, like any addiction, overcoming your reliance on caffeine can be a painful journey. It’s debatable whether or not coffee is really bad for you, but being addicted to any substance is unquestionably an unhealthy behaviour. The good news: overcoming an addiction can be one of the most empowering feelings one can achieve. There are tons of benefits to quitting coffee, including lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and financial savings. Here are ten ways to kick your coffee addiction.
1. Write down your reasons.
Your first step should be to write down all of the reasons you want to quit drinking coffee. Once you have all of the reasons listed in front of you, you’ll feel more confident in your decision to quit, and more compelled to follow through with your plan. Keep your list in an accessible spot, so that if you ever feel like you’re on the brink of relapse, you can easily remind yourself why you’re quitting coffee for good.
2. Get more rest.
If you’re addicted to coffee, you already know that there’s nothing better for keeping you awake. It’s no surprise that most of the working world relies on caffeine first thing in the morning. Unsurprisingly, the best alternative to coffee is to get healthy levels of sleep. It might be tough depending on your schedule, but the more you sleep, the less compelled you’ll feel to drink coffee, guaranteed.
3. Avoid the morning routine.
Instead of switching on the coffee machine, consider other morning activities to distract your mind from its reliance on caffeine. If you have trouble waking up, considering going outside for a little physical exercise, or just to get some fresh air.
The best thing you can do in the morning to wake you up is to eat an awesome breakfast instead of drinking coffee. Stuff yourself full of everything you might need to get you through the morning. Food is energy!
4. Avoid the social side.
It’s impossible to be around someone who drinks coffee all the time if you’re trying to quit. A huge part of being a coffee drinker is the subculture itself: dates at coffee houses, study groups at schools, the famous Tim Hortons farmer gatherings, etc.
It is highly suggested that you consider leaving behind the environments that might trigger your addiction. The more you physically distance yourself from coffee, the better chance you’ll have of saying goodbye to it for good.
5. Try decaffeinated beverages.
Although it’s the caffeine you’re addicted to, consider replacing your daily coffee with another hot beverage. Green Tea is a healthy choice that’s rapidly gaining popularity in the developed world. Green Tea has many antioxidant health benefits as well that you will not find in coffee. This is an all around good idea!
You can even drink decaffeinated coffee! Engaging in a hot beverage when you feel the urge for coffee is a great way to trick your mind into thinking that your addiction has been satisfied. Drinking herbal teas often has a similar effect.
6. Have protein for lunch.
One of the most common times to drink coffee is right after lunch. You’re probably aware of that post-lunch haze; fighting to stay awake with everything you can muster. It’s easy to see this as the perfect time to grab a coffee.
The good news is that you can actually avoid this feeling after you eat by adding some protein into your lunch. The less tired you are after eating, the more likely it is that coffee won’t even cross your mind.
7. Take a power nap.
Here’s an easy answer. When you feel tired, what is your body telling you? Probably that you need to get some sleep. If you’re at work, this isn’t really an option. If you have the time, though, a power nap is an excellent alternative to drinking a cup of coffee.
Even if you can only sleep for half an hour or so, you’ll wake up feeling considerably refreshed, and will forget about the need for caffeine in no time.
8. Do it over time.
Quitting anything cold turkey is difficult, and very often results in a quick relapse. Realize that overcoming addiction is a very lengthy process, and can take plenty of attempts even for the strongest willed of individuals. If you cave, don’t give up on yourself. It is suggested that you plan your road to recovery realistically over the long-term, and not to sweat the minor defeats.
Try stopping yourself over a number of months: one cup a day for the first two weeks, then one cup every two days, and so on until coffee is no longer a part of your life.
9. Drink more water.
If you’re having a difficult time without coffee, it is strongly recommended that you drink more water. Good-old H2O will preoccupy your hands and mouth if they pine for your old coffee mug.
Water is also extremely beneficial to your overall health; if you rely on coffee to get rid of headaches, water should work just as well. Being consistently hydrated also keeps you more alert, which theoretically replaces the need for coffee altogether.
10. Reward yourself.
Is there some place you want to go? Something you want to buy? Consider rewarding yourself as extra motivation to kicking your coffee addiction. If you fail, you don’t get the reward. Simple as that.
If you follow all of these suggestions, you should find yourself coffee-free in no time. Addiction is a serious matter, and even though coffee is legal, it’s still a drug. Stay strong, and remember all the reasons you want to quit. If you fail the first time, don’t be too hard on yourself and try again! Good luck in your journey.