I found myself staring at the bottom of my fourth empty cup of coffee, praying that the caffeine would kick in and rescue me from the sea of lethargy I was drowning in. There were three long hours of customer service and shelf-stocking still ahead of me, and my psyche needed that comforting boost to charge me through to the end, when I'd stagger home and collapse in a pile of agitated mush, too tired to think, too wired to sleep.
My attempts at tea drinking and half-caff at work had all resulted in the same thing. My tolerance would build, and I'd head straight back to the guilty pleasure of black with no sugar.
As my thoughts wound their way around my current situation and my inevitable afternoon fate, I gazed into that empty mug, and the light bulb finally clicked on.
What if I didn't rely on caffeine for this awful-feeling, false sense of energy? Maybe I could live without caffeine and actually feel good for a change. Like all day long.
The more I considered it, the more I knew from the top of my spacey head to the very core of my burned-out cells that I couldn't justify living this way anymore. No matter the fleeting joy that the first whiff of coffee gave me, nor the comforting feel of that warm cup in my hand at the start of yet another day at the grocery store, it had to end. Our time together was over. I was breaking up with caffeine.
Despite the initial, sometimes harsh consequences of quitting, it wasn't long before I noticed myself acclimating to this new way of life. Even though my reasons for initiating the change were all about feeling better, I was amazed at the level of good that I actually felt.
It was like my life was getting an upgrade in ways that I hadn't fully expected. There were six things that stood out to me most that I want to share with you today.
1. I got my energy back.
There came a day, about two weeks after quitting, that I woke up feeling just wonderful. The midmorning slump, when I'd typically refill my mug, never came. I arrived home from work and didn't feel the urge to collapse. It was a revelation.
2. My body felt lighter and more relaxed.
There was a fine line that I walked with my caffeine routine. Too little meant I was a zombie with a heaviness in my body that kept me in slow motion. Too much, though, and I turned into a twitching, shaky mess. Regardless of which side of the line I happened to be on, I often felt discomfort once the caffeine drip had ended for the day. After quitting, it was wonderful to feel a sense of evenness, a slower heart rate, and an ease that hadn't been present before.
3. My bank account scored.
It's simple math, really. No lattes = more money.
4. I started eating breakfast.
Since I wasn't filling my stomach with coffee in the morning, I found myself getting hungry earlier in the day. This lead to healthy meals in the morning which only increased and stabilized my energy levels even further.
5. I drank more water.
I wasn't sipping on a cuppa, so I started sipping on a water glass instead. Hydration, in case you didn't know, also has the wonderful benefit of staving off fatigue and muscle aches. My body was loving this.
6. I was no longer a slave to caffeine.
This upgrade was and continues to be my favorite. Being able to go through my day knowing that I don't require caffeine to get me from Walking Dead status to fully functional is amazing. I can start my day without first stumbling to the coffee maker or rushing to boil water for tea, and I feel a sense of freedom now that's made me not want to look back.
Seeing and appreciating these positive outcomes have turned me away from caffeine, hopefully for good. The clarity and energy I feel now are worth a million double tall almond mochas.