Giving up on coffee sounds like your whole world will change. But you have to do it, either because your doctor has urged you to, or it makes your anxiety worse. But how can you deal with coffee withdrawal? We have some thoughts.
A while back my mom had some trouble with her blood pressure, so she had to give up on coffee for a while, and let me tell you, it was very difficult for her. She needed all of the support she could get because she had been drinking the dark, wonderful drink for at least four decades. And even if you’ve had it for less than that, it can still be pretty hard.
Coffee can be a healthy thing to consume, but it sure has its pros and cons. There are two components at work here: the physical symptoms and the force of habit when it comes to coffee withdrawal. But when it’s not good for you anymore, it’s clear you have to quit it.
Now, what to do with all of those symptoms? I am a bad case of a coffee addict, and if I don’t have my first cup by 1 p.m. I start to get massive headaches, feel dizziness, and get a bit irritable. But then, in phase two of withdrawal, I am very low energy and can’t focus on any sort of tasks. Here are some coping mechanisms for that.
Just remember that if you drink a lot of caffeine daily, it might be a bigger challenge for you than for other, more casual consumers. The symptoms should be gone within 3-4 days though, so hang in there!
6 tips to avoid coffee withdrawal
1. Ease yourself in
If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, then try to make it a bit easy on yourself by gradually reducing your coffee intake. Make your coffee a bit milder, if you take it strong. And if you have about four cups of day, maybe try to have three cups for the first week, two for the next, one cup for the third week, and then completely quit. Give your body time to adjust and it might make things easier for you.
2. Hydrate yourself
Water helps with so many things! It helps when you’re anxious – which you might be if you’re giving up on something you love or use as a coping mechanism like we do with coffee. So don’t forget to drink plenty of water, at least 6-8 glasses every day. If you keep forgetting, then install an app to constantly remind you to fill up another glass. Or have some of these foods that help you hydrate.
3. Fill up on energy
Take some vitamin C supplements to give you a mood and energy boost. Make sure you have regular sleep patterns and allow yourself more time to sleep. Eat some of these foods that provide you with an energy boost. Make your own nut mix with almonds, pecans, walnuts, or whip up granola bars.
If you’ve been having coffee instead of eating (like I sometimes do, unfortunately), then have a great lunch with plenty of nutrients. Try some fish or a hearty salad.
Losing focus might be a problem and you know what helps with that? Mindful activities that keep you in the here and now. So, take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening to breathe, center yourself, and meditate. If you can, maybe join a yoga class and give your body an activity to ground it.
Sure, you could go to the gym, if you have a membership, we heartily recommend it. But if you can’t afford this right now, know that even a half an hour walk can help you wind down a little. Or an exercise program you find on YouTube. Movement calms your anxiety and makes your body stronger to deal with the exhaustion of quitting an addiction.
Tracking your symptoms and the improvements in your coffee withdrawal program can help immensely. Notice the positive changes in your life and in your body. See how after a while you have more energy in fact than when you were drinking coffee every day.