Literally can’t make it through the day with at least a few of cups of coffee? What better time to talk about this pesky issue than National Coffee Day? (Yes, it’s today.) Coffee is delicious and serves a purpose, sure, but getting into an unhealthy cycle of caffeine consumption in order to function isn’t a great idea—too much can make you feel irritable and generally out of sorts, and it can seriously disrupt sleep patterns.
If you’re feeling a bit too controlled by your caffeine habit, or just don’t like the way that caffeine makes you feel, we’ve got some easy tips to help you detox off the stuff without sacrificing the jolt of energy you need. Depending on how bad your caffeine habit is, it could take anywhere from a week to ten days to completely kick the stuff. You may want to taper off drinking caffeinated drinks as you approach your no-caffeine zero-hour. Or you may want to go cold turkey. Either way, we think these tips should help you kick your habit.
1. Write down why you want to quit: Drinking coffee and too much soda can cause anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, wreak havoc on a sensitive stomach, and ultimately actually dehydrate you. Plus, cultivating a latte-a-day caffeine habit can actually be rather expensive, too! There are myriad reasons why kicking caffeine might be a good move, and writing down why you feel like it’s important for you to break the habit may help motivate you in the long run.
2. Drink a lot of water: Water, especially right when you wake up, is a great way to boost your overall energy levels. It’s hard, but if you can force yourself to drink a cup or two right when you wake up, you’ll notice an immediate jolt of energy. It’ll also help offset some of the water you naturally lose from coffee and other caffeine stimulants—caffeine is a natural diuretic.
3. Replace your coffee with green tea: Green tea contains small trace amounts of caffeine, and offers a natural buzz. Plus, the ritual of drinking a cup of green tea in the morning will mimic the experience of drinking a cup of coffee.
4. Turn on the lights: Your body may need a little extra help adjusting, and every little bit helps—especially when it comes to light. Keeping your work space light and airy, and making sure you turn on the lights right as you wake up, will help gear your brain up to get going, even without the caffeine.
5. Get moving: As you adjust to a caffeine-free way of being, you’re going to need to make up for the lost little jolts of energy. A great way to get those back? Exercise! Even if you can’t get in a huge routine, start your day by moving—even just by adding in a bit of a longer walk—and you’ll find yourself feeling mentally refreshed and energized.
6. Quit with a friend: It’s always easier to break a bad habit if you’re doing it with someone else who’ll help you out and share in the experience. Find a friend or loved one who’s also willing to give up caffeine and go in on it together.