5 things that happened when I stopped drinking caffeine

Caffeine is an addiction just like any other drug. We crave it, we think it’s necessary, we fear the withdrawal, we make excuses on why we need it. But, this former coffee shop owner, mother of two, and newsroom manager is here to tell you, you can kick the habit.

1.) I went into withdrawal

Of course there were the caffeine headaches. The pounding-maybe-I-should-drink-just-one-cup kind of headaches. Then, that foggy brain feeling. I was goofy in that first week of “detox.” I was having trouble getting sentences out or staying focused at work, but those symptoms go away in less than a week. Honestly, the toughest part of the withdrawal is the mental connection you have with caffeine. It’s like your brain is telling you, “You need this. You won’t make it through the day without it. You need to stop at Starbucks because it’s part of your routine and your whole day will feel ruined without it.” Ok, Satan!! It’s seriously just the mind-f*ck that keeps many of us downing caffeine. What helped me was still keeping the daily routine going, just ordering decaf. I’d still get three shots of espresso, just all decaf. I also stopped drinking Diet Pepsi. I’ve switched to Fresca for when I want a pop.

2.) My panic disorder symptoms improved

This was the real reason I decided to ditch caffeine. When my panic attacks resurfaced in early 2019, I knew I had to take control of my wellbeing. Caffeine is a major trigger for anxiety. The highs and lows of caffeine can really aggravate your nervous system, hence triggering an attack. Within a couple weeks, I noticed it was helping taking the edge off. I also think, at a time my panic attacks had me spiraling, kicking caffeine felt empowering. I had taken control of something in my life. I had “beaten” this. I could carry that momentum into other places in my life.

3.) I started sleeping better

I’m a notoriously light sleeper. I toss, turn, and wake about 20 times a night-no exaggeration; And if my anxiety is acting up, then I’m also struggling to fall asleep. (My panic attacks are worst at night.) I am now sleeping sounder and deeper. I think I’m even hitting my REM again, because I can recall dreams now.

4.) My energy actually improved

This! So much, this! I am telling you- I can make it through the day better now than I could when I was pounding caffeine. A big reason? I’m not crashing mid-day anymore. I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m sleeping more soundly. It’s giving me a steadier energy to make it through my day. Even on mornings where I didn’t sleep well, I still order decaf because I don’t want to end up in that same cycle as before.

5.) My headaches decreased

This was a surprise bonus that I didn’t expect, but it makes sense! Caffeine can actually cause rebound headaches. If you don’t know what that means, think of it this way: Caffeine can serve a purpose in medications. If you’re a migraine sufferer you may find that meds like Excedrine Migraine have caffeine in them. Well, that’s great, if you’re not already using caffeine daily. It will help zap that headache. But, if you find yourself popping two Excedrine Migraines a day, you will start to notice you seem to have a headache come on everyday. That’s because of the caffeine in it. The pills start to have the opposite effect and start to cause the headaches because your body starts to crave the caffeine in them. That takes us back to withdrawal.

I’m telling you mama (and daddy, and entrepreneur, and boss, student, doctor, etc.), you can do this! If you think it will make you feel better, it likely will! Have you cut out caffeine? Are you considering it? Drop me a note below! Or add me on Instagram and let’s chat! @The.Unapologetic.Working.Mom

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