Friday, August 1, 2014

(Kinda) Decaf August

Alright y'all, this month is going to be a doozy.  I know I posted last night about all the things I am looking forward to in August, but I am giving myself a challenge that is going to be pretty rough.

You may or may not have noticed that I am a hard-core caffeine fiend.  I pretty much live on coffee all morning and supplement with a soda in the afternoon.  It doesn't keep me awake; I can drink espresso and go to sleep a couple minutes later.  But it is practically a food group of its own in my life.

Unfortunately I also struggle a lot with stress and anxiety.  I used to deal with these things in a really unhealthy way and, having eliminated that coping mechanism, I can really get swept up in a lot of mental negativity quickly.

Then I came across an article saying that science shown that caffeine can exacerbate existing anxiety issues.  I did not want to admit that it made sense, but really it does.  So I've come up with an idea.

I am NOT going to quit caffeine cold turkey.  Taking away all my coffee would probably cause me to lose my job, sanity, and friends.  I am, however, going to cut myself back to one caffeinated beverage per day. This will usually be my morning cup of coffee (which is really not a small cup and is actually a travel mug...but baby steps okay?) and I am going to try to cut out soda entirely. Soda makes me feel bloated and gross so it should be a little easier.

Additionally, I am going to keep a little personal record of how much anxiety/stress I feel and how well I felt I was able to deal with it.  This will be especially good on the days when I slip up so I can see if I feel worse those days.

I am not going into this thinking I am going to magically change my life, and it might not even make a noticeable difference.  But it certainly can't hurt anything and if it causes me to drink more water and less soda I will count that as a victory as well!

So keep your fingers crossed for me. And if you know me in "real life" maybe keep a safe distance for the first week or so ;)

Here are a few articles I found helpful, in case you want to read more! (they also link to many more so you can go down the research rabbit hole)

Caffeine & Anxiety - 
The Dangers of Caffeine for Anxiety Sufferers -

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