year without coffee hogan

Scientific artist rendering by me.

Last February, I’m unsure about the exact date, I decided to stop drinking coffee. I did not realize it was already a year later until I was skimming through my old comics yesterday and saw this one about giving up coffee (which I made a few months after giving up coffee).

Why did I Stop Drinking Coffee?

I wanted to see if it would help with my anxiety issues and help me calm down easier.

To be clear, I didn’t give up caffeine (which I probably should try next).

I just switched to green tea, which still has caffeine, but not nearly as much as the cups of black coffee I would down all day. I compared it to only eating half (or less) of a pizza instead of a whole pizza. Sure! That makes all kinds of sense. Green tea reportedly has calming properties as well.

I drink black tea here and there, mostly as iced tea, but still not anywhere near the amount of black coffee I used to drink (four to six cups a day, at least).

Did Giving Up Coffee Help?

I think so. Getting through buying a house and moving without having any kind of total meltdown is evidence of that (before when I’ve moved, I’ve had to go on antidepressants for a stretch).

I definitely have an easier time falling asleep at night. I go to sleep sooner too, usually around 10-1030ish. Before giving up coffee, my bed time was more in the 11:30-after midnight range.

Don’t get me wrong: there are still nights I’ll be up past 11, but those nights are considerably less frequent than before. Getting up around 6 AM is easier too, which in turn helps me get to bed sooner, because BOY AM I TIRED.

Do I Miss Coffee?

There are times I miss coffee, sure. Especially in situations where I am tripping over free coffee, but finding tea or even hot water is like searching for Atlantis.

I don’t have strong cravings for it though, not like I used to. I’m not Never Drinking Coffee Ever Again, that wasn’t really my plan. My plan, if there was one, was breaking me of the habit of drinking a lot of coffee every day, all day. In that regard, my plan was a success (similar to what I hope happens with my current social media diet).

I’m hoping now if/when I do have coffee, I can enjoy just a small amount and not need cup after cup.

How Do I Get Anything Done Without Coffee?

Like I said, I didn’t give up caffeine. It may take me an extra cup of green tea here or there, but I manage. I also meditate for ten minutes at a time (I try for once or twice a day) which also helps. I do take more naps than before (when I can), but only ten minute naps—and I’m always able to fall asleep for one.

When I need an extra kick, like say on a long drive, I’ll reach for an iced tea or a V8 Energy+ drink (which uses green tea). I know an energy drink probably isn’t much better for me than a cup of black coffee, but the V8 versions are at least 50% juice.

Anyway! I didn’t think I would be able to give up coffee for a month, let alone over a year. Time flies.

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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