I’m going to be completely honest with you. Getting up in the morning involves snoozing my alarm several times, staring at the ceiling for a while and when I’m finally ready to brave the task of getting up, tripping over my slippers on the way.
It’s not that I’m a night owl—I just need a little bit of a boost to be my most functional self. And usually that boost involves coffee. A lot of it.
Sound like you, too?
As any coffee addict’s been told one million times, starting the day off with caffeine has its downsides. Research shows that too much caffeine can lead to issues such as anxiety, insomnia, and increased blood pressure, among other things. And as you know, the highs tend to only last for a couple hours, leaving in their wake a horrible energy crash that puts you out of commission to be super productive.
So, for the sake of my health, I decided to test out what it would be like not to drink coffee for two weeks.
It certainly wasn’t easy to do, but I did discover a valuable lesson that transformed my morning routine.
I realized that sitting at my desk all day—or focusing for long periods of time, rather—requires long-standing brainpower, not just bursts of energy. Coffee was an excellent quick fix to get that first burst of energy, but to keep me going for longer, I really needed a routine that would get me further than that.
With that in mind, I picked up a few new habits to see what would help. For starters, I began to meditate before work, and found that dedicating just 10 minutes to this helped me transition between the fast asleep and wide awake stages—something I’d normally rely on coffee to do.
I also created an agenda each day that held me accountable for reaching short-term goals, a responsibility I would’ve otherwise delegated to coffee. I allotted 45 minutes for major assignments, and left room in-between for “me-time.” And I must say, a countdown to my next break was a much better incentive than another cup of coffee.
The reality is, I didn’t need as much coffee (or coffee as much) as I thought I did. I just needed a more energizing routine.
Now, I know it’s easier said than done to cut out coffee from your diet (I know I won’t always be able to do so). But regardless, it’s important to have a morning routine that works for you. Because if you can get excited and energized from making breakfast, or journaling, or doing a quick workout, or some other morning activity, you’ll be less likely to turn to caffeine for assistance.
Need some ideas? We’re big fans of these six-minute morning routines.
Photo of person in bedroom in the morning courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Stephanie graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. in writing and rhetoric, and a minor in education. She has since been a middle school teacher, elementary school teacher, and an editorial fellow. As a career changer, Stephanie believes it is never too late to follow your dreams. When she is not reading a borrowed book from the library, you can find her walking through New York City, past Citi Bike rentals which she should probably learn to ride. Check out her writing portfolio here!More from this Author