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I never take New Year, New Me seriously, but something has changed. Earlier this year I made a landmark decision. I quit caffeine. Shocking I know, but this change was long overdue. My breakfast routine for the past 3 years revolved around my coffee consumption. Caffeine can be classified as a drug in some senses since it alters dopamine release. For me in the past 6 months due to an unbalanced diet and lack of excercise from the pandemic, I started experiencing horrifying nausea due to coffee intake first thing in the morning. The change I made to offset this was indeed quitting coffee. I have noticed a few changes however since quitting the bean, so if you’re considering going along the same journey here are a few positives to expect. Note: This applies to coffee specifically, as I still consume tea which also has caffeine. 

 

  1. Getting up is easier

I’m not typically a morning person, but getting up on time has been much easier. I don’t feel as groggy waking up as I used to before. Typically upon waking up like many others my body would physically need caffeine to alert my brain that it was time to wake up. Now it seems like waking up is easier to do, and I even feel energetic most mornings naturally. 

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   2.  Increased appetite 

This varies from person to person but quitting caffeine has ensured that I have a proper breakfast, as well as a snack in between and then lunch. A bad habit I formed was drinking coffee instead of consuming proper meals, and this was a noticeable change for me. 

 

   3. Increased mood, less anxiety

Definitely the biggest and most noticeable change for me. When I first dealt with anxiety in high school my doctor recommended I quit caffeine. In my stubborn, impulsive teenage mind I only kept this up for a day before returning to the bean. I have noticed that I’m much calmer recently (as calm as one can be during a pandemic). While I still get anxious, I feel I’m able to regulate my own emotions much better and have generally been in a better mood. 

 

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   4. Better focus

Personally, I’ve found that when my hands are restlessly shaking from the caffeine, I’m unable to focus on what I’m doing. I’m not sure how much the caffeine technically hindered this, but my mind has slowed down its information intake to focus on one to two things at a time. 

 

   5. Getting better sleep

Since the caffeine is no longer keeping me awake, my body is able to fall asleep naturally, and at a much easier time (Though I definitely miss staying up at 3 am sometimes). I am getting a solid 9 hours of sleep every night, which also leads back to being able to get up earlier seamlessly. 

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These are just a few things I’ve noticed from quitting caffeine recently. Kindly do note that some people experience severe withdrawal from quitting abruptly. I did so for physical health reasons. Luckily I did not seem to experience withdrawal for very long, and from my individual perspective, the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives. If you do consider quitting coffee or caffeine as a whole, there are many positives to expect! 

Pramila Baisya (commonly known as Prim to her friends) is a third year writing student at Lang, trying to figure her life out. She enjoys poetry, photography, films, and comedy to an unhealthy degree and hopes to end up as an answer on the which famous NewSchooler are you quiz. Go Narwhals!
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