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Putting My Coffee Addiction On Pause

The past month, in a word, has been interesting. It’s been almost a month since I’ve had coffee and for those of you who don’t know me, I am a coffee addict. So, this is a pretty big deal. I will live and die for coffee. Yes, it may be a terrible addiction, but it is what it is. I honestly didn’t seek out this horrible challenge (yes, challenge…it was difficult, okay?) of going almost a month without drinking coffee, but after miraculously going a little over a week without it, I wanted to see how long I could carry it out for. There were a few bumps along the way…and um…I may have drank coffee ONCE when I shouldn’t have, but for the most part it has been about a month — give me a break. Anyways, here are some things that I discovered while on my journey: 

I Like Tea?

Since I had stopped drinking coffee, I turned to another form of caffeine: tea. As a kid, I never really liked tea. Also, as someone who grew up in a South Asian community, I realize that it may be pretty fake of me to not like it because isn’t liking tea the number one rule? However, how do I say this…I’ve been really into drinking tea right now. Before I even stopped drinking coffee I only ever liked Earl Grey, but now that I can’t drink coffee, I started exploring other options. I don’t know why I get myself into these situations. I discovered that I liked different types of green teas and herbal teas. Younger me truly never would’ve thought she’d see this day come. And yes, chai unfortunately did not make it on my list. I remain a disappointment to the people in my culture.

Better Sleep

You’re not typically supposed to consume coffee about six hours before you go to sleep, since it stays in your system, but that never stopped me. If I have coffee during the afternoon, I would usually end up lying awake at night and regretting my decision, thinking “what have I done?” However, I would do it all over again the next day then have the crappiest sleep. For those of you who are wondering “How come you don’t get decaf?” Listen — decaf doesn’t give me the same happiness and satisfaction as a typical cup of coffee. If we’re being honest here, I would rather not drink coffee than drink decaf. When I stopped drinking coffee throughout the past month, I slept like a baby and woke up feeling so refreshed. While I have had better sleep, the only downside is that I wasn’t able to have any of that strong caffeine this time around to power me up for midterms.

Less Anxiety 

I’ve always dealt with anxiety, and coffee always increased it to a degree. I don’t think I realized how much coffee intensified it until I quit for the month. When I stopped drinking coffee, I noticed a difference after a while in how I went about my daily routine. I felt less agitated at the littlest things, less anxious about things out of my control, and overall I felt better. My anxiety obviously didn’t go away completely, but that extra jittery feeling went away and that felt good. Though I’m not willing to completely stop drinking coffee yet. Visibly seeing what a difference it makes on my mental health has convinced me to take it slow, and not indulge in a crazy amount multiple times a week. 

I Saved Money 

The amount of money I usually spend on Philz and Starbucks in a month is ridiculous. Whoops! You honestly don’t think about it at the moment, but all those $4 or $5 coffee runs really add up till your wallet is begging you to stop. Not drinking coffee for a month probably did my bank account a favor. But hey, in those past coffee runs at least the coffee was good *nervous laughter*.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this interesting experience of mine as much as I kind of liked going through it. While it has taught me a lot and most definitely convinced me that I may need to chill on the coffee consumption, I honestly don’t think I could ever quit drinking it. To anyone who has quit drinking coffee though, you’re a brave soul. Now, please excuse me while I go get a cup of coffee because it has been a while! Go treat yourself to one too (please don’t take this as me being a bad influence). 

Fizza Rizvi

UC Irvine '23

Fizza Rizvi is a coffee enthusiast who enjoys spending her free time reading, finding new places to eat with friends, and watching crime tv shows. She is currently pursuing her bachelors in both Psychology and Criminology, Law and Society, with the goal of raising more awareness in society about issues that heavily impact people’s lives.