How I quit coffee for good


Us Swedes tend to drink a lot of coffee. We even have a word for the act of gathering to have coffee and a bite to eat, fika. I used to be quite a coffee drinker as well. Recently I became very clear to me, that I really don't like the idea of being dependent on anything. May it be coffee, sugar or a person. I'm not talking about the ability to ask for and receive help here. For me, it has more to do with that I want to choose what I consume to the best of my ability, not be unconsciously programmed to need something.

The morning cup of coffee and the ones I had in social gatherings were the toughest ones for me to give up, but these tips are what helped me quit coffee – for good. 

  1. Be motivated! We can only do what we really want to do. Research what coffee does to you and make a list of your reasons to quit and put it on your door or a place where you see it often. If you’re well informed you’re more likely to choose not to put it into your body. From an Ayurvedic perspective, coffee is a tamasic food that takes energy from you and rajastic in the sense that it overstimulates us. It makes us feel dull when the effect wears off, lethargic and at the same time overstimulates your mind and makes the colon lazy since the coffee does the work for you.
  2. Start by cutting down. Is there one cup during the day that is easier to give up? Start small and stick with your change, rather than quitting completely right away and then falling back into old patterns. One change that you can commit to is a great start. When it feels like you can add more, make a second change.
  3. Replace your morning ritual. For many, the morning ritual of drinking coffee is very important, at least it was for me. Replace the coffee with a cup of hot water, maybe with 2-3 drops of lemon or lime in it. This will prepare you for breakfast and is a much gentler way to say “good morning” to your precious body. A delicious herbal tea will also do the trick. There are also some alternatives to coffee like barley and malt drinks that could be a way to gently transition. See what works for you! 
  4. Breathe, meditate and take time for you. I often take a walk in nature to bring me back to my center and distract myself from the cravings when they arise. Also, remember that you’re not alone. Talk to a friend for support or send me a message. I'm happy to hear from you and glad if I can bring support. 
  5. Be patient. Change doesn't happen overnight. Realize how long you've been building up your old habits, it will take time for them to go. Be gentle with yourself and take it one day at the time. You are on your way!

As you go through these steps, be sure to choose a time when you can relax and take time for yourself. For instance, the holidays may not be the best time to quit. This is important – make space for it and make it a priority.  
Has these tips worked for you, or do you have other tools that you would like to share with me? Please get in touch, I would love to learn more and learn from you!

This post was originally shared on the Hale Pule blog. 
Find it here. 

Lisa Åkesson Stryker