Quitting is Hard & Quitting Caffeine is Harder
It’s 2019 and my first post of the year is about a stimulant that falls under the weakness category for many. Caffeine has been my weakness for as long as I can remember. Being raised in a culture that associates itself with chai, we were introduced to caffeine at a very young age (let’s say by 2 yrs of age).
Caffeine impacts mood and not always in the positive manner. For some people, a cup of good coffee can help them stay on top of things for the whole day. Then there are people (like me) who need a constant hit of caffeine through out the day. It may not necessarily be a need for the body but an addiction to feel good or get into a better mood. It’s good to acknowledge the addiction and then see if the timing is good to do something stabilizing for mood and body.
Detox process is physically painful and mentally exhausting. If you have the luxury to take a few days off work, then go all in and quit all at once rather than making small adjustments in caffeine intake. For the first 2 days, rest and sleep are vital and are your best friends when going through withdrawals. The symptoms are due to inflammation built in body and it’s vital to eat the macro-nutrients that aid in ridding inflammation. During caffeine detox, good fat from oils and nuts is an excellent macro-nutrient to subside the pain. Along with proper diet, physical therapy in forms of hot yoga, warm bath, massage, Reiki help in moving the toxins out of the body. I found that keeping my body warm helped tremendously with the pain. I found that my sense of smell and hearing were impacted and I couldn’t do the aromatherapy oils that sometimes can help. So imagine my experience in a sweaty yoga class. Yup, not much to look forward to.
Quitting anything is hard and from first-hand experience, I can say quitting caffeine is really hard (for caffeine addicts). Here are the symptoms and solutions that I offer to anyone who is trying to quit caffeine. I suggest you consult your physician to see if following recommendations comply with the status of your health and its condition.
DAY 1 - Headache, pounding headache SOLUTION - rest, drink water, sleep, yoga, eat some good fat
DAY 2 - Headache and upper body aches SOLUTION - rest, drink water, yoga, eat some good fat (eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk)
DAY 3 - Upper body aches SOLUTION - hot yoga for sure, eat good fat, drink water, listen to music that is specifically designed for releasing inflammation
DAY 4 - Middle back aches & restrictive breathing SOLUTION - hot yoga, eat good fat, warm bath, drink water and you can listen to music
DAY 5 - Hips/lower body aches SOLUTION - hot yoga, Reiki, eat fat, drink water, listen to good music
DAY 6 - Legs & Ankles ache a lot SOLUTION - hot yoga, drink water, massage, wear comfortable shoes
DAY 7 - Lowe body pain SOLUTION - hot yoga, water, stay warm, eat greens, rest
DAY 8 to 10 - Low level pain in various parts of body SOLUTION - be patient, hot yoga, water, eat well
Fat helps dealing with inflammation and pain in your body means there is inflammation in body. Fat eases the pain and so does massage. The above mentioned symptoms and solutions are from my own multiple experiences over 15 years. Every time I stop consuming caffeine, I go through the above mentioned cycle.
Over the years I have had my affairs with quitting caffeine and I have succeeded to stay away until I was offered a cup of chai. For me that’s all it took to get back my addiction. I call it addiction because I fail to function without caffeine. It’s the first thing I consume after my meditation and I can go without food for days but I’m unable to function without my few cups of chai or coffee.
This year as I started my 30 day yoga challenge that my home studio, School of Stretch, introduced to the students, I thought of making it little bit extra challenging for myself. I decided to quit caffeine.
This post serves as my account of my days in hell without caffeine and my solutions that I have applied for the last 12 years. I didn’t know of these solutions for the first few times I got on “quit caffeine” train. My purpose is also to help people understand how right type of macro-nutrients are necessary when they eliminate an addictive substance from their daily lives.
If you have specific questions and would like some guidance in making this process of eliminating caffeine from your day (even for short period), please reach out to me. I would be happy to help you with further details.