How to give up coffee

If you're going to give up coffee, take it slowly and create space in your diary.

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If I’m a little bit grumpy at the moment, you’ll have to forgive me, I’m giving up coffee. Why? Well, I’ve been Editor at Psychologies for a year now and if I’m honest, at times I’ve been relying a little bit too much on adrenaline and coffee. This year, I want to up my energy levels naturally. I suspect that relying on caffeine to get me through the day isn’t that healthy.

At my peak, I could easily down 10 cups a day. I’m now down to one cup a day in the morning. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

- Do it slowly. I’m of the-tear-the-plaster-off-all-at -once -school but going cold turkey with coffee resulted in me vomiting and shivering like a drug addict – with a headache that felt like someone had halved my head with an axe.

- Allow yourself space in your schedule to move more slowly than you usually do. I took a week off and found myself sleeping 12 hours a night and taking a 2 hour nap in the afternoon!

- Find some herbal teas you actually like – my favourites so far are Licorice Yogi tea (apparently good for supporting my stressed out adrenal glands) and Pukka Relax tea – organic chamomile, fennel & marshmallow root tea: to calm & soothe – lovely.

I’m through the worst but am still feeling a little bit fuzzy headed in the afternoon. I’m working with a Dr Claire Maguire a wellbeing coach from Split Farthing Hall (I went to an amazing retreat there last month) and she is helping me with creating a plan of raising my energy naturally over the coming months. I will be writing about the journey in the September issue of Psychologies.

Have you given up coffee? What are your best tips?

Suzy Walker

Editor of Psychologies, Psychologies

I am proud to be editor of Psychologies, a magazine that champions, challenges and coaches us to think differently so we can solve our own problems and create a life that nourishes us. Author of Making The Big Leap and The Big Peace, Suzy believes that the secret to happiness is living life to the full right here, right now, committing to a few goals now and again and taking Oscar, the Psychologies dog for a walk round the field when it all gets a bit too much.


Go to the profile of Martha Roberts
over 7 years ago
I really like coffee substitutes, like Bambu, which you can buy in health food shops (and some supermarkets?). I find that a big part of the coffee 'habit' is the ritual - the actual going to the kettle, flicking it on and making a drink. And in many ways, I find it doesn't really matter what that drink actually is, as long as the 'kettle moment' is fulfilled. It also helps that it's kind of coffee-like - a herb tea doesn't always seem to do it for me.
Go to the profile of Mary Fenwick
over 7 years ago
What would be so bad about continuing to have just one or two cups of coffee a day? Genuine curiosity here.
Go to the profile of Victoria Ophield
over 7 years ago
I'm with Martha on this - it's almost more about the kettle moment than the buzz itself, but like Suzy, I'd allowed those kettle moments to ramp up over the years to the point that I could easily hit double figures by the afternoon. Tea worked for me - a good mix of fennel, redbush and peppermint. The headache was killer...
Go to the profile of Suzy Walker
over 7 years ago
No, it wouldn't kill me to have one or two. But I'm a bit of all or nothing. As soon as I go back to having one, I want 10!
I'm 4 weeks in now. Will report back after a few more weeks.