My Week Without Caffeine

Blog Posts

I did something crazy this past week: I gave up caffeine.

Since I started school on October 1, my anxiety has been through the roof. I was lucky if I got four hours of sleep a night, was cranky all the time, and dripped sweat everywhere I went. So I decided to cut back on any possible triggers, one of which was caffeine.

Caffeine equals coffee to me. I don’t really drink soda and ever since I started drinking coffee every day, I stopped drinking tea. So what I’m really saying is I gave up my daily coffees.

Now, if you know me, you know how much I enjoy my morning routine: wake up, put the kettle on, have a cup (or two) of coffee while catching up on the news or writing. This has been my routine for the past I-don’t-even-know-how-many-years, so to put an end to this caused a ton of anxiety in itself. However, I wanted to see if quitting caffeine would really make any difference in my anxiety levels. Although I’d been advised to cut back on coffee, not cut it out completely, especially for the first couple of days, I still plowed forward and went cold turkey.

Here’s how that week went:

Monday October 8 
Day 1

Tremors. Lots of them. It felt like my nerves were electrified the entire day. I couldn’t focus in class and just didn’t feel engaged. I was feeling extremely down, had no energy, and found myself constantly regretting the decision. And this was just the first day. I didn’t know how I was going to get through the entire week.

Besides the tremors, the headaches were the worst part of the day. They started slowly, right when I woke up, but built and built over the course of the day until I wanted to call it all off. I didn’t take pain relievers though because I hadn’t gotten to that point yet.

Tuesday October 9
Day 2

This was the worst day of the week. I had a killer headache the moment I woke up, like someone was screwing something into the sides of my head. I was irritable and had absolutely no energy, yet I had seven hours of classes that day. It took all my willpower to force myself into the car and into class. Throughout the day, my symptoms developed into those of a cold: I had body aches and shivers and was freezing the entire day. I honestly don’t know how I got through the day.

I had tons of homework to do that night, but I knew there was no way I could focus enough to do any of it. I also hadn’t run in a week so I was feeling antsy to get some exercise in, but that was completely out of the question too. When I got home, I ate dinner, took some ibuprofen, and went straight to bed (it was 8:30 pm).

Wednesday October 10
Day 3

The third day was where my mental health started to take a turn…for the better. Even though the physical symptoms had carried over from the previous day (killer headache, body aches, and shivers), my anxiety was at an all-time low this day. I don’t know how to explain it in words but I just felt a lot calmer than I had been in a looong time and less jittery in general.

After work, I forced myself to be productive and did laundry, made dinner, and finished some homework. Although I had low energy all day, I noticed a significant change in my anxiety.

Thursday October 11
Day 4

I felt good today. Really good. I jumped out of bed at 7 o’clock, did some writing, and was in a good mood for the rest of the day. There was little to no headache, just a bit behind the eyes. I barely thought about my anxiety – it was definitely a welcome change. I was highly productive and got a lot of homework done.

However, after work that night, the leg aches started. I’d heard about this before I quit caffeine. Some people had to wrap warm compresses around their calves all night because the pain was so unbearable. Luckily, mine weren’t that bad but it just came out of nowhere. Right as I was getting ready for bed, the entire lower half of my body ached deeply. It felt like I’d just run a marathon. The worst pain was around my knees, which was interesting and I wondered if my runner’s knee had anything to do with it.

Friday October 12
Day 5

The headaches came back full force on the fifth day. They were enough to render me unsociable and I didn’t want to talk to anyone all day. After I came home from school, I forced myself to go for a run because I thought maybe the natural endorphins would help. The run boosted my mood for sure, but the headache lingered all night. Also interesting: after Tuesday, I’d taken ibuprofen every day for the headaches, but it never worked.

Saturday October 13
Day 6

For the most part, the worst seemed to be over. I had small headaches throughout the day but they were certainly manageable. I noticed I produced less sweat throughout the day than I normally did. I had work all day and was worried I’d lose energy quickly, but that never happened either. Overall, this was a pretty good day.

Sunday October 14
Day 7

I woke up on Day 7 and couldn’t believe I’d made it. Even though there were tiny headaches as the day went on, I was surprised by how my body produced natural energy now. I walked a lot today so I did feel tired at around 5:30 pm, which is when I really craved a coffee, but I drank a bottle of water instead. Today was the day I felt like I could really cut out caffeine forever going forward.

Final thoughts

I didn’t change my diet at all this week, but I wonder if it would have been a different experience if I had. The advice I’d gotten before I started was to supplement with lots more fruits and veggies than I normally eat, but I wanted to see just the effects of no-coffee would be.

Writing this now, I feel like this was a positive experience and I definitely want to keep it up. I don’t think I can go the rest of my life without another coffee but I think I’m going to view it as a “treat yourself” item instead of a daily necessity. I used to make fun of people who drank decaf but I may well be one of them now pretty soon because I’m not gonna lie, I miss the taste. I may also drink tea if I have the option as tea has way less caffeine than coffee, but I haven’t set any firm rules yet nor do I feel like I have to. For now, I’ll do another week, then another, maybe another, and just see where it goes from there.

For anyone out there who is thinking of quitting (or cutting back on) caffeine too, let me know how your experience is!

Last Few Days Before Grad School

Blog Posts

The waiting is finally over. I start grad school next week. Where did all those months go? I wanted school to begin so badly over the summer but now I wish I had another month to do absolutely nothing. Just thinking about the homework and midterms and reading I’ll have to do is already stressing me out. However, I am excited about the people in my cohort because they all seem like fantastic people with very diverse students to tell.

I also realize how late quarter system classes start! Everyone else I know on semester system is already in their third or fourth week of school. Either way, I’m excited to be a student again, mostly for all the crazy student discounts because #feedmeimpoor.

626 Night Market 2018

Blog Posts

I couldn’t wait for this to come back this year and finally went tonight with Angela and Tom. Even though we went closer to the nighttime, there were still so many people there, especially for a Sunday. It was a warm and breezy evening, a perfect end-of-the-weekend activity.

I immediately headed for Ridges again. This time, I got the salted caramel sundae with churros, and it still was the best thing ever.

We circled the food tents twice and got a few other food items before we toured the booths selling clothes and artwork. We also witnessed a big ass fight between two groups.

After that, we got hungry for something filling and left close to 9 pm and went to dinner. I’m glad I didn’t wait around till the last one this time. I recommend going after the sun sets to avoid the heat, but there will be more people.

I Moved…Again!

Blog Posts

For the third time in three years, I moved to a new apartment. After an extremely sleep-deprived weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I do not ever want to move again. I do like being in the city though. There’s more to do, better food, and way more boba. My new place is spacious too, and I like being in a quiet neighborhood. I also love how my commute to work went from over an hour to 10 minutes. That in itself is worth the move.

Moving also reminds me that although I’m a minimalist, I still have way too much stuff. And why is life so expensive? I need to stop buying things. Or throw away things I don’t need. And donate clothes. I’m going to do some major cleaning this weekend.

The ant problem we had at move-in is almost cleared up. There are still a few stragglers hanging around in my room, but I don’t find ants in my hair during work anymore so that’s a step in the right direction. Because I’m a millennial and will probably never buy a house, I hope to stay here for at least a few years. Cause moving is a huge headache.

Todrick Hall @ Fonda Theater

Blog Posts

IMG_6880.jpg

I just got back from the Todrick Hall concert at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood, and wow my mind is blown by how great it was! I’ve been a fan of Todrick since his early YouTube flash mob days, so I was ecstatic to finally see him in person. After watching his documentary on Netflix last month, I had splurged on some tickets when I found out he was on his album tour and would be in LA in May.

IMG_6878.JPG

Kayla and I got to the venue early, which was a good thing because the line was almost wrapped around the block when we arrived. It wasn’t too long before we passed through security, got our wristbands, and made it inside the theater. First things first: we got double whiskeys.

We hung around in the general admissions floor as the other concert-goers started to fill the room. There were lots of people in costume, which was cool. As expected, Chester opened for the show with his new single. Then we were blessed with the first act of Todrick’s new album, Forbidden, which ran about an hour long. And let me confirm: Todrick. Is. A. Performer.

During intermission, I ran to the bathroom because I have the smallest bladder known to humankind. I had always heard about it, but I had a “drunk women supporting each other in the bathroom” experience for the first time to the fullest. There were lots of “oh my god your outfit!” and “women supporting each other, whoooooo!” and even some hugging. I love drunk women, and I was definitely one tonight.

IMG_6879.jpg

The second half of the show was even better than the first, which I thought would be impossible. I loved that Todrick ended with a few of the hits from Straight Outta Oz, too. I will remember this show for a long time. My favorite part of the evening besides the songs (which had awesome choreography, by the way) was the diverse representation in the crowd, which is not that surprising because that’s what Todrick has always done: bring together all types of people. Now excuse me while I rewatch all his videos on YouTube.

#ForbiddenTour2018

Follow Regina

Follow Blog

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

%d bloggers like this: