How Coffee Changed My Quality Of Life

By in Allergy Friendly, Anna, Breakfast, Celiac Disease, Gluten-Free, Mental Health, Morning Routine

Coffee

I’ve wanted to tell my story with coffee for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I know saying it has improved my quality of life is a strong statement but it definitely has made some big changes in my morning routine and overall day. I figured it might be an interesting story to share with you all!

I was totally against coffee for the majority of my life like I hated the smell, the taste made me cringe and normally even one sip would hurt my stomach as I wasn’t used to it. I hated every part of it and did not see the big woop people made about it until last summer I got a new job that was full time and had late nights/early mornings which is the job I currently have… I am event manager/planner for a local event center as my full-time current main hustle but it does take a lot of work and well to be honest, a lot of sleep.

I’ve always been an overachiever at work and wanted to always perform my best and work my hardest 24-7 but as you can guess my game slowly deteriorated with more hours and less sleep plus balancing everyday life and my health.

The last couple years I had also been struggling with my mental health to the extremes, I won’t get into that story now but I struggled a very long time and it wasn’t until some travel, some support, getting this new job and coming home from being abroad did I start to heal. I got on a bit of a health kick trying to help my mental health as much as possible. I began doing everything and anything to better myself…

So I started seeing a therapist, and to this day I praise this man who has helped me in such a simple but incredible way. I can’t see myself going without those sessions now as they really help me focus and become clear on my feelings, emotional needs, and everything else in my life.

Again, I won’t dig into that part of my story quite yet but in summary he is a great part of my life. *But  wait – we are talking about coffee not health right? *Don’t worry it all relates…

So one of my first sessions with my therapist he helped me target when I felt most of my issues, let’s summarize it and say my “lows”. The basic HALT came into the picture, Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired is when most feel their lows and my homework was to find out when I feel these feelings and if other negative feelings related.

Low and behold, he was right. The absolute worst time for me happened to be mornings, I was tired, hungry, nauseous (due to some health issues), and sometimes lonely and 99.9% of the time beyond exhausted more than I should be because of everything I was going through. Mornings is when I felt every emotion of HALT and more and would lead to laziness and unproductiveness and as you see the dominoes fall you can clearly grasp why mornings happened to be very hard for me, lead to negative thoughts and at the time my very low and intensified times.


So I went back to with my homework to another session and expressed this to my therapist and he gave me some tips and exercises to help me work through this. Again, the basics I won’t go over but some big strategies he said stuck out to me, he realized how much of a thriving human I am.

I thrive off of hard work, productiveness and engagement, so whenever I wasn’t doing these things I would fall mentally and physically. So if I would feel these feelings I would have to force myself to get up and not let myself be tired, hungry, angry or lonely or just simply – do something to better myself, thrive, engage, work and be productive. Cook breakfast, clean your room, go to the gym, simply even just getting ready and washing your face could help my mental state and let me continue my day. For me I realized I loved to work so I know I could work in the mornings on my computer instead of just watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself that I was bored which again dominoes would fall and all the other negative feelings would come out.

So that strategy I was excited to do because again, I love to be productive so I knew this would be great for me and could really help but the first concern I had was that in the mornings, I WAS EXHAUSTED no matter what I did or how much sleep I got. There was no way I would be even in the mood to get up to get some water even so how would I force myself to get out of bed especially if I was feeling low? I had no idea how this would work so I thought to start simple I would just get changed, etc. That ended up just leading me back to crawling into bed and taking naps midday – not healthy for a person like me.

So I went back and told him how badly I wanted to do this, to rid my life of miserable mornings and hopefully allow this to fuel the rest of my day with positivity and productiveness (2 things that go hand in hand for me).

He started to ask about my morning routine, rituals, and what I ate, we always talk a lot about diet but we really focused on my mornings. He asked if I did drink tea, coffee, enough water, etc.


* Now disclaimer: I do know caffeinated drinks like coffee can sometimes have negative affects on people or health issues, my doctor even reminded me of this but this is just my story of how I feel it has affected me and my life. *

I checked off all his boxes and we could not put our finger on it but he told me to do something smaller to help me get/stay out of bed. First off, no tv in the morning because that makes me stay in bed/lazy. Then my new homework was to just find something small that would help me liven up/wake up.

Kevin my lovely boyfriend is a bit of a health fanatic but also coffee geek. He drinks at least 2 cups a day of some fancy roast and would rave about it. But I hadn’t gotten into it. He always drank it black to stick with his health grind, etc.

So one morning as we had breakfast together and he poured himself a black coffee, I opened myself of instead hating coffee, to first a sniff without cringing at the strong scent and then a small sip and it didn’t hurt my stomach this time, I realized (finally) that literally everyone drinks coffee and they say it’s to help wake them up. I should just try it and see if it helps.

That night I went into work for a long shift and decided to pour myself a small black coffee.

It actually was not that bad. I actually LIKED it. I just drank it black so automatically I knew I’d like all the flavours, honey, sugar, etc. other kinds but I really quickly got used to the flavour and started to enjoy it. The very next morning I had my father (another black coffee drinker) make me a cup of coffee and I got back into bed and slowly sipped it.

10 minutes later, I got out of bed, made my bed, got ready and started work/day with a smile. The smell of coffee had become cozy and relaxing and the taste comforting. Again I know coffee is by no means healthy for you to an extent and there is an arguable topic somewhere in here but for me it was just what my morning needs, something to liven me up enough to get out of bed, wake me up to start my day and stop the laziness and evil HALT from showing up in my most vulnerable time and most exhausted state.

It was easier for me to do right away when I open my eyes because all I have to do is get up and grab a mug, press brew, not get up and go right to the gym… that can wait until after the coffee but without using coffee as a crutch it has become a happy part of my routine. It gives me time in bed just long enough that makes/keeps me rested, relaxed and happy but not too much time that I feel lazy, unproductive and negative. Then I get to get up and truly feel energized for the day. It also has really helped my digestion in the mornings! (Lol, TMI?! Haha…)

I make sure not too have too much coffee that I feel a mid-day crash and I try to avoid a crash with other life tools (that’s another blog post). I also know that too much caffeine or coffee cannot be good either so it’s all in moderation.

I told my therapist this entire story before writing this post and he was wow’d and very intrigued on how it’s helped me and how it makes me feel even having access to something so simple as a coffee. He said its different but if I am enjoying it and feel like it is really helping my mornings that for now listen to my body and keep doing it.

So one year later, I drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day and feel good about it. There is a million other things I could say about the pros/cons of coffee in my life but for now this is my story. My mental health is always a work in progress for many other reasons but I am working on it and that’s what makes me happy. I am almost always on my A game at work because I now love what I do and I also love to work hard at home and on my other passions. Don’t get me wrong though, I still am human and have my lazy, bad days or lousy mornings but its life and as long as you’re working on getting and being better then that’s all that matters.

Hey for all I know, it could be as simple as a cup o’ joe.

Love & Coffee Beans,

                                      – Anna

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: in no way am I trying to promote coffee or caffeine as a medicine or a cure to anything, I do not recommend using coffee as a crutch as I do not even want to do that. I am just telling me story of how/why I got into coffee and my opinion on my story with coffee, I do realize this could be different for many and I am not a medical professional so please do not use this post as medical advice or a recommendation as caffeine has different effects on everyone. Talk to your family doctor if you have any questions/concerns.”

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