Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cutting Back on Coffee

The name of my blog is Hot Coco(a). The tagline is "sipping through life". Clearly, I like my hot beverages, including none other than COFFEE. I can't start my morning without my daily dose of Joe.

But recently, since it's a new year and all, I've been thinking about my coffee habit and trying to analyze it (yes, I am a psychologist, could you tell?). Am I drinking coffee because I physically need it, or is it a habit that I simply do along with brushing my teeth, checking my facebook, and washing my hair (not necessarily in that order, though)?

Recently, as a Christmas gift to the staff, the head doctors here pitched in and bought my department a brand new, shiny Keurig maker. It's in the conference room every morning calling out my name--especially since they keep it well-stocked with a collection of coffees, teas, and hot cocoas.

Now, my morning routines vary from day to day--on my early days of work (aka at my desk by 7:30), I usually wait until I am at work to make a cup. But on my late days (aka don't get in until 10:30), I sometimes find myself drinking an ENTIRE POT of coffee all by myself--before I even leave my house (or my couch, for that matter).

Then, depending on the time I have in my day, my stress and energy level, and even my emotional state, I find myself turning to coffee. Much like my patients turn to drugs (and technically, caffeine is a drug, but that's a post for another day). Much like I used to turn to my eating disorder. Hmmm....the therapist wheels of my mind started turning, and here's what I am discovering:

I don't think I really NEED coffee. I honestly believe that I could function perfectly well without it. (Or, ok, with a lot less of it.) Last week, I was really busy at work, and realized that each day, I only had enough for one 8-ounce cup of coffee. And it was the perfect amount to fuel my morning.

So, I began to think "Hmm...maybe I should try to cut back on my coffee intake, even just a liiiittle".

So, here is my "plan":

I am going to attempt to monitor my coffee intake over the next few weeks. Before I change the behavior, I need to determine the factors behind it. So, I am going to try to record how much coffee I drink each day, and when, and the emotional state I am in when it occurs, including how much work I have and how much stress I have.

I am approaching the subject clinically, while still keeping in mind the importance of my emotional and mental state when it comes to my coffee consumption.

Then, I will go from there. I don't want to cut out coffee completely, because I think it tastes good and helps me start my day. My goal is simply to become more cognizant of my consumption and determine what it means.

What are your thoughts? Are you a coffee drinker? If so, how many cups (or pots--eek!) do you drink per day?

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