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A blog post about the effects of coffee on anxiety.

Who doesn’t love a strong cup of coffee? If you are anything like me… You have been drinking coffee for years. Coffee helped me through all-nighters and classes that never seemed to end. In fact, coffee was included in the “thank you” caption of your graduation post right after thanking the family. Yes. It is that serious.

Coffee was life. Life was coffee. A day without coffee was simply canceled. Even if there wasn’t coffee available at home, uni or work there was always a starbucks nearby to get my fix. And I would get my fix. (Wow haha just realized how much I sound like an addict who would do anything for a good cup.)

Fast forward a few months later, to me having my morning cup when I come across a Buzzfeed video that talks about the relationship between anxiety and coffee. Click here to watch that video. Within the video a psychology professor is asked the question: Can coffee cause anxiety? She answers; Yes, coffee not only stimulates existing anxiety and anxiety attacks but also independently can causes anxiety. And suddenly it all made sense.

Over the last few months I noticed that I would constantly feel anxious. I would wake up happy and in a good mood but as soon as a had my morning cup I would just feel anxious and heaviness in my chest. Most of the time there was no change in my surroundings. For example, I would be watching a tv show and be in a great mood. After having my coffee still watching the same tv show, I would feel super anxious and heaviness on my chest.  Some of the days I would also be irritable for no good reason. Over the years I have heard people mention anxiety and coffee here and there. But it never occurred to me to research it or to understand it. I didn’t want my love for coffee to be tainted in anyway. (Denial is the new ignorance haha)

After watching that Buzzfeed video it started to make sense. However, I was still sceptic.. got to see it to believe it! The thought process was; I have been drinking coffee for years and I was fine. This has to be complete bullsh*t. Boy oh boy, was I in denial. As an experiment I decided to quit coffee and other caffeine drinks, cold turkey. I stopped drinking soft drinks years ago so that wasn’t hard at all.

The first day without any coffee wasn’t too bad. I decided to replace the coffee with water and made sure to be hydrated throughout the day. The second day however was hell. Absolute hell. I had such a bad headache, couldn’t think straight, my eyes were very sensitive to light. I curled up on the couch with all the curtains closed, popped a Panadol and watch tv shows all day. I also noticed even though I had a good 7/8 hours of sleep throughout the night, I was still very tired and napped frequently. This was odd because I am not a nap person. Well I was that week.

The third and fourth days were similar to the second day and I almost cracked. It was just torture. Why the hell did I think this was a good idea? Maybe, I shouldn’t have done it cold turkey but gradually over a span of few weeks. Maybe, I was just going to be a coffee addict for the rest of my life. I realized that I really loved coffee, but I didn’t realize the extent of my coffee addiction. I knew it was bad but didn’t understand how addicted I was to coffee. In the past I’d joke sometimes, that if I could get an IV coffee drip I would be the happiest coffee addict you were ever going to meet. (smh)

It’s been little over a month now. I haven’t cracked yet. Most of the cravings are gone. The anxiety is fully gone. I haven’t felt the anxiousness and the heaviness on my chest since then. Even on my bad days there is a range of other emotions but no suffocating anxiety. I feel a lot better now and that motivates me to keep this up. Just feel a lot happier recently and just lighter. Like a weight has been taken of my chest. I think this due to a combination of things. Mostly I think it’s because of me putting in more work into my mental health and the lack of coffee. I wasn’t aware of how triggering the coffee was, I’d become so use to feeling like sh*t all the time. Not drinking coffee really has made a huge difference for me.

One thing I have noticed since i stopped drinking coffee is that I am obsessed with cold drinks. I keep craving them. it’s wasn’t just the coffee. It was also the experience of drinking a nice cold drink and having something to sip on while driving or watching a tv show. So far, replaced my addiction to iced vanilla lattes with a frozen hot chocolate milk. Currently my obsession is frozen white hot coco and before that it was frozen milk chocolate hot coco as a replacement.

On the days I want to have a cheat day I remind myself how much anxiety I felt when I was drinking coffee daily. That is how I have been able to stay off the coffee for this long. It’s hard though. On somedays I play devil’s advocate trying to convince myself that one coffee won’t hurt. Still haven’t done that yet because I know I have no self-control when it comes to coffee. Just worried I’ll go back to my old habits. Might be just easier to just lay of all caffeinated drinks all together.

Haven’t had tea in a while for the same reasons. Although, I must say that I have no idea how tea affects my anxiety. Wasn’t aware of the anxiety let alone the effects of tea. Just worried that it might affect me negatively or I get back to being a regular tea drinker which then evolves into coffee. Despite the caffeine I found tea to be very soothing. I’d always say that a hot shower and a good cup of tea feel like an emotional hug you didn’t know you needed. Is that just me?

This was a journey haha. While, it was really hard to just quit cold turkey… Especially the first week. I am really glad I did it. I feel a lot better for it. Have you ever tried to quit coffee? What was your experience like? Do you have anxiety? Do you think coffee makes your anxiety worse? Please leave a comment down below! I would love to hear your story!

Until next time. Peace.

 

 

 

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Reading time: 5 min
Blog post about finding your voice

Finding your voice as a person, as a writer, as a female, are often given as advise. You are capable! You just haven’t found your voice just yet. You are a great writer but your tone isn’t really right. I need to hear your voice. Use your voice. Your voice should be unique.

I, for one have heard that often. But do you ever just stand still for a sec and think about what that means? “Finding a voice” is implying that it was lost or you never had one to begin with. By agreeing to find your voice we are actually agreeing with them telling us we never had one. We do. Everyone does.

How does one even find his or hers voice? How does one never have one?

The only time you didn’t have a voice is when you stayed quite when really, you had a lot to say. You censored yourself. Scared to offend. You didn’t say what you wanted to because of another person. You played the part of the quite wallflower not because that’s who you are but because you were worried about what they might think.

But baby girl, prison is a sentence. Don’t sentence yourself.

You don’t need to find your voice because you always had it. They aren’t the ones that need to understand you. You need to understand you. It’s a process. You will have days feeling like you figured it all out and you can take on the world. But then there are days you are just not there yet. Somedays it will feel like one step forward 10 steps back. Those days are normal. Everyone has them. The focus shouldn’t be how many steps you went forward and then backwards, the point is you are moving. Moving is learning. Learning is knowledge. Knowledge means better decisions the second time or the third time around. You are allowed to make mistakes.

If you can’t express your feelings, opinions, thoughts with the company you keep, then you need to change the company you keep. You are meant to be a mess when you are a mess. Happy when you are happy. Sad when you are sad. You are meant to feel what you feel when you feel it. Don’t ignore that. It will fester. It will keep ticking till the time bomb finally explodes.

If you don’t have supportive people around you. People who can’t handle you being authentic. You being honest to yourself and dealing with issues head on. Find better people to hangout with. But more importantly made sure that you are happy with being yourself. Be kind. Be fair. Love yourself.

There no need to look for a voice you already have.. Just use it. You already got it.

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Reading time: 2 min
a poem about finding your own path in life by lost20something

Bespoke.

Made, just for you.

Specifically tailored.

 

Suited to your personality.

Challenges based on your weaknesses.

Custom made to demonstrate your strengths.

 

Style.

Created.

With you in mind.

 

Brave blazers

Inferno red lining

Intensely blazing

 

Feisty flowers

Flourishing from the ashes

Beautiful but wild

Wild but beautiful

 

Trailed.

A bespoke path.

Made for you

only you.

 

Bespoke.

A life.

Your life.

Specially made.

Just.

For

You.

 

How beautiful is that?

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Reading time: 1 min
More issues than vogue

Yes, issues as in problems. It’s interesting. When you open up about the problems in your life. You are made to feel like you are crazy. How dare you complain about your mortgage when someone people don’t even have homes?. How dare you complain about being overwhelmed at work, someone people don’t even have jobs. How dare you have a nervous breakdown (or break through) when you are fortunate to have; this, that and the other.

This needs to stop.

People can be “fortunate” and have a hard time. People can be “unfortunate” and have a hard time. The point is people are people. The truth is most of grew up in a house regardless of whether that was a home or not. No matter how many things they own or not own. When did it become socially acceptable to dismiss people’s feelings based on how “fortunate” or “unfortunate” they are?

-What does that even mean?

It’s interesting how we try to be less materialistic yet invalidate or validate how a person should feel based on what they have or not have. In the media we see a video of this poor little boy in Africa who has the biggest smile and we are flabbergasted. In the same media we see wealthy celebrities whom unfortunately commit suicide. How come he committed suicide? He had wealth. How dare he be so ungrateful when that little boy has not much but is the happiest little kid. what is wrong with him? -They ask. 

They sell you this idea of money doesn’t make you happy. Clearly there are people with money that aren’t happy. I am not saying that this isn’t true. But that is not the main issue here. This whole argument is made about how people are materialistic. How ungrateful he is when he is wealthy. How the kid is happy even though he doesn’t have much.

Propaganda is fed to us and we don’t even question it. The media and society turn this into a: oh, look how materialistic people are argument. “Millennials the most entitled, lazy and materialistic generation thus far.” When in reality the underlining issue here is clearly mental health. But they distract you from that because, who doesn’t like to talk about how money is the root of all evil?

The real question there is: why is it socially acceptable for that boy to be sad about this circumstances? Expected even? Why he is allowed to express that sadness but someone whom may be wealthy by society standards cannot?

Are they both not entitled to feel what they feel and express that?

The stigma around mental health is baffling to me. Why is it totally acceptable to go to the doctor when you break a bone. But it isn’t acceptable to go to therapy?

Isn’t it enough that we make people feel like they are complaining when they are really just expressing how sad they feel?

Why is it okay to have a neat and tidy house? But you are seen as broken when you try to tidy up the thoughts in your head by going to therapy?

Why is it okay to fix broken body parts but not okay to heal emotional scars?

The question is not: how dare he be so ungrateful when he has so much. But why do we as a society categorize people by social classes to then determine if they are “allowed” to feel depressed?

Who are we to tell someone how they are allowed to feel? Who are we to attach a label of shame to therapy?

If anything, we should applaud people for going to therapy. They are actively trying to heal, to change their lives for the better. That takes courage. 

We as a society shame people for not being okay. Making them feel like they are the only ones going through this. Like they are alone.

The reality is that they are not alone. There are others who feel the exact same way but are afraid to express how they feel. Just like you are.

You are not alone.

Remember, there is nothing new under the sun. There is absolutely nothing you can go through that others haven’t gone or are going through.

Distracting people by saying they are materialistic is absolute bullsh*t. What is materialistic anyway? Stuff you buy because you want it? Things that you buy with money that you worked for? How is that wrong? Or even shameful?

Is it shameful because, you are not suppose to work hard? Or is it because you are meant to stay “middle class”? (whatever that means)

Oh wait! Maybe it is because money is the root of all evil! That makes sense doesn’t it? Blaming it on money. Shifting the attention to money and people being materialistic so we don’t have to talk about the real issue.

Saying money is evil is like saying water is evil. Huh? Let me explain besides the commonality that money is made from cotton, and water? Well water is water. But the point is both come from nature. In one form or the other.

Water nourishes but it also drowns. It’s not so much about, what water is.. But how it’s used. Water like money is neutral. It has no sense of right or wrong because it is not a person. Money doesn’t favor a nice person because they are nice. Just like it doesn’t ignore a bad person. IT DOESN’T CARE. IT CAN’T CARE.

Money is earned because it is an object. You work for it. You get it. The concept is simple. Remember, money only has value because we assign it value. It can’t do anything. We can do things. Us. People can. Money cannot. We use it as a means to do/get the things we want.

So is it really logical to validate/invalidate how someone is allowed to feel? Just of because of how much money they have or not have in their wallet? why not blame it on money and say money is the root of all evil? Or the materialistic millennials?  

Think about it.

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Reading time: 5 min
A story about how she is her own hero in this one.

Sometimes a woman just wants to read stories that inspire her. Stories that demonstrate the power of women. Without being compared to men in any way, shape or form. Stories about how a young lady became independent when she moved out of her parents house all by herself. How she assembled her own Ikea furniture without any help. How she paid for it with the money she worked so hard for.Stories about ordinary women being their own heroes one day at a time.

Could she have read the Ikea instructions when she was assembeling her own furniture? Sure, she would’ve been finished sooner. But what is more satisfying than proving to yourself that you are capable of figuring it all out on your own? -Not much, if you ask me.

Stories about her car breaking down on the highway… How she pulled up her sleeves, popped the hood, figured out what the issue was, fixed her car and arrived safely home. 

Stories about how her boss is a pain in the ass so she decides to become an entrepreneur and start her own business. That was one of the hardest decisions she had ever made. (Well, besides which haagen dazs ice cream to buy of course.) (Always salted caramel in case you were wondering.) But also the right one. Stories about working from home in her pj’s because she feels like it and that is totally fine.

Stories about her going out with her friends all dolled up and in heels on one day and in a hoodie and sweat pants the next day.

Stories that tell the tale of her superpower. That unlike Superman and Spiderman she could safe her own world all by being her self. That she didn’t need to hide who she was in order to help the people she cared about. Stories about how she is more of superhero than Spiderman and Superman because she was courageous enough to be herself.

Stories about how her modesty is one of her powers. Because she understands that she is more than her body. She is so much more than the skin she lives in.

Stories about how she can express herself without limitations. Stories about how she does.

Stories about how she doesn’t need to prove her femininity. How she can be a tomboy that plays soccer in heels. Or how she can hate skirts and dresses but love nail polish and fast cars.

Stories about how fearlessly she participates in car races. How she is terrified and still races because she loves it more than anything and wins.

Stories about an ordinary independent kickass woman who is her own hero.

Stories about how she is the hero in this one.

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Reading time: 2 min

Caring for yourself. Everyone wants to do that or be able to do that for themselves. No one wants to deny themselves the opportunity to love themselves unconditionally. Do they?

Often times people don’t know how to. Neither do I. I hear the term very often. But what does that mean? Buying myself hot chocolate to cheer myself up? Or do they mean taking better care of my mental health?

Where do you even start with self-care?

Over the last few months I have realized that awareness is the first step. If you are aware of it.  You can do something about it. But it is very hard to solve a problem that you didn’t even know you had.

Alright, I know I have a problem with the way I talk to myself. What now?

Realize it. Accept it. Understand how you got here. Know what the issue is. Admit to yourself that you have an issue. But also accept the fact that you are not happy with this issue and the situation you are in. Accept that you want to do better. That you are capable of doing better.

Talk yourself through it. Like you would talk your best friend through an issue they had. With kindness. Understanding. Compassion. With love. Unconditional love regardless of how ugly the truth might seem at the moment.

Realize that you are not alone. I believe everyone has different issues because everyone gets challenged in a way that is most challenging for them. What you might see as an challenge might not be one for me and vise versa. That doesn’t change the fact that everyone has their own personal problems. I am not saying rejoice in knowing that others have issues. Just that you are not alone. There is nothing new under the sun. Somewhere, someone has gone through what you are going through. If they can come out on the other side. So can you.

Remember, so far you have survived 100% of the bad and worst days.

Allow yourself forgiveness. Growth. Love. Want the best for yourself. Not in a selfish way but in a way of: I want to be good and I want other to be good too.

If you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel bad for any reason. Accept that you feel that way. Get yourself out of that situation. Don’t try to suppress how you feel by ignoring it. Don’t concern yourself with not wanting to ruin the fun by staying at a party you don’t want to be at anymore. Please leave. You are not doing yourself or others justice.

Concern for others is imperative but not before your own mental health, feelings and sanity. That’s not healthy.

Love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

Whatever that means to you in that moment. If it’s not eating junk food because you want to stay committed to your diet. Then do that. If it’s leaving a party you don’t want to be at. Then do that too. Whatever taking care of yourself means in that moment. Prioritize it.

Taking care of yourself is not selfishly taking away from others. Not at all. It’s just saying; I am important enough to be taken care of as well.

If you needed that nudge. The permission to start the journey of loving yourself. Here you go. Please take care of yourself. It will make you a happier person. It will fill your cup. So your cup can overflow and you can help other fill their own cups too.

It will help you shine inside out. Just remember that it’s a journey. You will have days where you can effortlessly love yourself and be compassionate. But there are also days where that’s not as easy to achieve. Love yourself anyway.

For those of us who come from broken homes bearing burdens of painful pasts. You have to teach yourself what taking care of yourself means in a healthy way. You might not have seen what that looks like. Felt what it feels like. That wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t in your control. But how to take care of yourself as an adult. Is entirely within your control.

Grow. Learn. Love. Change. Progress. Do it for yourself. And do it with love.

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Reading time: 3 min

 

I just want you to know that it’s okay not to have everything figured out. More often than not we are made to feel like not having all the answers is a crime. So instead of figuring out what rings true to our souls, we follow the path set out by society. A path that for most of us leads to unhappiness. We lack a sense of fulfillment because we never gave ourselves the chance to explore what sets our souls on fire.

Do we even remember what that feels like?

We watch tv shows during the days and party through the nights to numb our pain. Convincing ourselves that we are okay. When we’re really not.

If you were waiting for permission to be yourself then here you go.

Having everything figured out is as unrealistic as waking up one day and being able to see into the future. You can’t. No matter how much you wish otherwise. Life is the one book you can’t skip through the pages to find out what happens next.

Besides, no one ever fully knows what life has in store for them anyways. No matter how much they pretend to. Don’t be fooled in believing otherwise. You are on the right track. Your track.

Comparing yourself to others is doing a disservice to yourself. While it is good to have people to look up to don’t disrespect yourself by comparing apples with oranges.

View everyday as an opportunity to write your story. You won’t know what comes next but you can do your best to write a better story everyday. Because never shot it always missed.

If you take away one thing from this post I want you to know that it’s okay not to have figured everything out. You are a working progress. We all are. But that’s okay as long as you continue to progress.

You got this..

You know you do.

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Reading time: 1 min