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Caffeine — and coffee, more specifically — is all but a staple in our modern world. And with that, comes the difficult relationship many people have with the reliance on caffeine and everything it does for productivity, alertness, and simply staying awake when you have to.

But heavy reliance on caffeine isn’t healthy, and it can be a good idea to try and cut back — or even just build a healthier relationship with caffeine instead of blindly relying on it every day.

Of course, breaking the cycle can be hard, and it requires a bit of intention, but if you’re looking to build a healthier relationship with caffeine, it’s absolutely possible. Here are a few tips that might be able to help you out.

coffee with heart on top

6 top tips to help you

Try Having Smaller Cups

One of the first steps you can take in building a better relationship with caffeine is to simply make your coffees a bit smaller little by little.

Relying on a giant iced cold-brew to get out of bed in the morning is admittedly quite different from enjoying a little boost to get you going. If you normally start your day with a 16-ounce cup of coffee, maybe try a 12-ounce instead, and see how that does for you.

Cut Back on Your Intake

In addition to making your cups of coffee smaller, you can also reduce your daily intake on the whole in order to lower your reliance on them.

If you tend to drink three cups of coffee every day, now might be the time to cut back to two cups. If you tend to drink two, cut back to one, and so on.

Drinking caffeine less often can help it become a bit less of a staple in your day so you can experience a little boost from it without needing it every free moment.

When you can actually feel the effects of caffeine, your relationship with it will likely improve.

Know Your Limits

Everyone has their limits with caffeine, and as you experiment with how much of it you can have, cutting back and maybe waxing and waning on your intake, it’s entirely possible that you’ll relearn your limits with how much you can have.

While you might be tempted to push things, it can actually be an extremely wise choice to listen to your limits and understand what feels good within your body.

If you’re starting to experience symptoms like insomnia, headaches, or jittery or anxious feelings, that’s more than likely a sign that you’ve had too much caffeine, and that next time, you should pull back.

Make It Feel Like a Treat

One tip that’s more likely to help the mental aspect than the physical is to make your caffeine and coffee consumption feel more like a treat than a given staple of everyday life.

When you want a little bit of a boost, grabbing a vanilla latte or an iced coffee with honey and hazelnut will likely feel much more special than an everyday black coffee that’s simply meant for the utilitarian purpose of waking you up.

Try Lesser Forms of Caffeine Like Tea

If you still think you want a little something to offer the perks but coffee is getting a bit too much for you, tea might be a great choice for your next transition.

Certain teas can actually offer quite a bit of caffeine contribution without the overwhelming buzz of coffee.

Green tea, matcha, black tea, chai, and many other teas can be great for waking you up and giving you that boost you need to start the day without taking you over the edge.

Vary Your Schedule

One of the best tips you can follow to break the reliance on caffeine is to have it at different times every day.

When you drink coffee at the same times every day — for example, when you wake up and during the classic 2 o’clock slump — your body clock becomes used to it and can build reliance and reaction that occurs at the same time every day and won’t leave until you get your fix.

When you switch things up, you can feel the effects more, which breaks the cycle.

Building a Healthy Relationship With Caffeine

You don’t need to give up your morning Joe completely in order to build a better relationship with caffeine.

By knowing yourself, knowing your schedule, and doing what feels right to you, you can build a better relationship with coffee and caffeine that’s based on balance.

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