I never thought this would happen, but it has been four weeks since I’ve had a cup of coffee.

Is there an aspect of self-care that you know would improve your daily life, but you’ve been avoiding?

First, I love coffee. More to the point, my husband loves making coffee for the two of us. It’s a ritual we’ve shared for as long as we’ve been together. And he makes good coffee. Good strong coffee.

Photo credit: chaiyawat p (CC BY 2.0)

Photo credit: chaiyawat p (CC BY 2.0)

However, as is true for many women, migraines—which I’ve had since childhood—have become more of a problem in perimenopause. I’ve tried several management strategies in recent months to reduce their frequency, from going gluten-free (didn’t do a thing) and being even more careful than usual to keep a regular schedule (definitely a mainstay strategy and worth the “boring life” tradeoff) to avoiding controllable triggers (e.g., missing meals, strong sunshine, neck and eye strain) and trying a new prophylactic medication (led to an allergic reaction).

The one thing I’ve known in my gut I should try but didn’t for the longest time is going off coffee.

After a month, I can say with assurance but with some sorrow, that it makes a difference, at least for me, at least for now.

It’s not as though coffee or caffeine is the cause of my migraines, as they began long before I ever started drinking coffee. However, if the trigger threshold theory is correct, hormonal imbalances may be lowering my overall threshold enough that removing something like caffeine and its daily vascular fluctuations could make a difference. Whatever the reason, not only am I having fewer migraines, but they go away faster and with lower-dose triptans, a trend that has been getting better with each passing coffee-free week. In addition (and something I didn’t expect), my overall energy is more even, and, between headaches, I no longer have the sensation that another is just around the corner, like the vibrations of a train I can feel but not see.

My husband still enjoys his cuppa but these days makes me a mug of tea (weak black or green tea once a day and the rest herbal). We’re getting used to the new routine, and I’m now wondering why I waited so long to make the change.

Is there a self-care change you’ve been putting off making?

Remember that you can leave a comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to receive a free signed copy of The Adventures of a Sparrow Named Stanley!


O-2This post is part of the April A to Z Blog Challenge. For more on my 2016 theme of Private Revolution, see A Is for Ambition. Click here to read all posts in the Private Revolution A to Z Challenge blog series.