Before I dive into this topic, let me tell you what this blog IS NOT. It isn’t:
- A diatribe against pharmaceuticals. (Take your meds. Consult with your medical providers. Take their advice. Work with the professionals, please.)
- Anything other than my thoughts on a topic and my reminder to you that you take care of yourself. However that works for you. No shame. No judgment.
Okay, with that out of the way… *smiles*
About six months ago, I stopped drinking coffee. I know! I can hear the gasps of horror from all over the internet. But my stomach was being angry due to stress and I wanted to cut back on expenses. I had a lot of tea and wanted to be thrifty and use it up before purchasing more coffee. And the price of coffee was going up. So I made the decision to swap my morning coffee for tea of various kinds.
My favorite is Jasmine Green, though I’m finding something very soothing in Yorkshire Red. I didn’t miss the coffee and enjoyed experimenting with different flavors of tea. I had two cups of caffinated tea, and then sometimes a cup or two of herbal tea like lemon ginger or peppermint. My stomach seemed to tolerate this better and I didn’t have any of the side effects like headaches one would expect of quitting coffee cold turkey.
And then this past week I had to be in our newly refurbished hospital for a routine screening and there, by the entrance, was a Starbucks cafe. Look, I get it. Starbucks isn’t the best coffee, but living 100 miles away from even a mini cafe like this (or so I thought) it is a treat. So after my appointment I got a cup of coffee.
My body responded with a resounding YES!!!!!!!!! All of a sudden I could think. I was more productive than I had been in a while, and my neurodivergent brain seemed to be firing on all cylinders.
Could this be? Did I need coffee as a medicinal way to treat my ADHD?
The answer is quite possibly, yes. This article in ADDitude Magazine, discusses the impact of caffiene on ADD/ADHD and how many people found they benefitted from it. I hadn’t thought of my morning coffee as medicinal beyond the occasional internet meme, and that’s why I’m mentioning this to you today. Medicines don’t have to be prescribed.
In fact, if we broaden our awareness of health and wellness beyond pills and doctors, there’s probably quite a few things each of us does in our daily life that could be considered medicinal. Cuddling with a beloved pet helps reduce stress and increases “happy chemicals” in the brain. The purr of a cat is said to introduce healing benefits into humans. I’ve talked a lot about how my horses are my healthcare. They’ve certainly done more for me than a lot of traditional “health care” both for my mental and physical health.
Which means there’s no reason why a morning cup of coffee, or two, can’t be medicinal. Coffee has many health benefits, and like anything, as long as it’s done in moderation and not overused, it can be beneficial. If it helps you, well it helps you.
I encourage you to think about things that you do which help and which may not seem like “health and wellness care” but really are. Find those areas of your life and make them a non-negotiable part of yourself self-care. For me, that means returning to my morning two cups of coffee. For you, it may mean something else. Go find out!