Does Anyone Else Get Triggered by Notifications?

So, I’m currently on this social media break, right? Well, I’ve been trying out some of the fancy new features on the S21+, including Bixby Routines and Focus Mode, so I set a focus mode to specifically keep IG and Snapchat locked and had it running for the first few days of this month. All was well until Saturday night when my Sabbath focus mode ended. Apparently, it cancelled out my February focus mode blocks (even though my February focus mode was still running) so a few notifications from IG popped up and caused me to feel just a tiny bit of panic.

It’s such a stupid thing for me to freak out about. The thing is, when I’m trying to avoid something (or someone), its sudden and unwanted presence tends to make me feel a little anxious. Maybe I feel like seeing notifications will make me feel like I have to respond or make me feel guilty for being absent. But the truth of the matter is that it’s likely none of those notifications are terribly important. The most likely scenario is that my cousin is sending me reels. They will be there when I get back, and if they aren’t that’s okay too.

I also felt this way at work, though. I was so burnt out that just seeing that colored dot on Slack or hearing the *click click click* notification sound would instantly increase my heart rate. I would avoid looking at emails and Slack messages for as long as possible because I knew they always indicated adding more work to my already full plate. Eventually, though, I knew my boss would be messaging me again asking me to confirm I received her instructions and was working on the task, so I had to act.

I’m still healing from the trauma inflicted by the past year and a half, and I decided that I wasn’t going to risk being triggered again by my failed focus mode, so I went ahead and uninstalled IG and Snapchat from my phone. I’ll reinstall them in March and hopefully come back refreshed.

The first week of this social media break and pouring into myself has not been as fulfilling as I would have liked. I did start reading a new book, bought myself flowers and candles, and pampered my skin a little more, but I also spent three days stressing about maintenance coming into the apartment while I was out, so I ended up cancelling my beach plans. Maintenance coming in without me home is one of the things that triggers anxiety for me. I have to be able to see (and sanitize after they leave) everything they touch, and I also want to make sure they aren’t digging into private things.

When we were showing my parents’ house to sell, someone went through my dresser drawer (that I had taped up to prevent such invasion) and it sent me into a really bad panic attack, so maintenance personnel having free range of our space causes a lot of anxiety for me.

I’m planning for this week to be better, though. I’m getting my hair done, trying a new place to eat, and may even head to a museum for half a day. I haven’t yet decided if it should be a chocolate museum or a circus museum, or if I want to redeem my missed beach day from last week, but I’ll figure it out.

In the meantime, I’m trying meditation, reading The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata, and not curbing my current obsession with a hot morning chai. I like to steep two bags of chai tea (one if the tea is well flavored) with extra ginger and cinnamon. Then I heat my oat milk with vanilla extract and brown sugar before mixing it with the brewed tea. It’s been a great replacement for my budding coffee habit. I don’t get the jitters or the tummy ache, but I still get the nice warm creamy drink, so it’s a win.

How are you all doing during this Black History Month of Love? What are you reading? What are you drinking? How are your goals coming along? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

All the Black Teas!

Okay, not all of them, but a few.

For the past few years I’ve been drinking Publix brand black tea bags even though all my other teas have been loose leaf teas from Tea Clan. A couple weeks ago I was running low on black tea and decided to switch to loose leaf once and for all…but I had no idea what kind of black tea was in the Publix tea bags.

I decided that I’d not only try a few different black teas to see what I liked best, but that I’d also try a local tea shop to compare their teas to the ones I order from Tea Clan. Well, long story short, no one was manning the tea shoppe when I arrived (it’s part of a brewery/market setup and every other place was open) so I had couldn’t try their teas. Instead, I ordered three different black teas from Tea Clan—Assam, Ceylon Tea, and English Breakfast.

I am a tea drinker, not an aficionado, so my understanding of the subtleties between these three is incredibly limited. I will say, though, that Assam was my favorite and Ceylon my least favorite. I made all three teas at the same time and in the same way—I even used a measuring spoon and measuring cup to make sure the amounts of tea and water were the same in each mug.

They were all pretty smooth, but the Assam tea was smoothest to me, and not bitter at all. The Ceylon was the lightest tea, and it also left a bitter taste in my mouth that I wasn’t fond of. The English Breakfast was probably the strongest in flavor—it was also a little bitter, but not terribly so.

After tasting them all plain, I added a little sugar to each (I usually sweeten my tea with honey when I do sweeten it, so I have no idea why I chose sugar for this taste test). The Assam didn’t need sweetening at all (it was just fine plain) so the sugar kind of took away from it. However, the Ceylon and English Breakfast were a little better with a pinch of sugar.

In the end I mixed all three teas together and finished off the cup.

I definitely won’t be buying Ceylon again—I’ll probably mix it together with the English Breakfast just to get through it…or maybe I’ll use it to create a blend of my own—but I will certainly keep Assam on hand going forward.

So there’s a little black tea review for you.


Since I just ordered 8 new packs of tea, I needed a bigger container to store them in. I popped over to Dollar Tree and picked up this little basket which fit perfectly in the corner of the pantry. The tea bags themselves were a little big because the basket narrows at the bottom, but I just folded the sides of the bags and they were able to fit nicely.

One day I will have a full tea corner set up with electric kettle and honey sticks, but until then this will have to do.

I’m still trying to get back into the habit of short story writing, and I’ll let you know how that goes as we move forward.

Until next time…

Happy Tea Drinking!