issue #286: making friends, getting cozy 🫶

Issue #286 - October 07, 2022
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A cozy dose of comfort for your inbox. A weekly newsletter with musings on and recommendations for downtime.

An image we want to melt into via Lucy Williams.

Good morning and happy Friday!

We’ve now boldly stepped into the fresh, crisp air of fall and it feels like a great time to mentally and logistically prep ourselves for all of the season’s gatherings and hangouts. On that note, the topic of “friendship” and connection is clearly on our readers’ minds. In today’s newsletter, we highlight a few genius tips from readers on how to make friends this fall (or any time). Read on for that and have a great weekend! — GNI Editors


This Week's Picks

  • A few literary reads for your TBR: We’re eyeing all of the National Book Award finalists! Our picks for our book pile: The Town of Bablyon by Alejandro Varela and All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews. 
  • One *fun* read: Drunk on Love, Jasmine Guillory's latest romance novel is out now. Napa, a winery, a handsome new stranger…whisk us away, please. :) 
  • Ditch your supplement stockpile for a one-and-done scoop of AG1 by Athletic Greens each morning, which does the job of nine different products with 75 vitamins and minerals—providing you with a probiotic, multivitamin, daily supplement, and more. Readers can get a FREE 1-year supply of Vitamin D and 5 FREE travel packs here!  *Sponsor 
  • Start healing irritated, dull skin while you sleep with Onekind Dream Cream Nighttime Moisturizer, which uses squalane and rosehip oil to soothe and repair all skin types with chamomile, lavender, and rose. Try the bestselling night cream for free with code GNI, just pay S&H.  *Sponsor 
  • The show we’re queuing up this weekend: Reboot, a fun new comedy on Hulu (starring Keegan-Michael Key and Rachel Bloom) about the reboot of a classic sitcom, and the dysfunctional rifts that happen between the older, original cast members and the newer, younger ones. Lots of laugh-out-loud moments.
  • Simple words: A sweet poem. (Love this account.)
  • A comfy and washable silk skirt? Sign us up for easy elegance.
  • Have you ever tried going back through your saves? “I’m a serial ‘saver’ on the internet, whether it’s bookmarking images on Instagram or pinning potential purchases to Pinterest like my life depends on it. Recently though, I’ve tried an experiment where I spend time sifting through my existing saves. Because ironically, while I continue to save things, I rarely ever go back to look at them! What I found was beautiful and somewhat reassuring: though I’m in a constant search for ‘newness,’ there are clear throughlines in what I like. For example, I thought I needed new fall style inspiration. It turns out (based on my Pinterest boards dating back to 2008), that I have an eye for a classic, tailored look that I’m drawn to year after year. Many of these pieces I already own. By going through the archives of my saves, I saved myself some time (and money). I guess a cheesy way of summing all this up is: what you seek is already within you? :)”
  • Cozy: Would you wear a fleece cardigan? (Size to XL). Similar vibes! (Size to 5X).
  • Vibes: Courtesy of "quarantine kermi." 😂
This week's Sponsor:

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Tia is a comprehensive team of doctors, nurses, therapists, acupuncturists, and more that focuses on women’s health—including gynecology, primary care, mental health, and wellness—from their warm (and tastefully-designed!) clinics. You can gain insight on your chronic symptoms, learn about your fertility options, speak to a therapist, or just get the pap you’re due for. Tia’s care team handles virtual and in-person appointments around your schedule, and if you’re in need of an on-the-go RX refill or specialist referral? They’ve got you covered. 

You can visit one of their—quickly expanding!—clinics in New York (Flatiron, Soho), California (Silver Lake, San Francisco), or Arizona (Scottsdale), or schedule a virtual appointment. 

GNI readers can try a Tia membership free for 30 days using promo code GNIXTIA.

Photo via Gohar World 

Our Readers’ Thoughts on Making Friends These Days

Including one genius and funny tip.

In newsletter issue 284, we reflected on friendships that are evolving and/or fading and asked for your thoughts on whether you’ve cracked the code on making (and keeping) new friends. We received a number of thoughtful responses from many of you on how you’re dealing, some of which we've highlighted, below.

A creative (and hilarious) way to make new friends when you don’t know anyone:

“My partner and I moved to a new city during the pandemic where we knew no one, and one thing that has been SO helpful in making friends is being shamelessly honest with people we meet that we don't know many people and we're actively looking to cultivate strong friendships and a solid network of people. 
By being vulnerable and forthcoming about this, we found that most other people admitted to feeling the same way and were relieved that they weren't the only ones wanting to create & maintain friendships—and that they weren't the only ones struggling with it! Last year, we even threw a "We Need Friends!" party and invited people we barely knew (like the couple we met while shoving pizza in our faces at the farmer's market) and now we have an amazing group of friends just from putting ourselves out there and being inclusive. It's a good reminder that most of us are dealing with the same problems, whether we admit it or not.”
—Elizabeth B.

One groovy way to stay connected

During the pandemic, I moved from Chicago to South Korea, then London. My best friend from college remained in Chicago and I missed her terribly. Pre-vaccine times, when things were really scary, I suggested that we send each other playlists of songs that we thought each other would love to listen to every season. For the whole of 2020, we exchanged Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Spotify playlists filled with songs from a whole range of genres, from classics such as "All I Want for Christmas" for my (ironic) Summer playlist, to "Maniac" by Conan Gray whose concert we went to together. We have since stopped doing these exchanges as our lives got busier, but I still turn on her playlists for me from that terrible year and feel better connected with my bestie, who just started Harvard Law School - GO QUEEN I LOVE YOU.
— Yuna 

On that feeling of, “Oh no, will this friendship last? 

I have better friends than I’ve ever had before which makes me happy yet terrifies me. I have so much to lose should we grow apart or have a falling out. And it’s scary. I spend so much time in that headspace that I’m not enjoying my friendships for all that they are. Is this a pandemic thing? An anxiety thing? 

I’m in my late 20s and it’s felt like change after change. Friends moving, marriages, divorces, babies, etc etc. I pride myself on being a good friend but I’m wondering... Is it common to find “your people” moving into your 30s? It’s felt so hard to stay open when yet another friend is moving away, I feel like I’m looking around while my circle grows smaller and smaller and I feel less seen and known. Does the friendship cycle ever feel like it’s ended and finally settled? Does there come a time when I can water friendships that will endure without the fear of them being temporary? 


One reader’s thoughts on how *not* to end a friendship

I suffered (and I use that word very intentionally) a friendship breakup on NYE last year. I received a text from a close friend of seven years abruptly cutting me out of her life. It was entirely out of the blue and shocked me to my core. Though I received wise counsel from my friends and therapist that forcing a discussion with her would likely only hurt me more, and do agree that is likely the case, it's still painful to sit in the "why". Even more painful is that we have a large group of mutual friends who I've had to awkwardly tiptoe around, and all of them are still friends with her. I'll just say that was a masterclass on how *not* to end a friendship. Everyone is allowed to have feelings of disappointment or anger in how a friendship is going, but I believe that mature and emotionally healthy friendships would take time to talk about that as a first step.
—Anonymous GNI Reader

When’s it time to call it quits?

It seems like my friendships have changed drastically over the past few years, and I continue to feel surprised by how many of them just...disappeared. Or, I realized that I was the one putting in all the effort and then with COVID, it became very clear that the person on the other end was not interested in investing in a friendship at all. I am trying to not take some of it personally, reignite where possible, and have a gracious view on ones that may just be in a different season, or pop back up later in life, but it's still hard. I also have 3 little kids under 7, work full-time as a healthcare comms leader, and freelance on the side so, other times, I'm reminding myself that I don't actually have that much margin anyway! 
— Julia

Thanks for sending in your responses and questions. Although we don't have solid answers, we hope these will help our readers feel less lonely when wondering the same, and we're looking forward to answering some of the more challenging questions in an upcoming issue. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Reply to this email if you’ve got any other thoughts.

This Week's Reads

  1. How to get out of a rut. (The Imperfectionist) — “...This helps explain the effectiveness of an absurdly simple tactic I've written about here before: grab a piece of paper, write down one action you could take, do it, and then cross it out. Then write another action on the line underneath it… and so on.”
  2. 'I need to go to therapy soon, and by therapy I mean Target.' (LA Times) — Roaming the aisles as self-care? Guilty!
  3. Love this story about a kid painter selling $125,000 paintings! (The New York Times) 
  4. Perfectionism and the Performance of Organizing (Burnt Toast) — “It’s something I am both innately good at, and was socially conditioned to crave and excel at, as a woman. Which means that women who aren’t naturally organized often feel like failures.”
  5. Is Gen Z Killing Vintage Fashion? (Elle)
  6. How to Pace Yourself at Work While Pregnant (HBR)
  7. The Reason Child Care Is So Hard to Afford (The Atlantic)
  8. The Enduring Allure of Choose Your Own Adventure Books (The New Yorker) — So much nostalgia.
🥰 Giveaway! Stock up on *all* the decorative gourds. This week, we’re giving away a $300 gift card to Anthropologie Home so you can scoop up some fanciful mugs, a nice throw blanket, or whatever else will make your home a cozy autumnal retreat.

Enter the giveaway here. Readers who refer a friend to the newsletter this week will receive an additional entry — just copy, paste, and share your unique referral link:

Giveaway ends October 11th, 12pm EST. You must be 18 or older and a U.S. resident to enter. This giveaway is not in partnership with Anthropologie.

P.S. Big congrats to the winner of our previous Dame giveaway, Margaret S.!
This newsletter contains affiliate links, which means when you buy through the link, we might get a cut. We only recommend products we believe in or are thinking about a lot. Sponsored content is clearly marked as "Sponsor." Thank you so much for your support!

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