Letters to Summer

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Letter 35

Letters to Summer is a newsletter written by two best friends living on opposite sides of the country. Every other Thursday, we share the things we're reading, watching, listening to, and enjoying. We hope you like it.


Hi, friends. This one is going to be a little different! Different because things are weird and bad right now, and it is hard to make something and put it out into our current world without acknowledging that. So here are some recommendations from us for things you can do to feel less weird and bad, and ways you can help other people who are feeling weird and bad right now.



We recommend

  1. If you’re still getting paid, donate to someone who isn’t.

  2. Support local businesses.

  3. Do something with your hands. Water your plants. Tie dye some socks. Clean out your drawers and re-fold all your clothes. Learn how to knit with this helpful guide from Alana Okun. Doodle something on whatever paper you have lying around.

  4. Keep in touch with your creative community by attending online poetry readings, open mics, and workshops from this list compiled by Ariana Brown.

  5. Apply for an absentee ballot.

  6. Make some comfort food. You can find some of our favorite recipes in our Food tag (like this no-knead bread, or these chocolate chip cookies). Bon Appetit has rounded up a ton of recipes for “Cooking at Home in the Time of Coronavirus.” And this collaborative food blog is a joy to scroll through.

  7. Lift the blinds & open the window.

  8. Clean up your space. It’s easier to feel mentally clear if your space is clear.

  9. Read something—something that’s not Twitter or pandemic news. Maybe Indoor Voices, a collaborative blog about quarantined life. Or maybe one of the book and poetry recommendations in our Read tag. You might already have your own massive to-read pile, but if you want to buy something new, considering ordering online from a local indie bookstore if you have the option. McNally Jackson, Powell’s, and Wolfman are some of our favorites that could use your support right now.

  10. Watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire on Hulu.

  11. If you like doing yoga (or if you’ve been meaning to try it!) see if your local yoga studios are doing online classes right now, like Sky Ting Live. And if you have a favorite instructor, consider Venmo-ing them right now.

  12. Find a new routine. Get up and shower in the morning. Put on comfy clothes that are not the ones you slept in. If you’re working from home, try not to work in your bed. Get up and move around throughout the day. Find an activity to mark the transition from work to leisure time, like listening to a podcast or reading a book. Recognize that this is hard, but you can find small ways to make it easier.

  13. Check in with your friends. Text them, call them, FaceTime them, schedule a Zoom call with them, visit their Animal Crossing island, etc.