Letters to Summer

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Letter 58

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

On self care

Not to be dramatic but sometimes existing in this world is hard. Like, the idea of getting out of bed and sitting at my desk for several hours a day, or cooking a meal for myself and then washing all the dishes, or even just taking a shower and washing my face—sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes it feels like the best I can do is lay on the couch in yesterday’s t-shirt and eat a bowl of cereal and play video games. And that’s cool! I am trying to be a lot more forgiving with myself on those days. But I am also trying to take better care of myself, to at least do the bare minimum. Yes, sure, sheet masks and bubble baths are self care. But so is brushing your teeth and taking a big gulp of water on the hard days. So is cleaning off a tiny area of your desk so you feel a little less stressed while you’re working. (And so is knowing when to stop pushing yourself and just lay down on the couch for a little bit.)

– Jillian

For a while I thought I “wasn’t into skincare,” because so much of what I saw online was about glamorous ritual and this indulgence into complicated process. It was also largely focused on the face. As conversations around the capitalism-poisoned term “self care” grew more prevalent in the spaces I frequented, I realized of course, I was “into skincare”—because I have to be! I have eczema! In fact, I am deeply into taking care and managing the health of my skin, otherwise I’m covered in cuts from dry skin cracking! It took literally re-arranging the phrase—instead of self care, it’s taking care of yourself—for me to realize self care isn’t a trendy thing I’m behind on. Allowing this to be an act instead of a concept helped me think about the things I actually need to do in order to regulate my health, thinking about how to continually fold them into my routine: drinking water, sleeping early, flossing—normal things that are very hard when you’re depressed. The extra, the sometimes superfluous—an extra special meal, staying in bed longer than normal—these things can be folded into taking care of myself, too, but I can’t ignore the basics.

– Summer

🍽️ Soft scrambled eggs

I never liked eggs growing up. My parents would try a myriad of ways of trying to get me to eat them since they’re “good for you,” but I refused unless very specific circumstances were met (I wanted to play video games with my brother while eating). When I started college, eggs were an easy source of protein and very easy to bulk up sad leftovers—you know when there’s like, half a serving left of basically any meal? Add an egg! It’s great. But my favorite way to eat them are creamy, soft-scrambled on really crusty bread, spinach, and some soft cheese spread—season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. I had this for breakfast the other day and just remembered, yes! This is the best thing!

– Summer

🍽️ Homemade iced chai

I love iced chais—the venti ones at Starbucks singlehandedly got me through college. Now, though, they’re a pretty rare treat for me since I don’t go to coffee shops all that often. But! Last week I picked up a container of Tazo’s chai concentrate at the grocery store and used it to make a pretty yummy iced chai with oat milk at home. I think it’s going to be my new Friday morning treat.

– Jillian

🎶 Samia’s The Baby

I first heard Samia in 2018 or 2019 when she had just a handful of songs on Spotify; she came up on some indie sad girl playlist and I loved the absolute crazy intensity of her voice, but she wasn’t on my regular rotation until 2020. Her semi-recently released The Baby, along with the cover-album The Baby Reimagined are equally excellent and a very good, vibe-y time.

– Summer

🍽️ Dram

Another beverage! I tried this “herbal sparkling water” on a whim the other day and liked it a lot—I got the cardamom & black tea flavor, which is a pretty weird (but delicious) flavor for sparkling water. Turns out they have some other cool-sounding flavors, plus a CBD version, which I really want to try.

– Jillian