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 issue 151 ~ week of January 10, 2020
(via @aolanow)

Note from the Editor

Happy Friday <<First Name>>!  

Happy New Year and welcome back to GNI. The team and I were able to live our values and take a bit of a break from the newsletter this winter and it was so nice. There's something so wonderful about a break that spans 2+ consecutive weeks. Rather than the usual stop-and-go mental whiplash of going from relaxed to anxious energy that the usual work-week-to-weekend-and-back-again cycle brings, I was able to take a long, deep breath...physically and mentally. I got great sleep. I watched a ton of Netflix. I wore the same sweatpants most days. Generally, I did a whole lot of nothing and it was awesome.

What's more, the usual tension that holds everything together into a tall, rigid tower of "to-do's" and worries in my brain eased until everything loosened, swirled, and collapsed delicately. This gave my mind the sudden free range to think about things other than work. I even embroidered a little. (That is, until my dog literally ate my embroidery. Lucky for him, he’s impossibly cute.)

This all made me wonder — why can’t I be this relaxed all year?! How can I reclaim my brain space in 2020? I’m still working through this list, but here are some simple practices I’ll try out this year to free up my noggin from worries and stress. (Note: I got this idea of a “less” and “more” framework from Stella Bugbee.)

LESS: Brain space and/or actions dedicated to work outside of work.
MORE: Doing nothing.
Actions and tasks are one thing (like Slack and emails), but brain space is a whole other thing. I think about work a lot (because I love it and I get excited), but a 24/7 obsession with work is not good for anyone, especially friends and family around you who want to connect with you.

LESS: Screen time.
MORE: Analog time.
I'm trying to find a screen-free post-work activity each day and do that thing for at least 30 minutes. I mentioned embroidery, but other activities: reading a book, doing a puzzle, going to the gym or a class, cooking something from the NYT Cooking app (which I'm fully obsessed with).

LESS: Worrying about something and thinking about it obsessively.
MORE: Asking for help.
Again, the key is to free up your brain space. You don’t have to face it alone! Ask for help and let it go.

I'm curious if any of you have found practical ways to free up your brain space after work? Hit reply and share with us. I'm logging off to go read more of Little Women now. 👋

Until Next Friday,
Alisha Ramos
Follow me @alisharamos on Instagram.

P.S. Since we didn't send out a newsletter this week, here's what our team was working on in the meantime — a little piece of our 2020 vision. ✨

P.P.S. Our hearts are heavy as news of the Australian bushfires continues to pour in. If you're a reader in Australia, please know our hearts are with you. For others interested in contributing to relief efforts to help evacuees, animals, and first responders, we've found this piece most helpful in figuring out where to donate.

in the journal this week

what we're writing about
How I'm Actually Setting a Reading Resolution (and Achieving It!) in 2020
From creating a reading ritual to seeking out the work of more diverse authors, bookish resolutions come in all shapes and sizes. This piece features some tips and tricks for adding a little structure to your reading goals this year, from spreadsheets to reading challenges, book clubs, and Book of the Month. (Yes, we attached the spreadsheet. 😉)  #BOTMPARTNER

this week's picks

what our team is loving this week
 issa vibe (via @sarahkretzu
  1. Upgrading our toothbrush situation. 🦷 "Over the holidays, I got this unfussy and very effective electric toothbrush, and I love it. It has a little timer that reminds me how long I should be spending on each quadrant of my mouth, a few different speed and whitening settings, and a travel case. I've heard this more minimal (and affordable) version does a good job too!" - Tyler

  2. Revamping our home and personal care routines ♻️ with sustainability in mind. We're doing a mini audit of the single-use supplies (like makeup wipes and produce baggies) and making a note to upgrade to reusable when we can. Have "tiny tips" (small sustainability changes you're making)? Tell us here and we'll share them in next week's newsletter. 💌
  3. Embracing an "intimate minimalism" approach to our home. 🏡  We hadn't heard the phrase until reading this piece, but we like that it makes room to make our homes both lived-in and healthily clutter-free.
  4. Matching from head to toe. 🤗 "Outdoor voices strikes again — this time with something a little more cozy and laid back. I got the Nimbus Cotton Sweatpants and matching hoodie in white recently and when I tell you they're soft, I *really* *REALLY* mean it." - Olivia R. 

  5. Turning 30 and getting a back massager. 🤷‍♀️ "Now that I've turned 30, this is what I get excited about... a portable back massager that I'm eyeing. 😂 I recently got this one for some end-of-day knots that were preventing me from getting a good night's sleep and I've felt much better since." - Alisha 
sponsor spotlight: Schmidt's

We used to avoid these when we were kids... 🧺

...but chores are a highlight of the week these days. And now we've made the switch to Schmidt's for home care products that are plant-based AND effective.

  • For laundry day: We're using Schmidt's Laundry Detergent because it's super gentle on our winter sweaters while getting the peskiest stains out.
  • For every day: We're using Schmidt's Cleaning Vinegar to clean up after hosting a gathering, baking our favorite cookies, or using our favorite, super messy bath bomb.
Working on incorporating gentler cleaning products into your 2020 home rituals? Find Schmidt's new home care product line at your local Whole Foods.

 this week's team try-it 

our picks from our sponsors 😍

"After months of being disappointed by products that promise to nourish your skin but leave your face feeling ~unchanged,~ I recently had a brightness breakthrough with Dime Beauty's Serum Set. The Vitamin C, B, E + Ferulic Acid Serum (left) noticeably upped my skin's glow after about a week, and I love how clean and quenching the 100% Hyaluronic Acid Serum (right) is for my skin. Major 🔑: I realized it's less expensive to buy the set rather than the individual serums, which is great because I've been enjoying using them in tandem." - Jenna
On top of that, GNI Readers get 20% off the Serum Set with promo code "GNI" this week.

smart reads of the week

from the GNI Team
You don't need us to tell you making friends as an adult is harder than it used to be. 👯‍♀️ Back in the day, you probably had less responsibilities and more time to invest in your friendships. Fast forward to now — everyone's more spread out, and the real world can really take it out of you. If you're working on deepening your friendships this year, the key to closeness might be consistency, responsiveness, and a few other helpful tips you can find here

Are you trying a Dry January? ☕️ Or maybe you're looking for a more long-term approach to drinking or sobriety? We've had sober-curiosity on the brain lately (and we've heard from many of you that you have too), which is why we're reading this reflection on what changes in your life – from dating to friend hangouts – when you make the switch. 

Let's talk about the grooming gap. 😤 Womxn spend *a lot* of time getting ready, and it's because there's a lot of pressure to look some type of way no matter where we're going — to work, to school, or even just to the grocery store to procure a pint of ice cream before bed. This piece, about what "looking the part" ultimately ends up costing women (55 minutes of their day, for instance) is a fascinating exploration of how womxn and especially womxn of color are paid less when they don't fit society's (often racist) beauty standards.

Horny for soup this time of year? You're not the only one. 🍲 There's a reason that the collective (your friends, your roommate, and everyone on your Instagram feed) is all in on this four-letter word, and it's not just because it's chilly. Here's how soup became trendy

It's hard not to have Internet things on the brain lately. 👩‍💻 If you, too, got a deluge of Privacy Policy updates over the New Year, you might be thinking about how you can minimize your digital footprint or take more care online. This piece provides some helpful tips for digital organization and safety, and in 2020, we feel pretty good about incorporating that into our taking-care routines. (Note: It's not as fun as other types of vegging out but we think it's still a worthwhile pursuit.)

🍿 Bonus read: This ~fashun~ piece will basically turn you into a March sister
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