I have a few things that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who will listen to me: the fancy Medjool dates from Trader Joe’s, my acupressure mat, the book Station Eleven. And for the past few months, I’ve added Girls’ Night In to that list.
Girls’ Night In (GNI) is an email newsletter that goes out every Friday, and it’s dedicated to all things self-care and the joy of staying in. Expect to get a blend of product recommendations, buzzworthy conversation topics, and a few #longreads to kill those last few hours at your desk.
It’s no secret around here that I love the written word, and I have a special fascination with email newsletters in particular (in no small part because I have occasionally tried to force my friends to read my own recaps of The Bachelor by spamming their inboxes with my long-winded musings). The feeling of writing a long, thought-out email and then sending it into the internet is a special kind of vulnerability—will anyone respond? Is someone going to get that obscure Drake lyric? Did I misspell occasionally?
But GNI has taken a traditionally one-way communication—the email—and brought it into a real life community. That feat is exactly why I decided I wanted to interview Olivia Rogine for our feature on community.
Olivia is the Community and Experiences Lead at Girls’ Night In, meaning she’s responsible for bringing GNI experiences to life and create a community where members can build meaningful connections (not unlike a #Sweatworking event).
Ironically, Olivia’s own self-care suffered when she first began to get involved with GNI. After cold-emailing GNI founder Alisha Ramos (a move I personally identified with, since that’s how I connected with Jeana way back when), Olivia began working part-time as a GNI Book Club host. But as her passion and involvement with GNI ramped up, so did her full-time work life, leading to Olivia burning the candle at both ends and neglecting her self-care priorities.
Now that she’s full-time at GNI, Olivia is dedicated to building an inclusive, diverse community of GNI readers.
“The most important thing in building a community is building that common ground with inclusivity and empathy,” she explained to me, when I asked . “Making those introductions, finding people that have commonalities, and introducing community members to one another”—those all go a long way in turning Internet strangers into real-life buddies.
And as far as Olivia’s own goals that she’s working towards? This year, she’s all about taking control over her personal finance—a form of what we referred to as “boring self-care.” That goal led us to talking about how self-care is often viewed as a privileged activity; after all, the people who can take part in the most Insta-friendly self-care routines (you know EXACTLY which face mask and bubble bath posts I’m talking about) have the free time and the budget to do that performative self-care.
But, Olivia pointed out, some of the most important self-care we do is free and wouldn’t be that interesting to post about. Olivia, for example, loves meal planning and taking her time writing her grocery list, cooking, and knowing that she’s nourishing her body for the week ahead—a ritual she developed as a child growing up in an agricultural community.
I could go on and on about the intersection of self-care and community, but I think it’ll be easier for you to listen to the episode yourself. You can listen to the podcast here, on iTunes, Spotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts. Like us? Let us know! Leave us a rating or a review; it’d mean the world to us.
And if you’re obsessed with self-care and staying in on a Friday night, a) we were meant to be friends, and b) you can sign up for the Girls’ Night In newsletter right here (don’t be surprised if you find yourself forwarding the newsletters to your besties every single week), and fall instantly in love with their Instagram @girlsnightinclub.