The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Everyone knows “that girl.” You might be her, striving to be her, or hate her. She’s the girl who wakes up at the crack of dawn, drinks water, eats a balanced breakfast, makes time for ten minutes of gratitude journaling, does yoga, and walks her dogs before class even starts. She’s productive and that’s a fact! However, this trend of self-care has spiraled out of control. The core ideas of it are great: prioritize yourself, your health, and the things that make you happy. While many components of the trend are useful, it’s not realistic to force a lifestyle change onto yourself that greatly alters your physical and mental health. I’m going to break down how the “that girl” lifestyle can be used to implement healthier habits instead of making a 180 change to your life.
Food is fuel
Food is fuel and that’s something “that girl” gets right. She makes sure to get her breakfast in. Here is where the problem lies — it doesn’t always have to be egg whites and black coffee. Sometimes breakfast looks like microwaved oatmeal, a cheese stick, and yesterday’s Starbucks. Whatever it takes to fuel your body for a full day’s worth of work is good enough. However, cutting out foods isn’t prioritizing your health, it’s hurting it. Restricting your diet to fit a façade of someone else’s version of perfect is worthless, especially if the overarching idea is to prioritize yourself. Don’t eat the foods you don’t like and eat the ones you do like. It’s as simple as that. If change is important, try throwing in a few extra veggies during dinner or drinking a bit of water on your way to class. It’s the little things that help make drastic differences, not fad diets.
Productivity is key
Productivity means getting things done. “That girl” wakes up when the sun comes up, makes her bed, finishes a page in her Five Minute Journal, and has her plan for the day all written out. To some college students, this may be unrealistic. College life reflects in 9 a.m. bio classes, eating whenever you can (not when you want to), and rarely making it to the gym while also getting a good five hours of sleep after a long day of studying. How about setting your alarm clock fifteen minutes earlier or not hitting snooze? You don’t need to force yourself to wake up before the sun. It’s unrealistic to ask that of yourself.
We can take the things “that girl” does and fit them into our lifestyle as we see fit. I like making my bed in the morning because even if I get nothing else done in the day, I did one thing. I find accomplishing little goals I set for myself starts a wildfire in me, wanting to be as productive as I can for that day. As an early bird, it’s amazing to see what we can achieve during the time many of our peers are still slumbering in their warm beds. You might find enough time in the day to take fifteen minutes for yourself instead of rushing to get out the door in dirty leggings and untied shoes.
Don’t punish yourself with Fitness
Speaking of dirty leggings and untied shoes, every “that girl” TikTok or YouTube video displays picture-perfect girls being the fittest version of themselves. And I love that. I’ve always lived an active lifestyle and am the last person to tell you to stop going for your fitness goals. However, just because you missed a day, didn’t hit that personal record, or only did some stretching instead of a full 45 minutes on the StairMaster doesn’t mean you failed. There’s a great presence of failure if you don’t accomplish everything you plan for in the “that girl” lifestyle and fitness world. One day lost won’t change your progress.
My biggest struggle with the “that girl” lifestyle is its irony. This competitive nature of a self-care trend is hypocritical. Who are we competing against? Why can’t we compete with ourselves to be our own best version instead of striving to master the lifestyle of someone else? Instead of mirroring the trend, use it to find ways to improve your lifestyle. A trend that had intentions of encouraging good habits has found its way into building unhealthy habits. It’s not practical nor expected of college students to wake up early and get everything done. Would that be nice? Of course, but attempting to live a lifestyle we see reflected on social media when we have other factors like school and building relationships is debilitating to those who can’t get there. With the new year, let’s re-evaluate our desires to be “that girl” when “this girl” is enough.
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