You know "hot girl summer" but have you heard of "that girl" on TikTok? I hopped on this wellness trend and here's what I learnt after six months.
I’ll never be a morning person because I love being a night owl. There’s something about quiet roads and no one nagging at me to do chores that makes me appreciate being awake late at night. I feel more productive being able to read, watch videos, reply to emails and grocery shop at night. The con of being a night owl? I can’t concentrate during the day because I’m always half-awake. A normal day means jumping out of bed 10 minutes prior to my morning meetings, telling Heather Robertson I’ll work out the next day instead because I’m still tired, and dreading cooking dinner for my family before finally relaxing at night.
With this lifestyle, I soon realised I needed help. I was falling into a vicious cycle of revenge bedtime procrastination, where I refused to sleep because I valued having control of my time during those late nights. Every morning, I told myself I’d stop going to bed past 1am but I didn’t actually do it. I’m sure some of you can resonate with me! I knew I had to find a natural rhythm that would flow with my lifestyle because I was mentally and physically exhausted.
It was time for real change – I was determined to succeed at waking up early and enjoying my mornings.
Later on, I discovered I was actually (unknowingly) attempting the routine of “that girl” – you know, the trend you’ve probably seen all over TikTok.
ICYMI: Who’s “that girl” on TikTok?
Just search #thatgirl on TikTok and you’ll find these types of videos have almost 900 million views. If TikTok isn’t your thing, head over to YouTube where you can find users uploading their ultimate guides to this trend as well.
So who exactly is “that girl” and how do you become like her? I found out that she loves to start her mornings anywhere from 4am to 6am. She meditates, writes in her “five-minute journal”, hits the gym and has a vegan protein shake – all before starting her day at work or school. To summarise, she romanticises her life in a way that makes doing even mundane things like chores look enjoyable. Be warned: the trend mostly features girls living aesthetic lives. But I don’t blame them, because those videos motivated me.
Curious, I asked my girlfriends what they thought about the trend. One of them told me she was satisfied with her usual 15-minute meditation and breakfast. She thought attempting it wouldn’t be as aesthetically pleasing with her Moccona instant coffee. Another said she found it tough trying to incorporate meditation or journaling in the early mornings. To her, this trend is a double-edged sword. It inspires you to improve, but it can also leave you unmotivated when real life doesn’t turn out to be as aesthetically pleasing (and let’s be honest, when is it ever?).
My first attempt ended in procrastination
Truth be told, waking up earlier was a New Year’s resolution for me since 2019. Clearly, I had been procrastinating. It’s now 2021 and I finally decided to put some effort into achieving this goal. After feeling inspired by Pinterest boards and morning routine YouTube videos, I decided to wake up at 6am one Monday morning – three hours earlier than my usual alarm. Even though I awoke groggily and considered snoozing in, I soldiered on.
Blogilates’ Cassey Ho pushed me throughout my workout, though I did almost mute her because the last thing I needed was someone chirpy telling me to enjoy my 6am sesh. Next, I decided to make myself a healthy breakfast: avocado toast with only a quarter of an avocado (because calories, right?). I almost dozed off multiple times throughout the day and ended up taking an emergency power nap.
The habit didn’t last long because I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to wake up early and “torture” themselves. No prizes for guessing who procrastinated on her goal again.
Tip: create your own version of “that girl”
After all that stalling, I knew I had to find something that would work for me. I highly recommend you start waking up earlier gradually. I spent approximately two months conditioning my body to wake up at 8.30am, 7.30am and, finally, 6am.
Being “that girl” doesn’t necessarily mean you only eat healthy food like overnight oats or salads. I love cooking so I wanted to make food that made me happy. Some days, I took my avocado toast one notch up and doused it with truffle oil. Other days, I made my own burgers with buttery brioche buns.
I also stopped forcing myself to try and be like other girls. I bid goodbye to podcasts and long meditations because I just couldn’t appreciate them. Interestingly, it didn’t take me long to realise I had fallen in love with being a morning person. Of course, there were definitely days where I still snoozed and woke up at 9am, and other days where I ate avocado toast without truffle oil. What’s important is that you find what you love if you’re exploring this lifestyle.
Lesson learnt: Adjust trends to fit you
Who doesn’t enjoy a good sunrise with pink or amber skies? Waking up early made me feel present and grateful. One morning, my parents said they felt so blessed waking up to a breakfast already prepared for them – that almost made me tear. I’ve since made it a point to whip up breakfast for them whenever I can. I’ve also outdone myself and tried so many new recipes for dinner!
These days, I wake up feeling refreshed for early morning hikes with friends. Most importantly, this whole journey has made me feel lighter and calmer. You know how we have those negative 2am thoughts? The 6am thoughts are actually more positive and subconsciously made me happier.
Friends find it amazing that I now wake up this early, but really, it took me three months of procrastinating and experimenting to get to where I am. Ultimately, you’re in control, so don’t force yourself to conform to trends that don’t fit your personality or preference. After all, my main goal was to wake up earlier in the morning – everything else was a delightful bonus.
Oh, and one thing I’ve learnt while trying to be “that girl”? Take it slow and appreciate everything – even the unevenly sliced avocados.
Got a trend you’re trying out? Tell us about it: DM us @Honeycombers!