Healthy Living

How to Become “That Girl” By Summer

consider this your guide to glow up
that girl"
that girl
Source: @cottonon_usa
Source: @cottonon_usa

If you’ve scrolled through TikTok or Instagram in the past year, you’ve probably seen the “That Girl” trend: 30-second highlight reels of “that girl” waking up at 5:30 a.m., DIYing a green juice, and strapping on ankle weights to take a hot girl walk. It’s the wellness influencer’s version of the “it girl;” the girl who checks everything off on her wellness to-do list, prioritizes her health over a Netflix binge or late-night sweet tooth, and always seems to have a perfect clean-girl manicure and slicked back bun.

While TikTok would suggest its own definition of “that girl,” we’d like to suggest a different one. “That girl” is not a person, a list of wellness trends, or an aesthetic—it’s a feeling. It’s an energy you tap into to put yourself first and relentlessly focus on both healing and self-improvement. It’s leading with self-confidence first and foremost. “That girl” should not be limited to a content creator who posts about salmon and rice bowls, or the wellness influencer whose tips are supposed to inspire you but actually make you stressed out. “That girl” embodies living your best life and prioritizing your best self–in whatever way that looks like to you. Since summer is “that girl” season (hot girl summer WYA), it offers the perfect refresh to tap into “that girl” energy to prioritize yourself and fall in love with your life. If you want to tap into your highest self by summer, here are 11 easy ways you too can be “that girl.” 

“That girl” is not a person, a list of wellness trends, or an aesthetic—it’s a feeling.

1. Set aside time for yourself every day

Social media may have you believing that “that girl” loves waking up early in the morning, but if a 6 a.m. wake-up call isn’t your vibe, don’t do it. Hit snooze and instead, carve out a different time in your day to focus on yourself. Tap into best-self energy by setting aside any amount of time for yourself every day, whenever and however you fit it in. Spend the hour doing something that makes you feel amazing. For some, this might mean an in-depth morning or evening routine, while others might use their lunch break for a Dr. Joe Dispenza meditation, a walk listening to your favorite podcast, or running errands to get ahead on your to-do list. On those busy days when an hour feels impossible, bookend your days with you: starting your morning with a few deep breaths or stretching and ending your day with your favorite show or a quick skincare routine.

2. Frequently adjust your mindset

The most transformative routine you can do that takes no time at all: get into the habit of changing your mindset. Your mindset is the most powerful tool you have access to live your best life and become “that girl.” Your thoughts create your actions, and your actions create your reality, which means fine-tuning your belief system and internal dialogue can actually make the biggest changes in your life. Notice every time you think a limiting or negative thought (I hate this job, I’m too tired for this workout, I need to lose weight) and then choose a different one that serves you more (I’m learning so much in this current role I can apply to future positions, Is my body asking for a relaxing stretch session or would it actually feel good after some energizing movement?, I love my body for what it does for me and all its capable of).

Also practice gratitude consistently throughout the day so you get in the habit of living in a state of feeling in love with your life: fall in love with your cup of coffee, snuggles with your dog, or relaxing on the couch after a long day. Journaling is a great way to help uncover subconscious thoughts and feelings and to help acknowledge how you’re feeling in the moment. If writing every day feels overwhelming or if you’re short on time, try a quick meditation instead. This will also help you make a mind-body connection and is a great way to reset during your day.

3. Walk every day

Whether it’s the 12-3-30, Nordic walking, or cozy cardio, there’s no shortage of inspo to swap your HIIT workouts for softer ones. The CDC reports that 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week is linked to multiple health benefits, and consistent exercise has been shown to improve mood, boost energy, help you sleep, and increase longevity (all benefits that are crucial to living the “that girl” lifestyle). Taking walking breaks throughout the day to get outside or taking a meeting from your desk treadmill can also improve energy, creativity, and inspiration (all crucial factors for tapping into your best self as well!). Overall, aim to live less sedentarily (instead of working out more) and go for regular walks.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate 

Staying optimally hydrated is crucial for any glow-up or healthy routine. You may see “that girls” on social media sipping on sexy water (AKA fancy water with lots of supplements and lemon wedges) or green juice in the morning, which are great options if you’re ready to upgrade your routine. But the important part is to drink water and stay hydrated in whatever way feels best for you. Optimal hydration helps keep our energy levels high, skin glowing, and bodies feeling their best. While the amount needed varies from person to person, you can try a few recommendations: eight 8-ounce glasses, 1 gallon, 2 liters, or half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you’re struggling to meet your water intake goals, try these additives to spice things up.

The #1 key to becoming that girl” is not just investing in yourself, but knowing that you deserve to.

5. Wear what makes you feel good 

If there’s one thing we learned from Legally Blonde, you can accomplish anything with a good outfit. Elle Woods and “that girl” (perhaps one in the same) both know that the right clothes have the power to help you feel your best and get sh*t done. What makes you feel your best will look different for everyone. Whether it’s cargo pants and a graphic tee or a power suit, find an outfit formula or capsule wardrobe that feels like you. It’s not that wearing a good outfit makes you “that girl,” it’s about tapping into the “that girl” energy you already have within you. To quote Sarah Landry on The Everygirl Podcast, “You’re not a badass because you wear a blazer, you put on a blazer and it makes you feel like a badass.”

6. Consume content that inspires you

We live in a world where we’re constantly consuming content: catching up on articles in the AM, scrolling through social feeds during breaks at work, listening to music in the car, bingeing a Netflix show while eating, and reading a chapter of the latest BookTok rec before bed. And while some of the content we consume can be genuinely entertaining, others can be draining (read: the influencers’ feeds that make you feel like you’re not good enough or the mindless TV that sucks your energy).

Make the content you consume work for you, instead of against you. Become so obsessed with growing and learning that you’re instead constantly consuming content that helps you feel like your best self. Check out a self-improvement book, or put on an inspiring podcast while cooking dinner or running errands (consider it a powerful habit stack to learn while checking items off your to-do list). That also goes for your social media: curate your feeds so that every account you follow is inspiring, educating, or genuinely makes you feel good.

7. Make investing in yourself a routine

Whether it’s time, money, energy, or (ideally) a combination of all three, make it a habit to invest in yourself. Make decisions based on what would be a better investment for you. For example, is it a better investment in yourself to spend money on a night out with friends (an investment in joy!) or a night in (so you can spend money on something else that feels like more of an investment in you)? Is it a better investment in yourself to do a workout or take a rest day and do something relaxing? Spending time to pamper and care for yourself–whatever that means to you–can help improve body image, strengthen your body’s response to stress, and help you feel more positive overall. But the #1 key to becoming “that girl” is not just investing in yourself, but knowing that you deserve to.

8. Don’t check your phone for 30 minutes after waking up

“That girl” gets that it’s tempting to scroll as soon as you wake up, but she knows better. Checking your phone right after waking up readies your brain for distraction, and seeing or reading something that makes you feel bad or negative first thing in the morning can trigger your stress response. When the very first thing you do after waking up is answering emails or scrolling through TikTok, you’re starting the day focusing on everyone else besides yourself. Instead, start your morning with an inspirational podcast, a sweat session, repeating affirmations, or making your coffee and getting some sunlight. The way you start the day sets the tone for the rest of it.

9. Eat more protein

In case you missed it, protein is essential for building muscle, healing hormones, and keeping a healthy metabolism, and can also greatly affect your gut health. Bottom line: Protein is essential to optimize the body’s health. Rather than focusing on what not to eat, “that girl” focuses on what to eat, consuming a high-quality form of the macronutrient for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (don’t forget snacks too!) with a mix of other whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. If you’re tired of the same scrambled egg breakfast or grilled chicken lunch, add other sources like protein powder, legumes, and seeds (hemp, chia, flax) to your routine. For more ideas, check out high-protein breakfast recipes and dietician-approved snacks, as well as this easy protein hack and tips to get protein without eating meat.

10. Incorporate weightlifting into your workout routine

Forget the long-standing myth that lifting weights will make you bulky and that you have to become a gym rat to partake (also, can we revisit why it’s so bad to be “bulky” to begin with!? Let the body take up as much space as it needs to be healthy and live a happy life). Besides the physical advantages of strength training (building muscle and improving cardiovascular, joint, and bone health) it counts mood, mental health, and confidence-boosting as its benefits too, making it a phenomenal workout to feel your very best. Read our guide to weightlifting if you’re not sure where to start. Choose weights that feel challenging but won’t sacrifice your form. Depending on your fitness goals, lighter weights may be more beneficial for building muscular endurance while heavier weights can help you improve muscular strength.