TikTok’s viral “that girl” trend has received an endless amount of criticism from all corners of the internet, but what if I told you that leaning into this movement could actually improve your life?
As opposed to glorifying repulsive and unproductive behavior showcased by the latest “goblin mode” craze, let’s focus on becoming the best version of ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. The trend “that girl” became so widely discussed at its peak last year because of its ability to motivate others to wake up early, move their body, get work done, and prioritize self-care. In my opinion, there’s nothing “toxic” about that at all.
Similar to romanticizing your work-from-home routine, the quintessential “that girl” makes the most of every task, no matter how mundane. When getting ready for bed, she has certain systems in place that she looks forward to because she knows they’re essential to her growth as a woman. Her extensive nighttime routine guarantees that she’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything the day throws at her.
The criticism that surrounds the “that girl” trend and the general problem is when wellness becomes obsessive or makes you feel like you can’t possibly measure up to the expectations of the challenge. However, much like social media in general, you have to take each photo and video posted with a grain of salt. Take note of which tasks excite and motivate you and, alternatively, those that make you feel drained.
Today, I’m sharing 15 tips for how to go to sleep like “that girl.” Now, here’s the catch: you don’t have to implement them all (or all at once) to see a positive impact. These are simply suggestions and small steps toward setting up your evening routine in a way that's going to optimize your sleep and rejuvenate you for the day that follows. With that in mind, let’s get into it.
1. Premake Lemon Water for the Morning
If you aren’t a fan of lemon, you can swap it out for mixed berries, fresh mint, or ginger to have the same spa-like effect. Either way, waking up to a beautiful pitcher or hydro flask of flavorful, refreshing water is a foolproof way to ensure that you’ll get your essential 16 ounces first thing in the morning.
2. Take 5-10 Minutes To Tidy Up
Load the dishes into the dishwasher, wipe down your countertops, empty out your purse, start a load of laundry, or tidy up whatever mess the day brought about. Although it only takes a few minutes, tiny tasks like this make a world of difference.
Rather than going to bed with your house in disarray, you can rest easy knowing that your space is neat and organized. It will also help you feel more relaxed the next morning since you’ll have a *literal* clean slate to start your day.
You can rest easy knowing that your space is neat and organized for the next day.
3. Wind Down with Sleepytime Tea
I don’t know about you, but I get the sense that I’m becoming a responsible, real-life adult when I curl up in bed with a warm mug of sleepytime tea and a good book by 9pm. Old me would laugh at how boring that sounds, but these days, once my 1 year old retires to bed, I take it as my opportunity to wind down, prioritize self-care, and focus on rest.
4. Slip into a Silky Pajama Set
How luxurious do you feel when you slip into a soft, silky pajama set at the end of a long day? Since I can remember, I have been very thoughtful about choosing pretty, matching pajamas that make me feel polished while walking around the house (and, yes, to my mailbox sometimes too).
Regardless of the fact that you may be the only one who sees them, isn’t it enough to want to feel cute when you catch your reflection in the bathroom mirror?
My current favorite pajama set, complete with feathers, is linked here!
5. Don’t Skimp On Your Skincare Routine
I know it can be tempting to skip your skincare routine when it’s late and you’re exhausted from the day. From personal experience, however, me and the giant pimple currently living rent free on my chin can tell you that it never pays off.
Taking the time to wash your face and gently massage oils and serums in is not only good for the health of your skin, but it feels incredibly indulgent. If you have a reasonable 3 or 4 step skincare routine, it should only take a few minutes and is always worth the radiant glow.
If you have a reasonable 3 or 4 step skincare routine, it should only take a few minutes.
6. Mist Your Pillowcases with Lavender
“Okay, now you’ve gone too far, Anna” – I can hear it now. This may seem over the top and unnecessary, but I think you’d be surprised to learn just how easy and inexpensive this hack is.
For less than $13 on Amazon, you can add this simple step into your bedtime routine to feel extra bougie and get the calming aromatherapy benefits of lavender essential oil.
7. Organize Your Vitamins for Efficiency
If your nighttime vitamins are jumbled up in your medicine cabinet alongside your morning vitamins, medicine, and other random items you use occasionally, it can feel overwhelming. Having no organization can suck up more time than necessary or cause you to skip taking them altogether.
Use a clear organization bin to hold your vitamins along with your sleepytime tea, a mug, and your hydro flask/pitcher for lemon water. Having all of these items in one place is a great way to habit stack and ensure that you’ve got a system to remind you of each step while winding down for bed.
8. Turn Down the Lights
Make it a nightly ritual to close the blinds, pull the curtains shut, and dim (or turn off) the artificial lights in your home after dinner. I like to think of this as “closing up shop” for the day. In the mornings, I do the opposite and leisurely stroll through the house to open all of the blinds and draw the curtains back to let natural light in.
These habits are a wonderful way to stay in sync with your circadian rhythm and provide your body with cues that it’s time for sleep/awakening.
If you’re not quite ready for bed yet, light a couple of candles for a soft, warm ambiance throughout the house. Just don’t forget to blow them out before bed!
9. Complete A 5-Minute Yoga Video or Meditation
Is there anything that represents “that girl” more than doing a yoga flow or meditation in the morning? Well, I’d argue that it’s just as important to add this step into your bedtime routine.
End your day with a relaxing yoga video (there are tons of free ones on YouTube) or a guided meditation via an app on your phone. If you have trouble falling asleep at night because your mind is racing with anxious thoughts, this little hack may just be the trick you need for restful sleep.
If yoga or meditation isn’t your thing, try listening to a soothing playlist while you complete your skincare routine and de-stress from the day.
10. Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
While blue light blocking glasses are certainly trendy (and usually very cute), they’re also an excellent way to hack your way to better sleep. According to research, blue light exposure wrecks your body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin which is what you need to fall asleep easily and stay asleep through the night.
Wear your blue light blocking glasses two to three hours before bedtime as you are winding down so that your body can naturally adjust and begin producing melatonin.
Blue light exposure wrecks your body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin.
11. Swap Out the TV for a Book in Bed
Ending the day with a book gives you a much-needed break from screens and technology. Reading will help further reduce blue light exposure in addition to making you feel more productive and fulfilled.
Rather than watching a mind-numbing show while simultaneously scrolling on TikTok, or getting wrapped up in a serial killer documentary that is sure to give you nightmares, grab a romance novel or the latest Colleen Hoover book to help you fall asleep faster.
12. Invest in a Mindful Wake-Up Call
Swap out your phone alarm for a sunrise alarm clock or the Hatch. Not only will this switch ensure that you’re not being jolted awake by the blaring sirens of your phone alarm, but it will also be much easier to keep your phone out of the bedroom entirely.
When you wake up without your phone, you’re much less likely to waste time in bed scrolling aimlessly and getting inundated with other people’s lives. I like to put my phone away at my desk after dinner and make it a rule to leave it until after I’ve had my morning coffee the following day. Try this for a week and watch your mental health drastically improve.
13. Elevate Your Pillowcases
You’ve probably heard a million times by now that you should invest in silk pillowcases for the health of your hair and skin, but I’m here to drive the point home. Sliding into bed with fresh sheets and soft, silky pillowcases to lay your head on is a blissful feeling like no other.
Silk pillowcases don’t have to be expensive either, I got mine on Amazon for $25 and I’ve used them for the past four years.
14. Pick Out Your Outfit for the Next Day
Make it a habit to choose your outfit for the next day before hopping into bed – even if you work from home. If your goal is to work out in the morning, place a cute activewear set beside your bed along with your sneakers so you’re forced to get dressed before talking yourself out of the task.
When you’re not required to make any immediate decisions upon waking up, it makes your life easier and your morning flow more effortlessly.
When you’re not required to make any immediate decisions upon waking up, it makes your morning flow more effortlessly.
15. Put Pen to Paper and Journal for 5 Minutes
If you own the incredibly popular 5-minute journal, you know that there's an evening section that prompts you to fill in “3 amazing things that happened” that day and answer the question “How could I have made today even better?”
As you complete your evening half of the journal, you’re also reminded of the affirmations, goals, and notes of gratitude you wrote down that morning. I think it’s such an amazing way to end your day and bring your focus back to gratitude and self-improvement, no matter how the past 24 hours unfolded.
“That girl” isn’t so intimidating after all, is she? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to prioritize your mental, physical, and emotional health in the pursuit of a happier life. Next time you wind down for bed, start by implementing one new habit and work your way down the list as you feel comfortable.
By demonstrating that you value self-care and good sleep hygiene, the confidence and inspiration you feel will begin carrying over into other areas of your life. If you want to reach your goals and improve your overall happiness, the journey to begin is only one lemon water away. Sis, you got this.
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