How Having A Mindfulness Ritual Changed My Life and Made Me Into 'That Girl' | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

‘Mindfulness’ has been a buzzword in recent times since the pandemic has caused us to solitarily reflect on the past and subsequent future of our lives. But it’s more than a pandemic trend | Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

Being ‘That Girl’ is more than just a pandemic TikTok trend and is surprisingly one of the most useful things we can learn and apply from the app. The pandemic has started us off on a couple of things – from aesthetics to the billion microtrends that have been conceived by the internet. ‘That Girl’ is commonly known as someone who wakes up at the crack of dawn to make her kale and spinach smoothie, go to a spin class or pilates (with a baby pink yoga mat), and keeps a Moleskine journal in her Marc Jacobs tote bag. She’s the TikTok-birthed wellness archetype that has been popping up in our timelines while we envy her picture-perfect lifestyle and wonder how she can afford a hundred green juices a month.

But we can learn a thing or two from her. I started my mindfulness (or ‘That Girl’) ritual in the middle of 2021 and have been religiously upholding it since. I’ve become a firm believer because of how it changed my outlook on life and my mindset on the inner workings of my day, which ultimately affected my life for the better. But there’s one big difference between a TikTok trend we mindlessly follow and an actual, working ritual that becomes a part of your everyday.

Routine VS Ritual

One of the ‘That Girl’ things is reading more books, specifically self-help books. What comes to mind when hearing self-help is probably Atomic Habits by James Clear or The Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I admit I’m guilty of reading the latter, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the difference I’ve learned is a valuable lesson that casts a difference between routine and ritual. This was introduced to me by famed modern Stoic author Ryan Holiday in his 2019 publication, Stillness Is The Key.

There’s a simple line that defines both phenomenons apart and that’s the attitude behind the action. A routine is as mechanical as it can get; you’re working part of an assembly line where you sometimes feel like a mindless robot that works behind the ‘means to an end’ notion. But, a ritual is backed by the intention and mindfulness of the practice. Routines are entirely fragile; one misstep and you feel vulnerable as if your day isn’t complete without doing it. Rituals are more like disciplined practices that you do daily that enrich the quality of life and don’t leave you feeling more vulnerable than before you started. To make things clearer: drinking green juice at 7 in the morning every day? A routine. Eating and drinking healthily regularly? A ritual.

Personal Journey

I have undoubtedly struggled with finding the ritual that works for me the most, and I still am. Being a rehabilitated-OCD individual, it’s a very deep hostility that burns in the back of my brain when I don’t follow my routine at the exact time of day it’s supposed to happen. But that has since changed as I grew to accept the uncontrollable and unexpected nature of life; that I can’t live linearly with an inflexible attitude. 

After months of a work-in-progress ritual, I’ve found what works best for me, and maybe could be a blueprint to try out for you! Bonus: I’ve included where I shop for local mindfulness goods to help you start out!

  1. Early Morning Wake-up: I try my very best to wake up (and get out of bed– two very different things) as early as I intend to start my day, usually at 7 in the morning. Trust me, early birds do get the worm. Waking up early doesn’t just let you get more things done and be productive (Remember, productivity is subjective! It doesn’t just mean ticking off deadlines.), it revives you with a brighter and clearer energy than a sluggish midday start-off.
  2. Crystal Healing: I know this may be a zeitgeist for the social media microtrends age but it works well enough for me. The use of crystals is an alternative healing method to put your mind, body, heart, and soul in harmony– and yes, it may seem skeptical but the juju has kept me in check since I started. Rituals are a very personal part of one’s life, so don’t be fazed by what anyone else says if it works for you. My personal favorites are citrine (success), rainbow fluorite (mind clarity), and blue tiger’s eye (peace) that I jointly use for the next step of my ritual.

    There are tons of local crystal shops both online and offline, but I personally get mine from

  3. Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy plays a big part in invigorating my sensory track parallel to my ritual. I usually light a candle to set the mood (My favorites are from Saan Saan), spritz a room spray to enliven the space (I personally use Louis Mireille Parfums), spray a smokeless sage to cleanse the aura (Love the one from NINMA) and perform palm inhalation with my favorite essential oil blend (Pandiwa Shop’s is the best for me). While this may seem extensive at first glance, it has truly helped in calming my senses and putting me in the right headspace to kick off my day and my mindfulness ritual.

    Supporting small local businesses while supporting my mindfulness journey with Saan Saan, NINMA, Louis Mireille Parfums, and Pandiwa Shop.

  4. Visualization Meditation and Restorative Yoga: As I sit on my yoga mat cross-legged, I start a 10-15 minute meditation that focuses on visualization. When I first started off, I took pointers from Headspace’s guided visualization meditation, but they have tons of other types that you can choose from based on what you need. Personally, my meditation includes visualizing my highest self with manifestations and affirmations while setting my intentions out in the universe, as it slowly becomes a reality in my daily life. I cap it off with a 20-minute restorative or yin yoga routine to stretch out my limbs while enhancing my mental focus and balancing my emotions. Try out Sjana Elise’s guided restorative yoga routine
  5. Journaling: Probably the easiest to start off with if you’re looking for an entryway into your mindfulness routine, journaling is one of my favorite parts of the day. Personally, there are no rules when it comes to journaling; you can write whatever you need to get off; like your own book of personal truths. You can write your manifestations, intentions, rants, or even just how your day went– all to reflect on while you’re on the journey of taking small steps for the betterment of life. Plus, all you need is a notebook and a pen.

My best advice to start off your mindfulness journey is to begin where you’re comfortable with and what fits your daily schedule the most. Don’t be pressured into doing everything all at once or you’ll end up overwhelmed and probably be left vulnerable with restricting and unsustainable routines. Remember that being mindful starts with your intentions and realizing them in your life and reality, it’s not another laundry list of tasks to check off at the end of the day. 

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