There’s been a trend going around on TikTok for the better part of 2021 that talks about becoming ‘that girl’. Who is ‘that girl’? Well, it’s more of an arbitrary term used to describe the girl who, on the surface, has her sh*t together. The trend typically uses a series of aesthetic images and videos to display a morning routine that includes things such as waking up early, eating breakfast, making your bed, moving your body and journaling (to name a few). Just like anything on the internet, some videos are arguably better than others. Some people use this trend as an opportunity to promote a well-rounded healthy lifestyle by showing themselves fuelling their body with the food they need to make it through the day, moving their body in a way they enjoy, and spending time working on their mental health. Others, on the other hand, use this trend to promote an unhealthy or unattainable lifestyle.
Let’s face it, there are countless reasons why someone may not want (or be able) to become ‘that girl’. We all have different needs, different goals, and different things that are important to us, so it would be unrealistic to expect us all to have the same morning routine or time available in our day. We need to remove the idea of what our life should look like, and instead, focus on meeting our needs. If that looks like waking up at 5 am, that’s perfectly fine – if you do better when you wake up at 8 am, do that. The point is to listen to your own needs and do what works for you.
That’s where the GYST day comes into play.
A GYST day is a get your sh*t together day, which is sort of like a more attainable alternative to the TikTok ‘that girl’. This phrase was coined by the iconic Canadian YouTuber, Podcaster, Yoga instructor, and entrepreneur, Kalyn Nicholson when she began allocating one day a week to get caught up on anything she’s missed throughout the week and to get sh*t ready for the week ahead. The thing that we love is that a GYST day acknowledges that it’s okay if you don’t get to every little thing during the week. You always know that there will be an opportunity to get it done.
Let’s talk about routines
Before we get too far into the importance of a GYST day, let’s talk about routines. Whether you realize it or not, our lives are comprised of a series of rituals and habits we’ve formed along the way. When we combine a couple of them together, we have a routine. For example, the more you start waking up early, the more it becomes a habit for you. Combining waking up early with something like going to bed early or eating breakfast, then you’ve formed a routine. Routines pop up throughout our days, often without even realizing it. They can include things like eating your lunch outside or taking the same route to work every day. The more we do something, the more it begins to feel like second nature. The more you drive the same route to work, the less you’ll likely need to think about where to turn. The idea of implementing a GYST day is to form a routine of getting caught up on the things that weigh down our week.
Our days go by quickly, and it can easily feel like particular tasks, such as doing your laundry or vacuuming your home, just seem to pile up. Getting into the routine of having a GYST day relieves the pressure of needing to get your sh*t done during the week because you know you have dedicated time available. It can help to free up the time you’d otherwise spend vacuuming in the evenings and allow you to allocate to things such as a passion project. A GYST routine removes the question if something will get done or not, as well as the guilt if you don’t get to something during the week.
The framework of a GYST day is pretty straightforward: you get your sh*t together, whatever that looks like for you. The reality is that we’re all different people with different needs, so our GYST days will probably look different, too. A GYST day typically takes place one day a week (the day itself can change weekly if your schedule varies), and can include things such as grocery shopping for the week ahead, cleaning anything you didn’t get to during the week (cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, doing laundry, cleaning out your car, mowing the lawn, etc), meal prepping if you’re back in the office (or just don’t enjoy cooking on your lunch), and planning out your week ahead.
If you want to step it up a notch, use your GYST day to embrace the ‘that girl’ vibes and aesthetic. Give yourself one morning a week to prioritize your self-care, your mindset, and your physical health. This could look like starting your GYST day with a morning meditation, some yoga, and a big glass of water before you get into the tasks you’ve missed out on during the week.
Shop Digital Prints
Where to Begin
When you’re trying to build any habit, remember to start slowly. The faster you try to build a new habit, the harder it’ll be to stick with it. For example, if you currently wake up around 8 am, but you want to wake up at 5 am, it’s more sustainable to take it slowly. Progressively waking up earlier using 15-minute increments often makes it easier for someone to stick with it than if you just decided to set your alarm 3 hours earlier tomorrow. Use the same method with your GYST day. Instead of trying to do everything under the sun, start slowly. Pick one thing to clean, one thing food-related (whether that looks like grocery shopping or meal prep), and do one thing for yourself. Once you master that and get more comfortable, you can start adding more things to your routine if you wish.
The other thing to note about a GYST day is that if you don’t have a lot of time, just do one thing. Doing a little is better than not doing anything. Doing one thing is better than nothing. All you can ever do is your best, so do what you can and trust that is enough.
Finally, make it enjoyable. Most of us treat tidying as a chore – something we need to do even though we don’t want to and definitely don’t enjoy it. But what if we coupled an activity we hated with an activity we enjoyed? We’d likely find cleaning the kitchen to be more enjoyable if we watched our favourite movie, or threw a hair mask in first. Also, instead of looking at the activities as an obligation, try shifting your mindset. Is vacuuming the house the more enjoyable task? Absolutely not. But are you grateful to have a place to live? Yes. So focus on caring for something you’re grateful for, and try to make it as enjoyable as possible.
Will a GYST day magically solve all of your problems and make your life a million times better? Probably not. But it’s about forming a routine that helps to make things as easy as possible for you. Having food readily available so you don’t need to worry about cooking when you’re busy during the week. To have a plan to clean your space for the nights you’re too tired to do it. A GYST day is a tool, so use it like one.