Unless you are living under a rock, I am sure you have seen the phrase ‘hot girl summer’ thrown around at least once this summer. With COVID mandates lifting in time for summer, women across the world have adopted this phrase as their summer-time mantra––myself included!
The woman best known for coining the term is the queen herself, Megan Thee Stallion. In an interview with Root, the American singer and songwriter explained the mindset behind the song. Stating:
*Que the applause*
Although Megan laid out the OG code for this mantra, the essence of being a true ~hot girl~ is simply whatever you want it to be. With summer already halfway over, I wanted to reflect on my experience so far and define what hot girl summer has meant to me.
When you feel good, you look good!
To me, the meaning behind hot girl culture is about being in the alignment of feeling good. Feeling good about yourself, who you surround yourself with, your health, your relationships, your job, and overall – your state of being. When you feel good about all these things, your inner light becomes illuminated which will outwardly radiate onto yourself and others.
This mindset will then allow you to be the ultimate hot girl – confident, unapologetic, fun, and supportive of herself and others.
Hot girl summer? More like healing girl summer!
As I am sure you can guess this mindset is, of course, WAY, WAY easier said than done. In the months leading up to summer, I was in no way aligned with feeling good. If anything, I was subconsciously aligned with feeling bad.
Along with many other people, the pandemic really put a constant damper on my overall mood. In addition, I was consistently feeding into toxic behavior, people, and thought patterns and neglected my mental and physical health. In other words, I was a ball of stress, anxiety, and negative energy. Nothing was hot about it.
When summer approached, I knew it was time for a complete mindset makeover. I decided this would be a ~healing~ girl summer for me. Within this, I have found that being in the alignment of feeling good takes a lot more than simply putting on a face mask and reading a self-help book. It requires an immense amount of healing and self-work on a magnitude of levels.
However, after two months into my healing girl summer, I have already noticed a significant change in my energy. In fact, I haven’t felt this good in a long time. Although healing looks different for everyone, I wanted to share some tips that anyone can benefit from this summer.
1. Vitamin D
Get! In! The! Sun!
I am sure you have all heard the old cliche saying that sunshine is the best form of medicine. As someone who spent most of their days stuck indoors doing online school, I rarely spent time in the sun. However, once summer came along, I found a lot of solitude and contentment by just increasing my time beneath the sun’s rays.
Turns out, this point is further validated by science. Studies show that sunlight and darkness trigger the brain to release hormones. Natural sunlight increases the release of serotonin, which is known as the happy hormone. This helps you to have a better mood, as well as feel focused and calm.
2. Physical movement
In addition to spending more time in the sun, I also forced myself into the routine of going on daily walks. The physicality of this also contains the same mood-boosting properties as vitamin D exposure. Studies linked to mental health and exercise state that physical movement:
“Releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. It can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.”
Meanwhile, the internet has shown that I am not the only one who has taken a liking to the benefits of power walks this summer. Across social media platforms including Tik Tok and Twitter users are naming this as the ‘Hot Girl’ walk.
3. Watch what media you absorb
Another cliche I am sure you have heard before is “you are who you surround yourself with.” While this largely has to do with the type of people you are immersed with (which I will get into next), I also believe that you are also a product of what you surround yourself with. In this case, the type of media you choose to engage in.
In today’s technology-driven world, we are constantly absorbing all types of media throughout the day. Much of the media we listen, watch, and scroll through are voluntary. Meaning we control what type of music, shows, and social content feeds we engage in.
Before I began my healing girl summer journey, I realized a large amount of media I voluntarily engaged in was negative. In fact, I almost always got ready for a true-crime podcast, listened to sad music in the car, and followed far too many IG models with unrealistic body types than I needed to.
If you’re not aware of the type of media you’re typically skewed towards, it is definitely worth checking out. Replacing my negative media consumption with inspirational podcasts, happy/upbeat music, and motivational Instagram accounts was a simple, but incredibly effective favor I did for my mindset.
4. Unfollow people IRL
To speak the obvious, it is way easier to unfollow a toxic Instagram account than it is to actually disconnect with someone in real life. However, it is even more important that you unsubscribe from the negative contributors in your real life. The people you surround yourself with are a direct reflection of who you are; if they are always bringing negativity to the table, chances are you are internalizing that.
For me, this took analyzing my personal friendships that were no longer in line with the person I wanted to become. People change and sometimes we outgrow the parts of ourselves that once made a friendship compatible. Everyone’s path of personal growth is different. Some people’s paths may intersect positively with our own, and some people’s may intersect negatively. Ultimately creating a stump in our road to personal transformation. Allowing myself permission to remove the friendships that were serving as roadblocks was the hardest, but most loving thing I have done for myself.
All of the things I mentioned above are forms of self-care. However, in this context, I mean investing time or money into things that help you care for yourself. Learning how to manage both money and time has always been something I struggled with, so at the beginning of summer, I created a list of how I would spend both wisely. Everyone’s idea of self-care is different, what’s on my list will differ from yours. But, I encourage you to make room for products, services, and commitments that make you feel your best.
Call it what you want
Summer is whatever you make it to be and so is your mindset. As we approach the end of July, these are the things that have made up what I call my healing, happy, healthy, and hot girl summer.