Ashley Tisdale is about as different as can be from her well-known High School Musical character Sharpay Evans. In real life, she’s a hike-loving, meditation-doing, regular girl who deals with stress and anxiety just like the rest of us. One outlet for her stress? Her lovable Maltipoo Maui, who, like her mother, also suffers from anxiety at times. Here’s how Tisdale keeps both of their nerves at a manageable level.
On her exercise routine
“I like to exercise five times a week, and I feel like that helps me stay really strong and also less stressed,” Tisdale tells Health. One of her favorite ways to fit in a workout is by hiking with her pup. “It really helps to clear my mind, and I love to be outdoors in Los Angeles.”
On the importance of meditation
During fashion week, Tisdale posted a video on Instagram on her way to a fashion show, and mentioned that while going to events like those can cause her anxiety to spike, listening to music helps her calm down.
Another self-care strategy she swears by? Meditation. Tisdale meditates daily with 10 minutes of mindfulness each morning, and tries not to have too much caffeine. “I’m a huge coffee lover, but it actually makes me more anxious, so I just do one cup and meditation,” she explains.
Want to meditate like Ashley? Head to iTunes and search for DEN Meditation—they’re recorded by Tal Rabinowitz, founder of L.A. meditation studio The DEN. “It is honestly the best thing– I’ve cried every single time,” she reveals. “I can’t even explain to you…you get through something and you feel so much better.”
On her desert island beauty product
As the woman behind makeup brand Illuminate Cosmetics, Tisdale knows a thing or two about the products that really matter. One she can’t live without? Oil. She prefers coconut oil, since “you can use it on your face, your skin and your hair,” she says. Her fave is Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ($9; amazon.com).
On styling her iconic haircut
For her thick, curly strands, Tisdale recommends SexyHair Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner ($18; ulta.com), which she says helps revive damage. “I have really processed hair, obviously—my color has gone from brunette to blonde in a couple of months, so I like to deep condition it.”
She loves her short hair, though, noting that it gets even better the longer she goes in between washes. “The best thing with short haircuts is that you’re able to leave it a couple of days,” she says. Her go-to tool: a small curling iron that can create her trendy bends. (We love this one from Sutra.)
On her idea of self-care
“I like to take a bath,” says Tisdale, adding that she’ll put bath lavender or bath salts in the tub to elevate the experience. We like Pursoma After The Class Bath Salts ($34; net-a-porter.com) because they’re packed with magnesium, lavender, and essential oils for ultimate relaxation.
On how she gets Maui to calm down
Little known fact: dogs can suffer from anxiety. Tisdale describes her own pup’s panic episodes as just what you would expect from a human—shallow breathing, shaking, the works. To keep Maui at ease, Tisdale has discovered Happy Hempies ($30 for 30 treats; bestbullysticks.com), a CBD-laced dog treat that leave her canine at ease. (Tisdale is an ambassador for the brand.) “It’s the best way to keep her calm,” she says.
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