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Ashley Tisdale gets brutally honest about coping with 'mom guilt' and anxiety: exclusive

The ‘High School Musical' alum and wellness entrepreneur is mom to daughter Jupiter, two

Ashley Tisdale gently smiles at a February 2023 benefit in Los Angees.
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Ashley Tisdale has a lot going on. The High School Musical alum, 38, founded her wellness brand, Frenshe in 2020, and welcomed her first child, daughter Jupiter Iris French, with husband Christopher French, in March 2021. One thing she needs to make it all work? Sleep.

"Sleep is so important. I tend to see that my anxiety can be a little bit spiked if I don't get good sleep. Being a mom and running the businesses that I have, I need all the sleep that I can get," she told HELLO! in an exclusive new interview.  

To empower others to form healthy habits for better sleep and health, the actress partnered with Natrol, which has launched a national giveaway of "Back on Track" packs that feature Natrol Melatonin supplements and Lavender Cloud products from Frenshe.

Since becoming a mom two years ago, the Disney Channel alum has had to carve out time to prioritize herself, and believes other parents shouldn't feel bad about prioritizing their own wellness.  

"You can do small little things that can go a long way," she said. "A happy mom is so good for the baby and for the family. It's something you shouldn't feel bad about."

Ashley Tisdale smiles on the red carpet at a West Hollywood event in November 2022.© Steven Simione
"You should feel good about prioritizing yourself," Ashley says of balancing motherhood, work, and self-care.

Continue reading for more from HELLO!'s exclusive interview with Ashley Tisdale, including what the actress had to say about suffering from mom guilt… 

Aside from taking [Natrol], what else do you do to ensure that you get a good night's sleep?

I am someone who obviously loves a good ritual, and I learned years ago that setting yourself up in ways to have good sleep is so important. I actually really do use my line, Being Frenshe. It's one of the reasons why I developed it. [I] have an unwind and rest mood boosting scent, which is the lavender cloud. I love to spray the hair, linen and body mist on my pillow. I love taking a shower or even a bath… I had someone tell me, "When you take a shower just imagine all the stress of the day just like washing off" and visually seeing that really helps you kind of get into the mind state of just kind of letting go of what that day brought. I also have a lotion that I use, and then I tend to just stop on the phone… I would say as soon as I get in bed I put the phone down..Less screen time [has] been really helpful.  

What does wellness look like to you?

Wellness for me is a journey, not a destination. So there's always things that I'm looking into and learning about — to be the best version that I can be, not only for myself, but for my family. Having my baby, just going through the postpartum of it all. That was a roller coaster I didn't expect. It was just kind of learning who this new person was that I was becoming… Wellness to me, is everything.

Ashley Tisdale sits in bed (sleep mask on her head) and checks out her bottle of Natrol Melatonin supplements.
"Being a mom and running the businesses that I have, I need all the sleep that I can get," the wellness entrepreneur and actress tells HELLO!

Have you always been into wellness or was there a turning point in your life?

There was a turning point. I would say a couple years ago when I struggled the most with anxiety. I met with a bunch of different experts and that's where I learned most of everything that I know. I learned that living a cleaner lifestyle is really beneficial for our mental health, and so that's where I got inspired to start my platform Frenshe, where I was able to share everything that I know. But for sure there was a turning point.  

How has your approach to wellness and self-care changed since becoming a mother?

I think that it's changed in a way where, obviously, I had more time to prioritize myself in the past when I was feeling kind of funky. Now I don't really have that time, but I need to make the time.

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Is it challenging having to prioritize yourself now as a parent?

I think so. As someone who works a lot, I also love being with my daughter, so it's just really prioritizing when I can. It's going to be a little bit easier now that she's starting school, because I definitely struggle with mom guilt during the day when I'm working. And especially because I've been working from home, I have my office here. So I'll hear her outside playing, and I'm like, "Oh man, I want to be out there with her." But there are times, especially after she goes to sleep, where I really prioritize what I need and the space that I need — either I'll watch a show with my husband, or be like "Okay, I need to kind of prioritize myself." Do a spa night, bath night. It's like one of my favorite things. But yeah…  My makeup routine is completely different. It's 10 minutes…  I don't even wear makeup half the time. Everything's a little different.

Ashley Tisdale and husband of nine years, musician Christopher French, are rocker chic on the red carpet at a Hollywood event in October 2017.© Jason LaVeris
Ashley has been married to musician Christopher French since 2014 and they welcomed daughter Jupiter Iris in March 2021.

What advice would you give to fellow parents who struggle to prioritize their wellness?

You need to not feel bad about it. You should feel good about prioritizing yourself in those moments and wherever you can get those moments, whether it's nap time and or meditation. That goes a long way.Just sitting out in nature for a couple of minutes throughout the day… Just being outside. For me it kind of brings a sense of bringing my nervous system down. There are definitely ways that you can do small little things that can go a long way. A happy mom is just so good for the baby and for the family. It's something you shouldn't feel bad about.

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This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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