Ashley Cassidy or @ashbegash is a Southern California native currently living in Los Angeles with her husband Brennan. She started her blog before she graduated college in hopes that it would provide an outlet of inspiration on her journey through post-grad, 9-5 life. Today she is blogging full-time on Blonde Collective where she shares her take on attainable everyday style, beauty products worth using, how to make your house a home, and where her and Brennan are eating and traveling.
We sat down with Ashley to ask about her mental health journey and get to know more about her.
How do you stay positive on social media? Do you ever struggle with comparison?
I think the key to staying positive and escaping the constant comparison game is to really limit your scrolling. I find that on my hardest days, I'm usually spending way too much time on my phone. The only way for me to separate my feelings that are tied to social media is to really get OFF of social media. I try to remind myself that I am doing great, my journey is my own, and someone else's path has no bearing on what's ahead for me. I really believe that whatever is meant for you will not pass you by -- I do my best to keep my head down, create content that I love, and know that what I have to bring to my corner of the internet is valuable and unique. Also, I remind myself constantly that social media is the highlight of good things, not reality, so there's no reason to get tied up in comparison when what you're comparing isn't even the full story anyways!
What habits are you currently implementing/carrying over this year to keep your mental health in check? Any new additions?
I have always been a lover of a slow, gentle morning routine. First and foremost I make it a point to stay off my phone for as long as possible in the morning. As far as rituals and habits go, for years I've made an effort to put pen to paper before I start my day. Whether that means writing life updates in my journal, or listing out my manifestations in my gratitude journal, I prioritize that before anything. I've also brought back my favorite devotional which has been extremely helpful with maintaining a positive mindset each day. The last thing I've leaned into this year that's sort of new for me is letting myself sleep past my alarm as much as I can. I used to really beat myself up over not getting up super early and getting my workout in before my day started, but the truth is I'm a sleepy girl and I can better face my day when I get a full 8 hours of sleep. So if I have a late night, I give myself the grace to have a late morning following that.
Another habit I've started to practice is radical self-love. I think it took me years to fully understand what that even means, but I've felt myself leaning into that in a whole new way this year. Learning how to talk to myself with the kindness that I talk to others with has really helped with my overall view of myself, which has been extremely encouraging.
Do you ever struggle with anxiety or depression?
Yes! Frequently. I'd say anxiety is nearly a daily thing, though I've learned how to address it in a way that helps me come out of it quicker. And doses of depression creep in whenever I spend too much time plugged in and forget to give myself a break.
Are you currently in therapy or have you ever been to therapy for your mental wellness or mental health?
I am! And it's been the best thing I've ever done for myself. Technically I am working with a trauma coach who specializes in somatic healing, so we have done a ton of hands-on nervous system healing work. It's been an incredible journey and I cannot recommend it enough. I'm learning to uncover and heal things I've suppressed for years, how to regulate my nervous system more efficiently, and how to communicate my needs to my husband so that we can both learn and grow closer through my past traumatic experiences that sometimes get triggered in my daily life. It's been so healing, and life-changing in the best way.
People follow you for literally everything, your words are not lost on them. What’s one thing you want your followers to know?
I want them to know that they are special, and they are loved. And that they have something unique to offer the world. I think we are all SO hard on ourselves; we want to get to our "dream destination" as quickly as possible; whether that means advancing in our careers, traveling, finding a partner, buying a house, healing -- whatever that looks like to you, I want you to know that it will come at the perfect time, and to just enjoy the ride of life. It's so easy for us all to get caught up in the things we see online especially, worrying that we're not on the right timeline, but what I've learned through the years is that life is simply about enjoyment. Embracing what is happening around us, embracing our friends and loved ones, laughing, crying, leaning into whatever we're faced with in that moment. Life is so beautiful and needs to be cherished, not rushed.
Where can people find you?