How I Thrive: The Deep Founder Ashley Merrill

How I Thrive takes an inside look at founders, entrepreneurs and leaders and the behind-the-scenes self-care work they do to in order to live balanced, happy lives. Today's edition is with The Deep founder Ashley Merrill, who swears by light therapy and got an early lesson in the importance of hard work thanks to horseback riding. 

Age: 36

City: Santa Monica, CA 

Company: The Deep, a company that brings humanity closer one question at a time. 

Role: co-founder 

Beyond the role: CEO of Lunya and Lahgo, parent of two. I love cooking and recently got a beehive at home! 

Morning routine: 

I wake up early — often around 4 a.m. — and work on emails from my phone in bed until 7 a.m. when my kids come in looking for breakfast. I slap on lotion, brush my teeth, throw on Lunya and hurry down to get breakfast started before and prep or pre-plan lunch and dinner prior to starting work at 8:30. I kick off every day with senior team meetings and manager meetings.

The first thing I do after work:

Now that I'm working from home, I finish my day around 6 p.m., eat some dinner with the kids and then do the nighttime routine with them: Bathroom, book, shower, etc. I then take my own shower around 8 p.m. and launch myself into bed. I love doing face masks or red light therapy while I'm winding down, and usually my husband and I watch our favorite shows for an hour or so before falling asleep.

Dinner ritual:

I cook almost every night at home. This is something that has changed a lot since the stay at home orders started. I used to order a lot of Postmates, but now I'm in the habit of cooking.

Self-care guilty pleasure: 

I'm all about the the Celluma PRO red light. I also love Vinters Daughter serum and Augustinus Bader's The Rich Cream.

How I define self-care: 

Self-care is the restorative practices I do to feel and look my best

Favorite childhood toy or hobby:

I used to ride horses. I did a more obscure kind of riding called dressage, which was like old military riding —it's all about practice and precision. It was a good lesson for me in hard work and commitment because horses are a lot of responsibility and depend on you for everything.

State of your (email) inbox: 

I currently have five emails. I archive and file everything. I realize I'm a little obsessive ... I probably get 300-500 emails a day.

Want to kick your self-care game up a notch? Subscribe to Silk + Sonder today.

Illustration by Megan Behrendt

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