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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Home and Away’s Sophie Dillman on why she takes herself on mental health dates

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Sophie Dillman is Yahoo Lifestyle Australia’s columnist. Sophie brings insider insights into everything from her time on Home and Away to what it’s like being in the public eye and falling in love in the workplace.

I’ve always considered myself to be extraverted. My understanding of the need for solitude grows as I become older. When I began working on a television set, both of these things were clear and essential.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked every single one of those discussions, but by the end of the day I could not form a coherent statement. There are dozens of people who want to say hi or have a laugh. I was trying to balance a social life, a social workplace, and a profession that required people skills, but I couldn’t figure out why I was constantly exhausted.

My sister and I naturally got the same attitude from our lovely parents who gave everything up for us. I have never witnessed my mother or father put themselves first. You rank last on your list of priorities. It wasn’t until I started treatment that I understood how dangerous this could be.

My amazing therapist, who I want to be my closest friend forever and my second mother, warned me that there would be a lot of trouble ahead if I didn’t start taking care of myself.

I therefore started going on dates for my mental health.

A list of things that fill my cup has been developed after some trial and error. At first, scheduling “me time” felt awkward and out of the ordinary.

Saturday Morning Special: My favourite workout class followed by breakfast at the neighbourhood markets will give you a sure serotonin boost. The sweet treat (gluten-free doughnuts with caramel dipping sauce) and the bouquet of flowers I bring home deserve special note.

A recent discovery, Friday Night Fiesta is perfect for when you have the house to yourself. Use a face and hair mask during your “everything shower.” Make some Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies and add extra chocolate chips. Watch reruns of The Kardashians or your preferred murder mystery programme while sipping a glass of red wine.

Morning Glory: For me, this is a weekly requirement at the very least. I get out of bed, put on some cosy clothes, and walk my dog while listening to a podcast. My favourites are The Imperfects podcast for self-improvement and MamaMia Out Loud for gossip. After my morning stroll, I arrive at my fave coffee shop where I spend five minutes journaling while sipping coffee from a dog cup.

My Five-Minute Fix is for those times when you are pressed for time, particularly on days when there are several meetings, events, or both. I have a stretching exercise that I can perform for five minutes on a tiny area of carpet or grass. They are stretches that I enjoy performing and can do comfortably while wearing any outfit. I stretch out while listening to my fave playlist, which opens with Sheryl Crow.

Any one of these, individually or collectively, vastly improves the quality of my daily existence. If I plan these activities into my week, I find it much simpler to balance work and life. Finding what works for you merely needs to be done, but trust me, it will be worthwhile, and the process can even be enjoyable. You are worth it, as L’Oreal advises, so don’t be scared to respect yourself and your own time.

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