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

EXCLUSIVE: Sophie Dillman gives us her best self-care tips.

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.

Sophie Dillman walking in the sun wearing a stripy shirt and jean shorts
Sophie Dillman gives her best self-care tips. Photo: Instagram/Sophie Dillman

I always thought of myself as extraverted. The older I get the more I realise I need time alone to recharge my batteries. This became both apparent and necessary when I started working on a television set. There are dozens of people who want to say hello or have a laugh and don’t get me wrong, I loved every single one of those chats, but at the end of the day I could barely string a sentence together. I couldn’t work out why I was so drained all the time trying to juggle a social life, a social workplace and job that requires you to be personable.


I was brought up by wonderful parents who sacrificed everything for us, I have never seen my mum or dad put themselves first and naturally, my sister and I inherited the same attitude. You are the last on your priority list. It was only after I began therapy I realised that this could be harmful. My incredible therapist - who I want to be my best friend forever and my second mum - explained that if I didn’t start caring for myself, there could be a lot of trouble on the horizon.

So, I started taking myself on mental health dates.

Initially it was uncomfortable and felt unnatural booking ‘me time’ but after some trial and error I have devised a list of activities that fill my cup.

Saturday Morning Special: A guaranteed serotonin boost - my favourite gym class followed by breakfast at the local markets. Special mention to the sweet treat (gluten free doughnuts with caramel dipping sauce) and the bunch of flowers I take home.

Sophie Dillman in her activewear
Sophie fills up her cup by attending one of her favourite gym classes and then grabbing breakfast at a market afterwards. Photo: Instagram/Sophie Dillman

Friday Night Fiesta: A recent discovery - ideal for when you have the house to yourself. Have an ‘everything shower’, complete with face and hair mask. Bake a batch of Betty Crocker choc chip cookies with extra choc chips. Pour a glass of red wine and watch reruns of the Kardashians or your favourite murder mystery show.

Morning Glory: A non- negotiable at least twice a week for me now. I wake up, throw on some comfy clothes and take my dog for a walk whilst listening to a podcast. My favourites include MamaMia Out Loud for the gossip and The Imperfects podcast for some self-improvement. Following the morning stroll I end up at my favourite coffee shop and do five minutes of journaling with a coffee and a pup cup.

Sophie Dillman in an orange bra top
The actress loves listening to a podcast while she takes her dog for a walk. Photo: Instagram/Sophie Dillman

My Five-Minute Fix- This is for the times when you have no time, especially the days that are filled with lots of meetings or events or both. I have a five-minute stretching routine that I can do on a small patch of grass or carpet. They are stretches that make me feel good and are relatively easy to do in any clothing. I put on my favourite playlist that starts with Sheryl Crow and stretch it out with my eyes closed.

Any one or a combination of these make my day-to-day life infinitely better. I find it a lot easier to manage work and life if I schedule these things into my week. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you but trust me it is worth it, and the process can be fun. Don’t be afraid to value yourself and your own time, as L’Oreal says, ‘You’re worth it’.

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