Jodi Anasta’s eyes are gleaming as she sits down to chat with WHO in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, all in a day’s work for the Melbourne-based actress and mother. “I’m used to flying in and out,” the Runway Room cosmetics ambassador smiles.
It’s been four years since she took on the role of Elly Conway on Neighbours, a move that’s seen her garner a large fan-base – particularly with her latest storyline which sees her in a same-sex relationship with Chloe Brennan, played by April Rose Pengilly.
“My favourite storyline is Chelly. I love it so much. And everybody loves it – I just can’t believe the feedback,” she says. “I’m so glad to be a part of a show which celebrates love and equality. That means a lot to April and me.”
WATCH: Jodi Anasta opens up about juggling motherhood and 'neighbours'
While her career appears to be going well, Anasta, who shares her only daughter Aleeia with ex-husband Braith Anasta, has had her fair share of setbacks – most recently the backlash she received for taking a few weeks’ break from filming – due to an alleged breakdown.
With absolute certainty, Anasta reveals: “People always have their own opinion or warped view of whatever’s going on and that’s fine. That’s all part of the puzzle. But at the end of the day it’s about acknowledging when you’re not running right or taking a moment to recoup and of course practise all those things – which self-love is – and taking proper care of yourself. And we shouldn’t have to be ashamed of that.”
With passion and conviction, the 34-year-old continues: “Someone said something to me the other day … They’re like, ‘why do we feel like as women we can’t just say, hey, I need a minute.’ We just put so much pressure on ourselves, we should be able to just go, ‘OK, I need a minute.’ And there should be no shame attached to it.”
Having taken some time out, Anasta reveals how she got herself back on track. “Practising self-love and self-care … it’s imperative. For me, self-love is resting, drinking plenty of water, exercise, connecting with friends. It’s all of those things you can just overlook.”
She also credits a good night’s rest as a healer. “The simplicity of getting seven to eight hours sleep a night, if I do that three times in a row, I am a new woman. It’s incredible. And I realised the benefits, I guess, through letting that slide – I can say that when I put that at the forefront of my mind, self-love, self-care, that life is so much better and so much easier and I don’t need to feel guilty for practising that.”
And when she’s not on the set of Neighbours, Anasta says spending quality time with 5-year-old Aleeia is what makes her heart truly full.
“We sit and play with makeup,” the cosmetics ambassador shares. “She’s just a radiating beautiful soul and she is just full of energy, all the time. And I love seeing her bring other people to life.”
When asked if she finds challenges in raising a little girl, Anasta honestly states: “She’s so happy and I think that’s always the best. She’s our indicator of where we’re at and how well we’re doing as parents. She’s confident in herself and she can shine light on other people, too.”