So when she found herself feeling “alone and frightened” mid-pandemic, Frost did what she always did – she shared. In October 2021, she uploaded a video to Instagram of herself admitting she felt vaccine hesitant.
“I was by myself in lockdown, no house mate and no family, so I felt quite isolated,” the 32-year-old tells WHO as she invites us into her Sydney home.
“I’d received lots of messages from people telling me they’d been feeling the same, so I thought bringing the discussion out in the open might help some people who were also struggling,” she explains.
At a time when internal borders were closed, millions remained under stay-at-home orders and states were racing to meet vaccination targets, the backlash that followed her video was immediate and unforgiving. Frost was accused of being “irresponsible” and of putting herself above the most vulnerable in our community.
Months of emotionally charged debate that put Frost firmly in the firing line led her to a place where she could no longer get through her daily life. Working wasn’t an option when she struggled just to get out of bed in the morning.
“By December I couldn’t recognise myself anymore and I knew if I was going to survive I had to make changes, drastic changes” she admits.
Hitting “rock bottom” saw Frost quit her “dream job” of four years, playing Jasmine Delaney on Home and Away.
“I was always someone who thought if you aren’t hustling, if you aren’t feeling burnout, then I wasn’t doing enough,” she reveals.
“But during the pandemic, I saw a shift in my priorities. I decided I was going to put my health, my happiness and my family first.”
Despite quitting her day job, Frost refused to just curl up in a ball and forget about all her responsibilities.
At her lowest point, she still had to deal with making edits to her new book Believe, which she co-wrote with her sister Kristine Ross, a trained youth mentor. Part memoir of her struggles in the spotlight and part self-help book, it was a project she’d started months ago when she was in a much better headspace.
“I was reading thinking, ‘Oh great, I’m f--king back here again,’ but then I decided to take my own advice,” she says.
“There was a bit about getting out of your environment for a breather, so I turned off my phone and packed the dogs up in the car and spent the whole day out with them. It didn’t fix everything, but I finished that day feeling much better than how it started.”
The experience spurred Frost on to finish the book.
“Mental health isn’t a fight you do just once and win or not,” she says. “It’s something that will go up and down for years so I knew that I needed to finish. If [the book] could help me, it could help other people, too.”
The period showed Frost how far she had come, after years of attending counselling with a psychologist.
“I’m super-proud of myself,” she says. “If I’d had that experience a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to get out of that big black hole, but I’ve grown so much."
Today, Frost says she is the “happiest” she has ever been. As for love, while she says she isn’t involved in “anything serious”, she is “open” to dating. But for the first time in her life, finding The One isn’t Frost’s main priority.
“I’m at a point where I can go with the flow and I don’t need to be in a relationship,” she confesses.
“All through my 20s I thought that was what would make me the happiest. But for now I’m relishing the freedom of being able to travel back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne [where her extended family lives] and hanging out with my dogs,” she adds with a laugh, while sitting cross-legged on the floor of her lounge room while pooches Greg, Rocky and Illy climb over her for attention.
As for the future, Frost isn’t too worried about what will come next.
“Whatever is meant to happen will happen and I’ll embrace that with open arms at the time,” she muses.
While she’s set to make a comeback on Channel Seven in a new travel show, My Road to Adventure, which she just finished shooting with her sister, Frost hasn’t completely turned her back on Jasmine just yet.
“We’ve left the door open on her storyline and I dearly loved my time at Home and Away, so never say never,” she says.
“Maybe Jasmine just needed a little mental health break, too!”
(Believe by Sam Frost with Kristine Ross is out now)