The Downtime Agenda

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  • Words — Jessica Washington
  • Images — Marnie Hawson

With a popular tv show, numerous guest appearances and the launch of a new cookbook — Justine Schofield knows the value of a balanced lifestyle. She shares with us the importance of routine and her ideal Sunday.

Justine Schofield, TV presenter.

What do you do to unwind?
There’s nothing I love more than waking up on a day off and going for a long walk with friends or by myself. At the moment I’m living between Sydney and Melbourne. When in Sydney I love to walk around Centennial Park or do a costal walk from Bondi to Coogee. When in Melbourne it’s “The Tan”. Afterwards, I reward myself with a massive breaky at one of my favourite cafes.

You seem to have a very hectic life with appearances, filming, a recent book launch and your partner Matt overseas – how do you make time for yourself?
It’s particularly crazy between January and July because that is when I film my show Everyday Gourmet. We film 90 episodes during this time so juggling all of my other commitments can be tough. It’s not so bad though because the beautiful thing about being your own boss is you can dictate when you take time off. I’m grateful to have this privilege so I like to work really hard during January and July, then take a full month off around August before I start to get busy again. My partner works really hard during this time too so probably not a bad thing that we live apart during this time!

Are there consequences for you in not getting enough downtime?
Of course! The biggest thing for me is not being able to have a regular routine. Sometimes I am traveling to different states for an entire week so I don’t eat as well as I’d like to, or exercise for that matter.

I also find it hard to not be able to come home and cook dinner on a regular basis because I either finish work too late or have not had time to go to the markets to get produce for the week. I try to be as organised as I can be on my weekends though to make sure I do have at least a small sense of routine. For example, when I can, I spend Sunday afternoons making a big curry, or ragu and portioning it into containers for the fridge so at least I don’t have to eat too much take away.

What stresses you out and how do you manage on those occasions?
Hmmm where do I start?! I guess not being organised. I know I’m going to have a bad week when on Sunday I have not done my washing and have not cooked a few dishes for the week.  Oh and when I have far too many unanswered emails in my inbox!

Where is your favourite vacation spot for Downtime?
I love the NSW South Coast, particularly Hyams Beach and Green Patch.

What are you reading right now?
Unfortunately nothing!

Tell us 5 songs on your downtime playlist.
— Call Out in the Dark, Snow Patrol
— Fire and Flood, Vance Joy
— The Blowers Daughter,Damien Rice
— Be the One, Dua Lipa
— Mr Brightside, The KIllers

Describe your ideal Sunday.
Fresh produce markets in the morning, great coffee and then a big group of my mates over at my house for a late afternoon bbq with great wine.

Who is your downtime partner in crime?
When I do get to see him… my partner Matt Doran.

Where is your favourite spot in Melbourne for downtime?
Bar Siglo for a few champagnes with my Melbourne friends.


Justine is one of the most down to earth people I have met. Her warm, friendly and relaxed personality makes you feel calm in an instant.