The Downtime Agenda

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  • Images — Julie Adams + Marnie Hawson

Journalist, television presenter and host of ‘The Latest’ on Sky News — Laura Jayes loves the frenetic pace of political reporting. She’s become somewhat of an expert at recharging the batteries in her time away from the camera.

Laura Jayes, political junkie.

What do you do to unwind?
I am very good at unwinding. It mostly involves wine. But when it doesn’t, it involves a run and then the desire for wine.

My head is in politics all day, so when I get home from work I really want to slump on the couch and binge-watch some mindless crap on TV.

What stresses you out and how do you manage on those occasions?
Like everybody, work stresses me out. It’s difficult to switch off sometimes — particularly with constant activity on twitter and email. So, I run or go shopping. I also love pottering around and cleaning up our apartment when I’m stressed. There’s something about having complete control of your immediate environment that takes the edge off.

The most important thing for me is having as much balance as humanly possible. Enough time with family and friends, exercise and a healthy diet. Moderation in moderation though – everyone needs a good blow-out every now and then.

Are there consequences for you in not getting enough downtime?
My husband and siblings will usually inform me that I’ve gone off the rails… and they’re usually right. If it’s been a particulary huge working week — I tend to spend the weekend trying to catch up on sleep.

Where is your favourite holiday spot for Downtime?
Thredbo — for active downtime. It’s been a family holiday spot for more than 25 years. Skiing is a huge part of who I am. And my husband’s family farm on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. It’s a particularly wild, remote and beautiful place.

What are you reading right now?
I’m actually reading a political book. Niki Savva’s The Road to Ruin — it’s about the Abbott Government and in particular Tony Abbott’s relationship with his Chief of Staff Peta Credlin. It’s a fascinating read, because I lived through it. There’s a lot I did know but a huge amount I didn’t. It was all going on underneath our noses.

Best movie of all time?
La Bamba. Do I even need to explain why?  It’s the best! (Dirty Dancing, The Power of One, Cocktail and Snatch also very high on the list).

Describe your ideal Sunday.
Wake up. Bondi to Coogee run. Read the papers that I didn’t get around to reading on Saturday. Lunch with friends. Home by 6pm (usually slightly boozy). Happy days!

Who is your downtime partner in crime and why?
Alex (husband) — he’s my wingman in everything! He wants to do everything I want to do (wine, run, eat). Golf is the one exception… do you really need to play 18 holes? Annoying!