Irena Srbinovska has confessed that being suddenly thrust into the spotlight and gaining national fame took a toll on her mental health.
The 32-year-old took a hiatus from her job as a nurse after winning Locky Gilbert's heart on the 2020 season of The Bachelor but Irena, who moved to Perth from Melbourne, has since revealed she is heading back to nursing.
Following a whirlwind year of travelling Australia with Locky, the 2020 Bachelor star hopes a return to her former career will help her live a more "normal" life.
"I got really burnt out last year … I was overwhelmed," she told Sydney Confidential.
"When you're a nurse, you can't be thinking about yourself. Once you step foot in a hospital, it's all about your patients so I felt like I wasn't giving my patients what they deserve so I made the hard decision to stop working. We jumped in the car and did a lap of Australia and now it's back to reality, back to normal life.
"For a few years I worked as a chronic pain nurse and an acute pain nurse and during that role I would treat patients with severe pain."
"Every day I'd sit in the car park and just cry, and I'd struggle to get myself out of the car to get to work."
Irena said it's exciting to get back into working on the frontline of the COVID pandemic, adding that she hasn't had a "routine" in over a year.
The happy couple have settled down in Locky's home city of Perth, after spending the better part of the last year road tripping around the west coast.
"We're just travelling at the moment, we're still getting to know each other. I definitely want to marry Irena but when the proposal comes everyone will have to wait for that one," Locky said in February.
During the beginning of their relationship, before the finale of The Bachelor had aired, Locky and Irena were forced to spend months apart to avoid spoilers.
But Irena admitted the separation actually "strengthened" their connection.
"It was obvious to Locky and I from the beginning that we had incredible chemistry but when your time together is so limited, it's hard to build on that. Lockdown gave us that time to get to know each other on a much deeper level," she said.
The couple have also been through their fair share of rough times together, with Irena earlier this year revealing she suffered a miscarriage.
"During our first few months together I, unfortunately, suffered a miscarriage," she told WHO.
"But Locky was my absolute rock and having his support made me love him even more."
Locky and Irena have also been candid about backlash and trolling they have received online since the show wrapped.
"We are just normal people and while we put ourselves in the spotlight, you never know what is going on in our lives that day," the adventure guide said.
"If you have to say something, then direct it at me, not my girl."