EastEnders star 'needed time away'
The actress told ITV's Loose Women: "I just needed to not have [Carol] in my head for a little while. When I signed last year, I just said, 'Would it be okay if I could have a little time out?' And they kindly said yes."
She continued: "You've constantly got somebody else's life in your head at all times. You do the 12-hour day and then you come home and you have to learn again for the next day. You're doing 15, 16 scenes a day."
Since filming her last batch of current scenes, Coulson has been working on charity projects and spending more time with her family.
She described working on EastEnders as "a perfect job".
"For me it's 25 minutes up the road with lovely people," she said. "I really like working there. I'm going back in August, actually."