The actress left the ITV1 soap in January, when Viv Windsor became one of the two victims of a devastating blaze. Speaking to Channel 5's OK! TV, Payne admitted that she was enjoying her chance to spend time at home.
"Oh I love it, I love it. I'm just indulging at being at home," she said. "I've painted my healing room and I've made curtains, cushions and everything. I'm just being a mum and enjoying it. I've got my life back.
"You did have a bit of a life [on the soap], but it was always constricted. You know, you go on holiday with a load of scripts."
Speaking about her 18 years in the role, she said: "I loved it, I loved it. The challenges that I had and making the character - getting involved with [her] and making it work. I was always given challenges and I hope I rose to those challenges. I really enjoyed working on it and I loved the crew, I got on well with everybody, all the directors - mainly!
Discussing her exit, Payne confessed that her exit had "hurt" for a while but said that was beginning to "heal".
"I didn't want to leave, but it was the right time if ever I had to," she said. "My contract just wasn't renewed. It came at the right time."
> Deena Payne: 'I'm sad but not furious'