De-stressing with Bente (#14)


Learning to relax again: how do you manage to do that? Bente (23) is a freelance journalist and works as an online editor at Flow. Having experienced a near-burn-out, she’s finding her way to a life with less stress. And every Friday, she takes us with her on her journey to get there.

Even though it sounds fairly old-fashioned, I regularly have a ‘Granny Day’ and can easily be pleased with a simple ball of wool. However, I have recently been wanting to also have a pen friend.

I prefer to call it a letter buddy: someone with whom you only communicate via a fully-written piece of paper in an envelope. Ever since I was a kid, it has seemed like a really fun thing to do: the excitement of such a letter lying in wait for you in the postbox. I sometimes write a card or a short note to someone, but it rarely goes further than that.

Lately, however, something has started to gnaw at me. I’ve noticed that the contact with the people around me is getting more and more superficial. We occasionally tag each other on Facebook and like our photos on Instagram, but it doesn’t lead to a real conversation. I still regularly see good friends, but most communication is now via a screen. Which I think is such a shame.


So, when I discovered a website that enables you to find a letter buddy, my interest was immediately piqued. I decided to post a message myself. I didn’t expect much from it, as I couldn’t imagine that there were that many people out there who would want to write letters to a complete stranger.

A day later, when I checked my Inbox, I had fifteen reactions to my message. All from totally different people, but with one thing in common: the desire to have real contact with someone again. I chose the person who felt the most familiar, a girl of the same age, and ran to the store for some stationery. That night, I slipped my three-page letter into an envelope. It felt good to share my story on paper and not via the touch screen of my iPhone. I can’t wait for her reply.

  • Bente’s other blogs can be found here.

Photography ©Cathryn Lavery/