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.
At the tender age of sixteen, I discovered that I did not have the same interests as my peers. I thought going out was stupid, and preferred to spend my time on the couch with a book. And although I sometimes found it difficult to accept, I don’t have any problems with it now. Currently, I’m busy crocheting a blanket (which my boyfriend finds hideous, but that doesn’t bother me), I try to set aside some time each day to draw, and I often go for a walk in the forest with an audio book as my companion. Twenty-three, you say? Sometimes I feel more like a granny, thanks to my hobbies. But like I said: I’m fine with that.
I’m also fine with my boyfriend thinking that the blanket-in-the-making is ugly; he’s my best friend and wants to do whatever he can to help me get over my near-burn-out. He comes up with this idea during a walk through the city.
“So, you have to learn how to relax, right? Why not keep one day every week completely free, and spend that day only doing the things you like—things that don’t require a screen, so that you have fewer stimuli and it’s easier to relax.”
A whole day only doing what I like: that definitely sounds good to me. And what with screens playing such a huge role in my life, the thought of being able to put anything with a blue light aside seems such a relief.
“Ooooo, I have the perfect name for that day!” I say enthusiastically.
And so, later that week, I have my first Granny Day. I get out my crochet hooks, my pencils and books, and I put my phone and laptop aside. At the end of the day, I realize how good it is to have no distractions and fewer stimuli. While I’m normally ready for an afternoon nap around 2 p.m., I now still have plenty of energy at 7 p.m. And as I put my books back in the cupboard, I realize that the golden tips are not always provided by a professional, but by the people who know you best.
Photography ©Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash