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.
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“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