De-stressing with Bente (#6)


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.

“What are we going to do tomorrow?” I ask Nick. It’s Friday night and we are in bed, about to go to sleep.
“I want to do some exercise, maybe read a bit and, well, we’ll see what else ok?” he replies. We chat for a bit more, and then the light goes out.

After a few minutes I notice that he has fallen asleep, but that blissful restful state has not yet embraced me. The fact that I do not know what we are going to do tomorrow keeps me awake. I have always believed that Saturday and Sunday are sacred; that everything is possible on those days and that you have to fill them with as many wonderful and spectacular things/activities as possible. Because well, that’s what I believe. I mean, “What did you do this weekend?” is asked far more often than, “Are you going to do something on Tuesday night?”


It stresses me out, while the weekends are actually meant to be about having a rest. And so I decide, for once, to live like Nick, and take everything as it comes as it comes. I’m a control freak on a mission.

The next morning, I am plunged into the mist from the minute I wake up. The screen on my phone shows me it’s 10 a.m. I leap out of bed and shake Nick awake. “We’ve missed half the day!” I exclaim. So much for my taking-things-as-they-come mentality.

I throw some clothes on, make breakfast for two, calculate how many hours we have left to make something of the day and search the Internet for what there is to do. “Maybe we can go to the cinema, then to a museum and have a bite to eat afterwards?” I suggest. “Or we could skip the museum and go to the zoo, instead. Or perhaps, we could…”

“…do absolutely nothing,” Nick finishes my sentence. “We will have breakfast, tidy up and then we’ll see.” A silence follows. I hadn’t thought of that, and I need to get used to the idea. Then I think of a quote I just read: “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” Letting things go—and that includes the eternal struggle of making things as fun as possible—creates less stress. And if the trees can do it anew every year, I can do it today. I put my plate in the sink and get back in bed. After all, there is enough time for another nap.

  • Bente’s other blogs can be found here.

Photography ©Alisa Anton/Unsplash