De-stressing with Bente (#8)


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.

Why are there so few hours in a day? I ask myself the same thing every night. It is not that I stuff my day with plans and therefore do not manage to get everything done. Since my near-burn-out, I only dare to make modest plans. On the days that I do not work, I aim to take a walk in the morning, read a book in the afternoon, and watch a series in the evening.

At the end of such a day, however, I’ve done the shopping and cooked, for example, but that walk never happened, and I may have managed to read just two pages in my book. Great. Actually, it’s not even the number of hours in such a day that’s the problem. It’s the fact that I didn’t spend those hours well. And that frustrates me.

On Saturday morning I read my mail and see a message from my uncle. He writes that he is enjoying reading my pieces about de-stressing and that my stories also have common ground with his world, even though he is a lot older. He’s retiring soon, and with that in mind, he is trying to create more and more calm in his life.

He writes, ‘For the past few weeks, I have become more and more aware that I spent too much time on my private mail. Half an hour a day was the norm, only to conclude that I hadn’t really benefited from it.’

And I recognize that. Because how many hours of my day are spent on my phone, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, my mail and then Facebook again? Ultimately without any goal. Instead of reading a book, I like and share posts from people I do not even know. Instead of that walk, I read my junk mail and click on the ads as well.

My uncle writes: ‘The word unsubscribe is now the first thing I look for at the bottom of uninteresting mail, and with each click I generate more free time for tomorrow.’

And that is exactly what I will do, not only with my mail, but also with all the other things that I do not enjoy. Get rid of the endless scrolling, clicking and liking, and make more time for the things that really matter. It will not be easy, but it is worth a try.

As my uncle puts is so beautifully at the end of his email: ‘Whether you are young or already a little older, consciously dealing with our sparse time and what life has to offer makes us all happier.’ Yup, you can say that again.

  • Bente’s other blogs can be found here.

Photography ©Elke Karin Lugert/Unsplash