De-stressing with Bente (#13)


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.

Since my near-burn-out, I have not been able to do what makes me happy: travel. While, two years ago, I would take my big backpack out of the closet on a monthly basis; now, for the past six months, it has been hidden away in the attic, gathering dust. Not because I don’t feel the urge to travel anymore. On the contrary: the thing I want most is to head straight for the airport and jump on the next plane. The problem is that I don’t dare to.

In 2015, I roamed through the jungle of Vietnam with only a bottle of water. In recent months there have been times that I haven’t even dared cross the threshold of my house to do my shopping. Strange, what such a setback can do to you. Fortunately, I am progressing. The panic attacks have become less frequent and less severe, and step by step I move further away from home.

You may therefore be able to imagine my euphoria when I finally bought a flight ticket last week. My friend and I planned to go to Edinburgh in Scotland. Nice and close and familiar, because I had been there before. I was ready.

What I had not counted on was the busy week that preceded the departure. A week that gave me a lot of stress and, after not having had one for such a long time, a light panic attack. On the day before our departure, I was so bad that I even had difficulty with a two-hour train journey. That evening, I decided not to go. The ‘next step’ would have to wait for now.

The next morning, however, I felt such a coward. Was it the right decision not to go? But when I took the time to think it through calmly, I knew it could not have been any other way, and that it was in fact courageous to listen to my body. That big step is still to come; for now, I just need to regain control. With my head held high.

  • Bente’s other blogs can be found here.

Photography Justyn Warner/