Trying not to be overworked while at the same time being a great intern is always a challenge. Interns often want to be recognized for their commitment to the job, so they’ll work long hours in the office cranking out their latest assignment. Making your efforts 110% percent doesn’t mean burning yourself out. And with the added stress from being a college student, an intern will likely forget about taking care of him or herself at the end of the day. Here are few tips for unwinding from the hectic lifestyle of a busy intern:
Disconnect – Take time away from your cell phone and computer if you’ve been working on them all day. The great thing about being an intern is you’re not required to take your work home with you, so it’s okay to stay off your work email and not answer texts from colleagues after hours, unless its an urgent matter. Don’t waste time worrying about something you can’t take care of at the moment. Also, it’s not very healthy to spend hours with your face just inches from a glowing screen. Your eyes deserve a break! Read a book, take a nap or go outside – there are several alternatives to the Internet and texting. Learn to appreciate them.
Breathe – refuel your body and your mind with some good, clean oxygen. I know when I have a crazy day, the last thing I’m thinking about is breathing. Taking oxygen for granted is normal, and the best way to relax is to remember to breathe. Take long, slow breaths in and out, open your chest and fill your lungs with air, stretch your arms up, and then slowly release. My stress always eases away and I feel more awake with two to three deep breaths.
Exercise – stretching is a great start, but almost everyone knows that exercising releases endorphins, which contribute to feelings of happiness and relaxation. So why not give it a try? Although the last thing you might want to do is work out after a long day of work, low-impact aerobics, Pilates or yoga will re-energize muscles that are tired of sitting in an office chair or running around town all day. A short burst of cardio exercise will get the blood pumping through your body and increase the amount of oxygen you take in, refreshing your brain and leaving it ready to take on the next day’s challenges.
Sara Steffan is a public relations student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She hopes to get both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in four years. Sara loves things like pens, mainstream music, puppies and social media. She can be found tweeting about those and more entertaining things @saras116, or check out her blog here.