Subject: 5 ways to balance your mental health with an internship
Let’s be real: internships can cause a lot of anxiety. Whether you are spending months writing dozens of cover letters, going to interviews or adjusting to a new internship, internships can cause a lot of stress. Sometimes, it’s worth it to go the extra mile, to check up on your own mental health and remind yourself that you are a human being that needs some me-time in order to be productive. Here are my five tips for managing anxiety levels while completing an internship:
In order to keep your brain healthy, you have to keep your body healthy too! If your work has a stand-up desk at work, great. Use it as much as you can. Try not to sit from 9-5 every single day. Also, if you need to take a break from a task, take a walk around the office or around the block. The fresh air can work miracles after staring at a computer screen for hours!
Don't be afraid to take time for yourself
In the digital age that we live in today, more and more companies are opting for three- day weekends or stay-at-home days off of work. Depending on your company work environment, this might be an option for you. However, if the company you work for requires constant on-site communication, even taking one-minute breaks between accomplishing tasks on your checklist can keep your brain from becoming fried. Peruse a fun article from a publication you enjoy. Read a few pages of the book you are working on. Heck, even do 10 squats at your desk if you are in a private office! It's normal to take a few minutes to remind yourself that you are indeed a human, not a workhorse, and that a few small (but reasonable) breaks are acceptable.
Make friends at work
Whether you need to vent about something at work or simply talk about weekend plans, having casual conversation with a few friendly co-workers can also better your work environment and mental health. It also keeps your mind from being swamped in your daily work.
And last, but certainly not least, ask yourself on a daily basis if you are passionate about what you are doing. If the answer is yes, great. Although it might feel like a grind, at least you know that you are exactly where you need to be. And if the answer is no, don't let the job define you. If you need to search for a new job or find tasks at the office that you are passionate about doing, it never hurts to look or ask.
Remind yourself that your employers were once in your shoes
Sometimes, you mess up. Or you need to ask someone above you what’s going on. It’s all normal occurrences when you are an intern. If you ever get stressed about an assignment that you are uneasy or unsure of, just remember that you are an intern who is working to learn and grow, not know the answer to everything.