This summer was the big one; I put on my newly purchased blazer and high heels, and sat in a shiny third floor office cubicle of one of the biggest Fortune 100 companies on the globe. This internship was what I had worked toward my entire college career, but soon I found out my dream job had a painful flaw.
I went from being bright and energetic to being slow and extremely uninterested in my work. This was a classic case of burnout.
The 40-hour work weeks, minute-by-minute emails, daily meetings and weekly deadlines turned me into a workaholic, forgetting about my personal health, family or friends, and focusing solely on the job. I was depressed, anxious, lacking in motivation and cynical. I also had a difficult time remembering things and making decisions. I was not used to the corporate lifestyle, and I did not give myself the work-life balance I deserved.
Now that my internship is over, I have learned tips on how to overcome burnout that can help anyone get refreshed for their upcoming classes:
What has helped me through some of my most stressful times recently has been an app called Calm. It is free to download and has guided meditations that relax the body and mind. When I am feeling stressed, I tap on the app, select the time I would like to meditate and close my eyes as it gently releases my anxiety, stress or depression. Daily meditation is a way to find time for yourself every day and helps the mind become more resilient to stressors throughout the day.
Catch some Zzz’s
One of the major risks of burnout is getting fewer than six hours of sleep per night. This can be especially difficult the first weeks of college when getting used to dorms and roommates. Make it a point to set a bedtime every night. I have an activity tracker that vibrates when it is time for me to go to bed. That way I am always reminded when it is that time. Not only will getting rest make anyone less tired in the morning, but it will decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
Talk to buds
The main thing that helped me through my burnout was connecting with my friends and family. I realized that when I needed them, I shouldn’t have hesitated to reach out. My friends provided me with insight I didn’t have into what I was going through and it made it much easier to connect with them. Making time each day to connect with friends and family gave me a boost of confidence and a sense of home that made my problems feel less extreme.
Talking to a Counselor
Whether you’re overcoming burnout from an internship or job, or you are facing burnout in the semester, talking to a counselor is the best way to overcome any difficulty you’re facing. A counselor can set you on a track to success with skills and advice.
Any form of anxiety or depression should be handled by a professional; you can contact the Rider University Counseling Center at 609-896-5157.
Senior journalism major
Printed in the 09/07/16 issue.