Experiencing stress is something that all dietetic interns will endure at some point during their internship. It is important to understand how to cope with this stress in a healthy way. I am sure I didn’t cope with stress appropriately 100 percent of the time, but I will share with you with a few tips that helped me when things were getting rough during my dietetic internship.
1. Exercise. Personally, running is my outlet from the world, but I sometimes ignored the urge to run when I felt stressed during school because I feared that I just didn't have time for it. Make the time to work out, whether it’s running or some other aerobic activity — whatever works for you and keeps you motivated.
2. Yoga. A few of my classmates and I got pretty into yoga during our program, going weekly after class. Yoga can take some getting used to, but it really helps you clear your mind and re-center yourself.
3. Read something unrelated to your internship. I know this may seem difficult to fit into your schedule, but reading some light fiction really helped me to escape reality for a little while. I would bring a book with me on my daily train commute to the hospital and read as much as I could before starting rotations.
4. Get enough sleep. This might seem like common sense, but adequate sleep is more important than pulling an all-nighter for a big exam.
5. Talk to your classmates and hang out outside of the internship. Talk, laugh and bond with your classmates about stressful times because, at the end of the day, they are the only ones who know exactly what you are going through, and they are going to be there for you no matter what.
Yes, make sure to take your internship experience seriously, but try not to get bogged down with stress. Take the time to care for yourself and enjoy your dietetic internship along the way.