Finding Balance in Your Dietetic Internship

Photo: Thinkstock/iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Dietetic internships are challenging, time-consuming, intensive learning experiences. While your rotations will be your top priority during your internship, it is not the only thing that should be on your mind.  Creating balance between your internship, personal well-being and social life is crucial. Here are a few tips for finding balance in your life during your internship.

Stay Healthy

It is easy to feel so busy in your internship that you cut corners when it comes to your health. Make a conscious effort daily to eat well, be active, get enough sleep and address your stress. This will help you be your best, most-productive self and will give you firsthand health tips you can pass along to your clients during internship rotations.

Create a Routine

Develop a customized routine for your morning, evening and bedtime rituals and even weekends. When you get into the groove of a regular routine, you know exactly what you will do at what time, giving you more time for other activities.

Don’t Overload Yourself

Your internship is essentially your full-time job and a top priority. Keep this in mind when considering adding other commitments to your agenda, such as a part-time job. Give yourself permission to leave some commitment-free time to relax and recuperate.

Build Relationships

Your fellow interns can become a high-quality support team, valuable coworkers and close friends when you invest in developing relationships with them. Your preceptors and internship directors can provide support, advice, professional insights and job references to help you on your way to becoming an RDN. Developing strong connections with these people will help you achieve an enriching internship experience and could lead to lifelong relationships.

Become an Active Community Member

Starting an internship usually involves moving to a new city, which can be exciting and intimidating. If you have time, become an active member of your new community by attending or volunteering at public events. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn about the community you are now a part of.

Remember Why You’re Doing It

Some days are bound to be more exhausting than others. On hard days, take a moment to reflect on what sparked your passion for dietetics, the work it took to get into your position and the positive differences you can make in the lives of your patients and clients. Refuel your motivation with these reminders of how awesome it is to be a dietetic intern!

Kirsten Voss on Linkedin
Kirsten Voss
Kirsten Voss, RDN, works as a school nutrition program consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, providing support to the food service professionals that serve healthy, balanced meals to children. In May 2017, she completed her dietetic internship and graduate school at Illinois State University. In 2015, she completed her bachelors in dietetics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Connect with her on LinkedIn.