Avoid Intern Burnout

Welcome back from the short Thanksgiving break. I can hardly believe it’s the last week of November already, and I have no idea where the fall semester went. The next few weeks won’t make it any better.

‘Tis the season for high burnout potential.


If you are a current intern, you are entering a high-stress time. You’ll be wrapping up your internship. Final exams are looming. Mixed with the holidays, there is a lot going on.

Don’t crash and burn. Here are some tips for avoiding intern burnout as the fall semester comes to an end:

  • Get plenty of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t function. And with so much going on at this time of the year, you can’t afford to not be at your best. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. And when you start thinking that pulling an all-nighter is a good idea, remember that most people regret it the next morning. If you need ideas for improving your sleep habits, check out these sleep tips for college students.
  • Be active every day. If you regularly work out, keep up your routine. If you’ve been relatively inactive, start incorporating more activity into your day. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. For the active types, this isn’t the time to start training for a marathon. For those new to working out, take things easy with simple, short walks. And for some relaxing fitness, try yoga. Take a yoga class or pick up a yoga DVD. Stretching is important for overall well-being and it will help calm your mind, too.
  • Eat healthy the majority of the time. At this time of the year, food indulgences are the name of the game. Partake in this seasonal yumminess, but do so in moderation. It’s one thing to stuff yourself on Thanksgiving. It’s a whole other problem if you eat like that every day. Eating well – healthy, balanced meals and snacks – is as important as sleep to keep you functioning.
  • Learn to say NO. Obligations can come flying at you from every direction at this time of the year. Can you work longer hours? Can you help a friend study for his/her exams? Can you go to this party or that event? You don’t have to say yes to everything, and saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. Keep in mind one of my favorite sayings: Saying no is saying yes to yourself.

How are you taking care of yourself as the semester ends? What suggestions do you have for avoiding burnout as a student?

Photo by Andrew Malone