Like any new experience in life, especially if you’re a neurotic stress case like me, the beginning of my internship came with some anxiety. Although I always feel comfortable in the morning on my commute and when I’m actually at my desk, I’ve struggled a bit since the transition with nighttime anxiety. It makes it hard for me to shut my brain off and succumb to sleep. Mostly, I lie in my bed rehashing conversations with my supervisors, coworkers and sources. I always catch myself thinking things like: “I’m sure I shouldn’t have asked that question, it makes me seem like I’m not self sufficient enough.” In order to help combat this spiral of pointless anxiety and get my sleep schedule back on track, I’ve adopted a method called 7-11 breathing.
While I hope none of my fellow interns are experiencing a spike in anxiety like me, I would recommend this method as a good way to cope with stressful thoughts and overwhelming feelings at work. If you bring headphones to work, you can even listen to this relaxing soundtrack while doing your deep breathing.
In order to combat my anxiety, I’m also working on being kind to myself. On a day-to-day basis, I think most people are unaware of the negative thoughts they project onto themselves. I know in my case, I wouldn’t stand for it if a stranger said to me some of the horrible things I think to myself. Although we are all in a stressful situation, in a new town working a professional level job, a small level of error is inherent in the process of being human. If we beat ourselves up over our small failures, we may miss our large successes.