Back in June, like many of you have this summer, I started a virtual internship. Somehow I thought that virtual assured that I would not be emotionally or physically drained at the end of the day. However, after staring at my computer for eight consecutive hours (minus lunch) I realized that I was in fact, very wrong.
Without the watercooler talk and dedicated time spent staring off into space, my work hours felt sacred. I optimized almost every minute of my workday. Work-life balance meant pausing after every video call to take a lap around my apartment and greet my live-in “coworkers”. I was a WFH pro. Clocking out was a different story. By 5pm each afternoon, I bravely summoned the energy to slouch, watch two seasons of New Girl, and stare blankly at my reflection. Coincidentally, I felt guilty about all of it. I mean, yes I was working a 9 to 5 for the first time in my life, but where was the energy for extracurriculars? Why couldn’t I convince myself to draft replies to the emails languishing in my inbox?
Turns out, I was suffering from the mental and physical effects of exhaustion. It wasn’t too hard to figure out—falling asleep with my glasses on and a book sprawled across my chest was proof enough. Did I mention it was only Thursday? Thankfully, my instincts kicked in. My week of corporate stress made way for a weekend of anti-productivity. Rather than ceremoniously crossing items off the to-do list, I woke up on Saturday morning just to eat breakfast and fall right back asleep.
Instead of policing my every minute like I would on the clock, I treated my body to rest with Netflix and a 3-mile walk in a gigantic circle. If you’ve read this far, I trust that your to-do lists will get done. But until then, do yourself a favor and try doing absolutely nothing for a while. You’ll be better for it.