You may know that I have a day job as the Assistant Director of Career Services with the Lerner College of Business at the University of Delaware.

Like some of you, I was temporarily furloughed along with the entire staff at UD, for a week at Thanksgiving. In case you are not familiar with the term, a furlough means an involuntary, unpaid break from work. It’s what employers do when they are strapped for cash but want to preserve jobs and not lay people off.

It doesn’t feel great, but I will be fine, and I am keenly aware of how fortunate I am in this climate.

The problem for me – and maybe you can relate – is that I am a workaholic. During the Thanksgiving furlough, I couldn’t give myself a break. I kept working on Avarah business, I came up with an elaborate Thanksgiving meal to cook even though there were only 3 of us. I even did some UD work (shh…).

Now we have another furlough coming up the week of Christmas. And, instead of being annoyed, I’m choosing to look at it as a fresh chance to take a break.

Here’s what I know, because I have seen it in myself and others: Continuing to work ceaselessly without taking time to oneself is a recipe for exhaustion. I’m looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing I should have given myself permission to rest in November. I’m not going to make that mistake again.

During this holiday season you have my permission to take a break! Even from your job search. Seriously. Do a puzzle, watch your favorite holiday movies, read a book, take a chilly hike, get back to that hobby you enjoy. Fill yourself up so that you’ll be refreshed and ready for what will be calling for your attention in the new year.

Wishing you all the joy, light, and peace of this season!


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