The Benefits of Fall Pause… I mean Fall Break.

          Last semester after beginning the MSW program, I jokingly referred to Fall Break, which is a period of three days the university does not hold class, as “Fall Pause”. Literally, it seemed like a joke in the midst of all the papers, readings, and group projects that were in my planner the week prior to fall break and the weeks after fall break.

            However, this year, I have a new perspective. This year, I am going to soak up every minute of fall break and actually allow myself to chill out. In graduate school, I am finding that “self care” becomes a random statement that is mentioned often but hardly ever followed through with. Being busy eats up all of our time and we have lost the ability to be idle. In an article I read today, “The ‘Busy’ Trap”, Tim Krieger states, “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets”. (Krieger, 2012). That article was a newsflash to me because I never understood the harmful effects that being busy could have on my mind! I had accepted it as a part of my life! So now, with fall break coming up, I have decided that on at least one of the days, I am going to allow myself to sleep until I wake up without an alarm, I am not going to respond or check email, and I am going to purposefully allow myself to indulge in whatever fun activities I can think of. If that involves just lounging around my apartment all day, then that’s that. So I challenge you, if you’re in school or if you’re working full time, or whatever you do with your life, take a day, or some hours to be idle and relax! Your mind needs it!

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Check out the referenced article here:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1

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About Monique Smith

Hi all! I am a final year MSW student! Concentration: Community, Management and Policy Practice Hometown: Erwin, NC Areas of Interest: Education policy, College Access, Rural Communities, Adolescents Field Placement: Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Interesting Fact: I published my first devotional book entitled “Progression: Being Perfected” in May 2014 and it is available on amazon.com! Reach out to me with questions about field placements, class schedules, workload, and anything else you may have in mind! moniques@email.unc.edu
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