Dave Brubeck's classic "Take Five" is literally and figuratively woven into
this interactive presentation on how your brain can benefit from short breaks.
Each participant leaves with a stronger understanding brain science plus a self-designed personal break based on workload, personality and even childhood play.
Susan is a longtime nonprofit leader and play evangelist, who developed
“Take Five” for the Pentagon and now presents it to schools, hospitals,
companies, and nonprofits. Adaptable for workshop or keynote, group size 20-500.
"It was a great opportunity to think differently about a workday. In many cases, I have made more justifications for 'why I don't have time for a break'. But in reality, small breaks provide for better brain output!" -J.K., Research and Policy Associate, Justice Policy Institute
Taking brain breaks, or what Susan calls "personal recess," is a crucial element of productivity and mental health, especially for high-stress jobs like nonprofits, medicine and education. "Take Five," pictured here at UCLA Health in 2016, offers multiple recommendations for creating a restorative break in as few as five minutes.
Like many innovations, "Take Five" was developed for the U.S. military. Truly! The Pentagon's Chaplain met Susan and requested she speak on the brain benefits of play at their lunchtime wellness series. Susan received a Spiritual Fitness medal for delivering the workshop to nearly 100 Pentagon employees in 2015.
"Take Five" is sprinkled with colorful brain scans, practices to build neural pathways, and games that challenge coordination. Sometimes there's time for juggling (scarves) to demonstrate midline-crossing benefits. The presentation incorporates visual, aural and kinesthetic learning styles for maximum retention.
"Susan's presentation was super fun and a timely reminder to breathe during these challenging times. She delivered up the right mix of interaction, laughs, a-ha moments and brain science to make it a highly enjoyable brown bag lunch training."
--Suzanne Ehlers, President & CEO, PAI
"A fun and informative session, that provided not only science backed research, but connected that to the needs for breaks to prevent burnout, and highlighted the type of breaks that help us most recharge." --PA, Development & Finance Manager, national justice organization
“We all need breaks, especially ones that involve moving around and having a little fun. Susan got us started on the concept with Playworks’ recess program. And now, thanks to her talk, we keep juggling scarves in our break room to encourage employees to take a moment for play. What a fun, engaging session Susan provided! Can’t wait to have her back again.”
-- Rachel Gaur, Sr. Manager, Facilities and Events, Promontory Interfinancial Network
"As a resident physician, burnout is a huge problem and very difficult to combat given our crazy hours. Susan gave great insight and had a wonderfully interactive workshop. I think if everyone took a few minutes out of their day to relax and play, we would all be happier. It is a powerful tool to combat resident burnout."
-- Dr. Ferrin Ruiz, coordinator of Med/Peds Residents Conference at UCLA
"I really enjoyed your talk “the new smoke break” at the CPA conference last week. Great information, great class interaction, and you are an excellent speaker. More people need to hear your message. A great quote I heard from a Buddhist monk “I see a lot of humans coming and going, but not a lot of humans being”. The ceaseless activity of modern life breeds disease of mind and body. Everyone needs to take time to smell the roses…before the roses wither up and die, or before they do. Keep up the great work and keep spreading the message. We need it now more than ever.
p.s. I have mastered the thumb/index finger exercise by the way!" --B.M. (Johnstown, PA)
Susan can deliver Take Five as a 45-minute brown bag talk, 90-minute keynote, or two-hour workshop. Longer versions have more activities and small group work. Appropriate for groups large or small. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org