Taking a break, or what Susan calls "personal recess," is a crucial element of productivity and mental health, especially for high-stress jobs like medicine and education. "Take Five," presented here at UCLA Health in 2016, offers three 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
"I minored in neuroscience and am constantly amazed by new research in the field. I've seen firsthand how these techniques have worked in a variety of workplace/casual settings - we forget how effective taking short breaks and engaging different parts of your brain is for productivity and happiness. Try it out! "
-- Aishwariya Chandrekasar, Project Manager, Health Care Industry
“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, LL
"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
Susan will deliver Take Five as a 45-minute brown bag talk, or up to a 90-minute workshop. Appropriate for groups large or small. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org