Comfort coming to Upswell conf, Chicago, Nov 2019

Susan Engages Audiences

"Take Five: Building 5-minute Brain Breaks for Productivity & Joy"


Dave Brubeck's classic "Take Five" is literally and figuratively woven into this interactive presentation on how our brains can benefit from short breaks. 

Each participant leaves with a stronger understanding of brain hemispheres plus a self-designed personal break based on workload, personality and childhood play. 

While the curriculum is focused on individuals, this talk is also a team-builder.  

It sparks joy.

(See below for testimonials) 

"7 Social Stress Solutions for Mentally-Resilient Work Teams"


1. Learn the latest brain science related to stress and how we manage the "safe and social" state of our nervous systems. 

2. Fill out a Stress Scorecard to see how multiple layers of oppression affect your mental health. 

3. Practice seven tools (individually and in groups) that make us more productive, joyful and mentally-resilient.

Whether this talk is delivered via webinar, teleconference or in-person, expect an hour of fast-moving neurology, chat boxes/breakout groups, mental health prescriptions, and interactive tools to take back to your teams. 


These talks are a pair; it is best to schedule both because the brain science and activities are different. 

Talks are best scheduled at lunchtime OR from 2-3 p.m. to mark what Dan Pink calls the "least productive time of day" (2:55 pm). 


The inter-activities work via webinar, multi-site teleconference or in-person.

Talks last between 45-90 minutes. 

More time = more interactive activities. 

Talks are suitable for brown bags, staff retreats and especially conferences. 


"Take Five: 5-min brain breaks for productivity & joy"


Great lunchtime or keynote talk


What You Get

Each participant leaves with a stronger understanding brain science, plus a self-designed personal break (and BINGO challenge) based on workload, personality and childhood play. The lucky participants build connections through activities and sharing joyful memories.  

Comfort Expert

Susan is a 25-year nonprofit leader and organization developer, who created “Take Five” for the Pentagon and now presents it to schools, hospitals, companies, and nonprofits across the world. 

Available via in-person workshop, multi-site teleconference, or webinar. Adaptable for keynote. Group size 20-1,000.

This talk gets your office talking

"The New Smoke Break"


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. 

Developed for the Pentagon


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.

Brain Science -- Demystified


"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.

...unlike time, energy is renewable

"Although many of us can't increase the working hours in the day, we can measurably increase our energy. Physicists understand energy as the capacity to do work. Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable." - Tony Schwartz, CEO, The Energy Project

"Take Five" Testimonials


"a reminder to breathe during these challenging times"

"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 

"highlighted the type of breaks that help us most recharge"

"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

"now, we keep juggling scarves in our break room"

“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

"play is a powerful tool to combat burnout"

"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 

"...but not a lot of humans being"

"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 30- or 45-minute brown bag talk, 60- or 90-minute keynote, or 2-3-hour workshop. Longer versions have more activities and small group work. Appropriate for groups large or small. Contact


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Comfort Consulting

Takoma Park MD

mob: two-oh-two 246.5336