: Remember recess? Racing to the ball diamond for a game of scratch, hoping you were quick enough to nab your spot in line so you’d actually get a turn at bat before the bell rang? Dashing to the swings to pump yourself up with no teacher telling you to sit still and quit fidgeting? Screaming at the top of your lungs, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let Jimmy come over!” Or maybe just spending a quiet moment chatting with a buddy, trading secrets?
Now that we are no longer stuck in elementary school, and so much more adult, we’ve outgrown the need for recess. Or have we? Survey after survey reports that people who take a break from their daily routine to engage in activities that help them emotionally blow off steam, physically rest, socially reconnect, or mentally regroup are not only more relaxed and more engaged, but also much more productive.
Need a refresher on the research? Check out a few of the stats on the ‘What’s The Plus?’ page of the Why Balance? section of the Pauseworks Balance Centre.
ACTION: So, if recess is part of our past, but the need for it is still present, what’s a body to do? The Big Kid, Rich DiGorilamo, suggests we resurrect the past and put it to work in the service of the present. In simple terms: Bring Back Recess.
Rich is the founder of Recess At Work Day – a day to make time to recharge and enjoy each other’s company. Scheduled for the third Thursday in June, this year, Recess At Work Day happens to fall on June 16. That would be … tomorrow! That still gives you 24 hours to scheme up an engaging break for you and your colleagues.
What to do? There are plenty of possibilities. Here are a few that spring to mind:
- Balloons (animal twists or hand badminton challenge)
- In-House Lemonade Stand (to raise $ for your fav charity)
- Joke Swap (all in good taste of course)
- Ice Cream Cones or Sundaes (complete with a cool selection of toppings)
- Color Off (a new box of crayons and flip chart paper for each team)
- Outdoors Meeting (Remember trying to convince your teacher to hold class outside?)
- Juke Box Coffee Break (oldies tunes and specialty coffees)
- Your ideas here: ………, ………, ………..
It doesn’t have to be expensive; and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Recess was never either of those things! Think simple, impromptu, easy, and fun.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes! I’ll be teetering and tottering, waiting for your reports!
QUOTES OF THE WEEK: “A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.” – Bill Vaughan
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” – Plato.
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
: For more info and inspiration on Recess At Work Day, check out Rich’s website
READERS WRITE: Pause Reader LV writes: “I needed you today and all I had to do was open up my newsletter…thanks.”
To which I would reply, “You are more than welcome, LV and all of you. It’s a treat to share these insights, ideas and tools with you each week. I’m delighted when you find them useful, and even more delighted when you let me know.”
Tags: attitude, burnout, health, learning, motivation, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, productivity, purpose, Saskatoon, speaker, stress, time out, wellness, workload