Got 10 minutes or less? Find out how colleagues spend their 10-minute breaks

November 9, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

Last month, Headlines asked readers how they might spend 10 minutes to pause for wellness in between meetings or other work activities. The question was sparked by Michigan Medicine Chief Executive Officer Marschall S. Runge’s challenge for everyone to change their one-hour meetings to a standard 50 minutes, allowing for a well-deserved break. 

The responses below offer some very simple, but helpful suggestions to support well-being throughout the workday.

First, when given a multiple-choice list of 10 wellness suggestions, readers voted for these top six:

  • Take a walk
  • Read something non-work-related
  • Listen to music
  • Tied for 4th place: Grab a snack and connect with a friend via phone, text or social media 
  • Do absolutely nothing (pause to reflect) 

Readers were then asked to share more details about their favorite pause break. Many found unique ways to squeeze in some physical fitness within 10 minutes. Suggestions included stretch routines, resistance training, short bike rides and yoga.

In fact, Natalie Farwell, a project manager for pathology, shared this five-minute yoga flow sun salutation, while Diane Peacor, a staff specialist from accreditation, uses the stairs by the helicopter pad in the hospital for her five-minute workout. 

For some, finding time for spiritual reflection was important to their day. Writing a gratitude list, meditating, praying and even eating lunch mindfully were among the suggestions.

For others, working from home has provided unique opportunities.  

“I replaced my commute with 5-10 minutes of meditation to prepare for my day ahead or process the day I’ve had, to replace the useful transition time I had in the car while driving to/from work,” said Sandy Goel, senior administrative manager for the Wellness Office. 

Playing with pets was popular, with several employees pointing out that both pets and their owners receive health benefits from quality cuddle time.

Chelle Robins, an administrative specialist in the medical school, had an additional ulterior motive: “I play with my kitten so she is tired and will nap while I’m working or in meetings.”

Taking a break also allows parents to check in with their kids.

“Every day I read an interesting article (think new inventions, discoveries, acts of kindness, pets — anything that will spark interest for my seven-year-old) and share with him,” said Rekha Lalwani, a web project manager in the Department of Communication. “Then I listen to his interpretation of the article. Having that conversation with my kid where I get to enjoy his take on the article makes my day and always leads to ‘let’s try to do this’ idea.”

Want to get the whole team involved?

A few of you described what your teams were doing to pause.

“Dr. Runge opened the door and gave us permission to find moments to pause,“ said Josie Aguirre, administrative director for physician relations and outreach. “As a result, we have become more efficient during our 50 minutes. And we have been sending team emails each morning, using the squares on this Bingo Game to offer suggestions for a daily pause.”

If you are a leader who wants to participate in Runge’s Pause for Well-Being Challenge, visit this well-being site for ideas and then share your team’s well-being commitment by using this tracking form for a chance to receive a budget for a team celebration and recognition from Runge.

Congratulations to the winners

The following survey participants won the random drawing for a prize:

  • Beverly List
  • Laura Schmehl
  • Jasmine Oesch
  • Tonie Owens
  • Marilyn Kubek

Congratulations! You will be contacted by a member of the Department of Communication to redeem your prize.