Whether or not it’s actually said on a movie or television set, “Take Five” is a fairly familiar phrase that means take a break. And there are surely times in our worlds when we need to take a break.
Here’s a simple tool to learn so that we can take a safe, healthy break when we need to. This tool could help us avoid angry actions (which we might have regretted later.) It might help some of us avoid using an unhealthy coping skill.
The next time you find yourself facing a conflict or stressor..
TAKE FIVE (or more) steps away from the source of the conflict.
TAKE FIVE slow, deep breaths. Visualize the oxygen circulating through your body and visualize the stress/anger exiting as you exhale. (Deep breathing can really change how we feel!)
TAKE FIVE minutes to carefully, calmly consider if or how best to respond to the situation. If it isn’t literally on fire, you can take a little time before you respond.
Take five steps, breaths, and minutes. You deserve a break and you deserve to be free. Please learn it, memorize it, and use it. It works!
((Extra credit of you whistle “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck))
Live in Belgium 1964
Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass)* and Dave Brubeck (piano)
*During his first week with the band in 1958, Eugene Wright (sometimes playfully referred to as “The Senator”) experienced unjust racial tension when the quartet arrived for a college gig in North Carolina. Administrators offered resistance to a black musician playing with the band. Dave Brubeck refused to play without him.