The Take 5 Friday Program at Houston

Take 5 Friday program

The Take 5 Friday program at the University of Houston offers five-minute challenges to campus recreation users. Here’s a deeper look at the program.

Supporting students during this time isn’t just happening through virtual group fitness classes or one-on-one online coaching. It’s also being done through much simpler means.

For example, the Take 5 Friday program at the University of Houston is a webpage chock full of five-minute ideas that look to keep students well and requires very little maintenance on the backend.

EXTRA CREDIT: Looking to build a wellness/well-being program? This roundtable deep dives into this topic.

Kim Clark, the director of Campus Recreation at the University of Houston, said as the pandemic hit and everything shifted to remote classes, programs and services, her team identified other opportunities to support students’ health and well-being.

“Take 5 Fridays promotes self-care by encouraging students to take a few minutes to pause and engage in something that will nourish their mind, body and spirit,” she said. “Sometimes students need a gentle reminder to slow down and check-in with themselves.”

Take 5 Friday Program Examples:

  • Take 5 minutes to go outside, breathe and disconnect from any distractions because you deserve it.
  • Take 5 minutes and call a friend or relative. If the call goes longer, fine, but if they have to hang up — to go do homework, comfort a baby, eat dinner — then it’s totally cool. Not every call has to be a deep conversation. They can just be short and sweet for example, “I’m am cutting my own hair today, any advice?” or “What cute things are your baby doing?” Chat quickly and hang up. Now enjoy this little catch-up call.
  • Go smile at yourself in the mirror. Find a mirror and smile away. Pick up your phone, leave it off and smile at yourself on the screen. Smile at yourself when you’re in front of a window or a glass door. Flip down that visor and give yourself a smile when you’re stopped at the next light. If you don’t feel like smiling hold your mouth in a smile, use your fingers to pull up the corners of your mouth if you have to. Soon the endorphins will make you feel like smiling. 
  • Take a Five-Minute Nap. There’s a lot to be said for the power nap. A five-minute nap can be refreshing and provide an excellent opportunity to get some alone time.

You can find more suggestions via the Take 5 Friday webpage.

While the page and its directions/ideas are helpful, it’s also simple. It’s made to be easy for the member of your rec center, as well as simple for staff to continually execute. And it lends a helping hand for students, staff and faculty to focus on their well-being.

EXTRA CREDIT: Here are unique well-being offerings from campuses across the country.

“The Take 5 Friday ideas are simply suggestions to remind us of some quick and easy ways to pause from busy lives to check-in and practice self-care,” said Clark.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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