Connecting with Taking Breaks

When we are rewarded for "staying on the grind" and shamed for lack of productivity, it can be hard to use the Pause button in life. This week we explore the benefits of taking a break, how to find deliberate rest, and why it lets us get more done.  Episode Notes can be found at

Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.

YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human








[00:00:00] Alex Cullimore: Welcome to Uncover the Human where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives. 


[00:00:06] Cristina Amigoni: Whether that's with our families, co-workers or even ourselves. 


[00:00:09] Alex Cullimore: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.


[00:00:12] Cristina Amigoni: This is Cristina Amigoni. 


[00:00:13] Alex Cullimore: And this is Alex Cullimore. Let’s dive in.


[00:00:15] Cristina Amigni: Let’s dive in. 


[00:00:18] Guests: Authenticity means freedom. 


Authenticity means going with your gut.


Authenticity is bringing 100% of yourself not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.


Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself. 


It's the way our intuition is whispering something deep-rooted and true.


Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be. 


It's transparency, relatability, no frills, no makeup, just being.


[00:00:54] Alex Cullimore: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Uncover the Human. This week, we wanted to talk about a topic that is hot on everybody's mind, especially after 13, 15 however many months of the pandemic.


[00:01:04] Cristina Amigoni: 47,000.


[00:01:06] Alex Cullimore: It feels like about 27 years. We wanted to talk about the importance of taking breaks, and why it is such a valuable thing to do. How it's not a selfish thing to do to end up taking some self-care and why it's especially necessary after a year like this? So, Cristina, you actually mentioned something that reminded me of this just before we even started where you’re talking about getting outside the house for the first time in a couple days, which is an experience I have definitely had a few times over the course of the pandemic. But that one, there's always that weird moment in a pandemic, after all the pandemics we've had, where we walk outside and it's been a few days, and the air feels entirely different. And you think to yourself, “Hmm, I haven’t been outside since Tuesday.”


[00:01:54] Cristina Amigoni: And I don't know what day today is, which is another indication of not knowing how long you've been inside and needing to take at least a change of scenery, and then a break. And then a change of scenery again, is when you look outside and you realize it's Friday because your neighbors have their trash cans out. Otherwise, it could be any day of the week, any day of the month.


[00:02:20] Alex Cullimore: That's actually I think one of the key parts about taking a break that makes it so refreshing is especially if you can actually get away or at least purposely take a break not just sit and scroll Facebook or whatever, which ends up being like very tiring after a while. If you're purposely taking a break, breaks that monotony of just everyday feeling like every other day and short of there being trash cans out. I would have no idea that it's Friday.


[00:02:45] Cristina Amigoni: Indeed. I got in the car this morning to take my kids to grandpa's house. And as I was backing out of the garage, I couldn't figure out what the bright light that was shining in my eyes was. And I'm like, “Wait, why does this feels different?” And it's cloudy. It's not even a sunny day. And that's when I realized, “I don't think I've done this for at least six or seven days.”


[00:03:15] Alex Cullimore: Sometimes I feel like a sunflower. You just get outside and then suddenly everything feels different.  You kind of automatically turn towards the sun. Just rotate up there. Something’s different here.


[00:03:26] Cristina Amigoni: And it doesn't help that it's been cold and snowy and foggy all week because I would usually at least go out once a day for an outdoor walk. But I've been indoor walking. So my breaks –Well, no breaks, but my life has gone from the office on the second floor, to the kitchen on the ground floor, to the treadmill in the basement. And then every once in a while I'd venture to the couch for 20 minutes or so, but not really a break in any sense.


[00:03:55] Alex Cullimore: Not quite the change of scenery you’re looking for?


[00:03:58] Cristina Amigoni: No.


[00:03:59] Alex Cullimore: I think one of the reasons the change of scenery helps, and if you think about like work retreats or corporate retreats, they're almost always held offsite. And I think there's real value in that because it's too easy to fall back into the habit of wherever you are doing that thing that you do when you're there. That's what they say, don't work in bed because you'll start to kind of conflate work instead of it just being a place for rest or just being a place for sleep. And if you're in the office, then it feels like –


[00:04:29] Cristina Amigoni: You should be in bed and you'll fall asleep.


[00:04:33] Alex Cullimore: Unless you mess up your bed. This is why it's important.


[00:04:36] Cristina Amigoni: Office desk, bed, same thing. Any memories of falling asleep in the office come to you?


[00:04:44] Alex Cullimore: That has happened more times to me that I'd like to talk about. Might have something to do with not eating breakfast a lot of the times and eating way too much in lunch and then getting that nice comatose feeling about two o'clock.


[00:04:58] Cristina Amigoni: Working 16 hour days to code.


[00:05:02] Alex Cullimore: When you're always staring at a screen. That's the other thing that's interesting about the pandemic is that, yeah, even in the off hours, I'm generally staring at some kind of screen because it's either working on something on a laptop or watching some TV because there's only so much you can do outside. And especially in winter, there's only so long you can stay outside, so that you end up like just screen after screen after screen. And then you take that one walk in a week and you're like, “Oh, my God! The world exists like more than 20 feet away? That's insane.”


[00:05:27] Cristina Amigoni: Yes, it does. And both you and I took a break very recently. So that made the world even bigger than normal.


[00:05:35] Alex Cullimore: Yeah, spend some time and recognize. You got a whole week in Keystone? That’s nice.


[00:05:38] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, three, three and a half days. And a few hours and 10 minutes, but who's counting?


[00:05:48] Alex Cullimore: The person who didn't get enough break? I think.


[00:05:51] Cristina Amigoni: I kind of got back and I was like, “Wait, I think I should have stayed longer.”


[00:05:57] Alex Cullimore: On second thought, I’m wishing I was there. You had a good break there. You got to actually like take a break from the regular responsibilities, not just work, but also doing things like having to homeschool kids and everything during the pandemic. Another fun pandemic adventure that makes every day feel a little bit like every other day.


[00:06:14] Cristina Amigoni: Yes, yes. Another good way to know what day of the week it is, is when your kids are remote schooling. And the teacher is the one that says, “Happy Monday!” Oh my god! Okay, yeah. Monday. I got it. Thank you for that.


[00:06:33] Alex Cullimore: You got to let your kids have that instead of just immediately being like, “Is it? Is it a Happy Monday?”


[00:06:39] Cristina Amigoni: Well, actually, our first grade teacher confused us this week because she messed up on the video that she posted. And so on Monday, she kept saying, “Today is Tuesday.” And I'm like, “No, it's not. I know it's not. I know it’s not Tuesday. Stop lying to me.”


[00:06:56] Alex Cullimore: It's involuntary gaslighting.


[00:06:58] Cristina Amigoni: It is. Especially because on Tuesdays my kids go to grandpa's house. And so I know it's not Tuesday because they're with me this afternoon.


[00:07:10] Alex Cullimore: It's such – I don’t know, that autopilot thing just really comes back every time I think about like the need for breaks, because you can eventually almost gaslight yourself. Like surely this week is over and somebody's like, “It is Tuesday afternoon.” You’re like, “Crap. All right.”


[00:07:25] Cristina Amigoni: Not over. Yeah. Yeah, but brakes are crucial. And they do seem selfish, especially when you are a parent, or have many other responsibilities besides yourself and you leave. And now that you've left, you're kind of like, “Okay, I've just left all the responsibilities behind on somebody else's shoulders.” So that's very difficult. 


I remember, when working. I’m making it sound like I'm not working now. But different. I guess corporate working. I had to always make a choice between really being on break, and not shutting down my email, turning off the alerts, not checking anything, or getting tempted for whatever two weeks I would be overseas in Italy most of times, or spend, whatever, 20 minutes an hour at the end of every day to catch up on whatever I've missed, which neither of them felt like a break. Because whenever I did shut down, or shut off and unplugged, that also meant that on my return back from vacation, I would literally walk into 4000 emails I would have to read and not know what happened and have to catch up in less than a day to be able to just keep going. And that was more stressful than me just taking a half hour at the end of the day and just going through conversations and be like, “Okay, I know what's going on. I'm ready to go back.”


[00:08:50] Alex Cullimore: And that actually has. It’s a pretty important thing that's happened in the pandemic. And a lot of people have talked about this one, the idea that there really – Especially for people who are brand new to working from home or were brand new 15 months ago, it is it's hard to know where to draw the boundary because you are working at home, your laptop's always there. We work in an internet world now. I mean, emails, IMs, all very reachable on both your computer and your phone, which makes it especially important and difficult to draw that boundary. So like, yeah, you just can't work right now. And it's something that kind of came up some social pressure in the pandemic as well of like, “Look, I may not necessarily have something to do right now. But that doesn't mean I want to just jump on the 90th Zoom happy hour of the week or something.” Yeah, I'm not doing anything. But I've had four of these this week and I'm tired.


[00:09:39] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, definitely. And that's what I experienced when I was in Keystone. It was actually my very first time of ever in 46 years of life of going on vacation by myself. I've never been on vacation by myself. And mainly because I've always been kind of afraid of being with my mind on my own and nobody to rescue me. It can definitely be a dangerous path. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's actually pretty good. But it was incredible to just wake up and kind of feel like doing –  Not having any plans and deciding what to do at the moment. It was very Eckhart Tolle.


[00:10:20] Alex Cullimore: Very powerful of now.


[00:10:22] Cristina Amigoni: Very powerful now, and it was like, “What do I feel like doing now? Well, how about a walk? Sounds good.” And then even on the walk, I would be like, “Do I feel like turning right or left? Well, I'm the only one that has to decide.” Very refreshing, hence why I needed way more than three and a half days and two hours and 17 minutes and 40 seconds.


[00:10:45] Alex Cullimore: As long as you're consistent with that number, no one's going to check.


[00:10:49] Cristina Amigoni: I might have added a few hours already.


[00:10:52] Alex Cullimore: Wishful thinking. I wish I'd had those extra hours. I heard some quote one time, and I'm going to butcher it now because I can't remember exactly what it is. But it's something like most of the grievances of humankind can be traced back to man's inability to sit with his thoughts for 10 minutes. There's definitely some of that, like it's easier to be distracted at some level. And that's I think another huge reason that taking a break is important. Because once you have specifically chosen for yourself to make that break, for lack of a better word, to separate into like, “Okay, now I'm going to choose what to do. I'm not going to let it be driven by obligation. And I am the one that I'm obligated to now.” You can be a little more comfortable with your thoughts, and you're not as much in the escapism of the day to day of like – I can already imagine the 4000 emails stacking up, and I'm going to go preemptively either take care of that, or have to worry about that the entire time I have a break. So assuming that ends up coming up a lot. Just the ability to sit with your own thoughts is difficult, until you actually give yourself a chance to do it, because there's so much to do all the time. And there's always something you could be doing. And so it's hard to be like, “Yeah, I'll just take this time for myself,” until you do.


[00:12:02] Cristina Amigoni: There's so much pressure especially in the US, way more than in Italy, I would say Italy sit and do nothing is what life is about, so nobody's going to judge you for that. In the US there are so much pressure around the “if you're not busy, if you're not doing, then you are wasting time, not succeeding, useless, not good enough, whatever. Insert the … in there, that we always feel like we have to be doing. We have to. If it's not kids, it’s school. If it's not school, it’s work. If it's not work, it’s –We make up. We make up ways to stay busy because not being busy means you're less than.


[00:12:47] Alex Cullimore: Yeah, it's a kind of a bad end result of the incentive structure that we have. And you can see kind of where it came from. Let's say you're running a company, you've got employees, they're doing work for you. There're a lot of like tasks you want to see completed. Projects you want to see move forward. There's a very easy and understandable incentive to say like, “Oh, man, this person really just busted their ass for the last month, right? They did way more hours. Now we're ahead of where we thought we'd be.” And you go and you want to reward that because you're like, “Wow! You really went above and beyond there.” So you give that kudos or rewards or raises, whatever it is, because you're appreciative of the work that has been done. But that then reinforces that what is valuable singularly is getting work done consistently. And that doesn't necessarily take into account that work can be done a lot better if you have that mental space and the break and you have enough time to approach a problem rather than just insisting and it becomes this kind of self-reinforcing social thing where everybody has to hustle all the time. It’s just always doing something because otherwise you're going to be falling behind. And you should be rewarded for being able to just hustle longer and sleep less than everybody else.


[00:13:56] Cristina Amigoni: Yes, not eat, not have a family, not care about anything else. And it's toxic. It's toxic. It's destructive, because none of us can actually survive well. I just read an article actually, and I'm trying to remember who it was. There's a company, and it's a pretty famous company, that it's now paying employees for taking time off. Like on top of paid time off, they actually are going to pay them something like $500 a week for taking time off. Because they've realized that taking a break, not working yourself to death, not being there all the time, actually makes you a better worker. It makes you more productive. It makes you more engaged. It makes you more agile to change. It makes you more innovated. Again, like the list goes on and on and on. And it's because you need to just mentally disconnect and physically be somewhere else, even if it's the office in your house or the basement on the treadmill.


[00:14:54] Alex Cullimore: I kind of like to think of it as like battery life. Let's say you have some task at work that is going to take like 10 processing units. It'll take like 80% of your battery to be able to like get through this. If you're constantly like running yourself to the edge and then only recharging about 10%, like either you might get lucky enough to slowly take that giant task out in chunks, or you will never actually get the full task done, because you're not going to be able to rest enough to actually take it on. And it’s especially true just like a lot of complex tasks. But I think the more important feature is that what you're saying is that you lose the innovation and the collaboration, because once you're tired, and you're out of energy, first of all, it's harder to regulate your emotions. So there're a lot more difficult interactions anyway. But secondly, your worldview shrinks too. Like, “Well, I need to get this done. I barely have enough energy. So I'm only going to get this done.” If that ends up involving, “Also, I should email these three people,” there's a higher chance you don't email those people, or you don't talk to somebody about who your change is going to affect, because that's just going to add to the pile and you just want to get this one thing that you personally have to get done. And so you lose that collaboration when you start to get tired, and you start to lose the ability to take on larger tasks and do it in a way in which the whole company or the whole organization, or just your team even was going to benefit.


[00:16:14] Cristina Amigoni: And there's nothing like working on something that's your idea that you're supposed to be collaborating with, but you shortcut it and do it on your own. Because you don't want to add the extra time or whatever mental block is creating that “I'm just going to do it myself.” And then you deliver the final product at the last second. So it's the 11th hour, and the feedback you get is, “Ugh!” 


[00:16:38] Alex Cullimore: That’s not going to fit. Not going to work.


[00:16:40] Cristina Amigoni: What about this, this and that? And that doesn't make any sense. And I've actually experienced that, the giving end. I'm really good on the giving end of this. But I remember in the previous workplace where we both worked, it actually was in my very first year. I don't know if you were there yet. But I was in part of the team that worked on this agenda for the very first summit where everybody came together. And I remember getting  — for some reason, at the last literally 11th hour, the day before, I got — Joe, my boss at the time who you knew, sent me the agenda. And he was like, “Okay, can you review this? This is what we're going to do at the summit. And make sure that we haven't missed anything.” 


And I remember looking at it and thinking, “Oh, god! This whole thing needs to be redone. I can't even edit this, I can only throw it away and start from scratch.” And so it took some soul searching to figure out what feedback to provide, because I knew that we had maybe 12 hours to redo the whole thing, and it had been worked on for five days. And so I remember like at 11 o'clock at night making the decision of, “Well, this could be my last day of work. So let's make peace with that possible consequence. And I might as well point out the elephant in the room when I have this communication with Joe.” And so I actually said that.” I remember picking up the phone and say like, “Okay, so you're free to fire me after I give you feedback. Do you still want to hear it? And if so, this doesn't work. This is going to have people running away,” because I think most of it was let's talk at people for three and a half days and then two hours before the flight leaves ask them for their opinion. I’m like, “This is the first time people have gotten together ever in this company.” No. And he didn't fire me. I was there for three more years. So there you go. I think he promoted me. I think it was my very first promotions.


[00:18:46] Alex Cullimore: That's usually a pretty good analogy for most promotions that are happening. You just have to point out something like, “Look, this is bad.”


[00:18:54] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. Most of my promotions definitely always came after I point out what needs to be fixed. For some reason, mostly, mostly, not all the time. I've been burned too. But I've mostly worked for managers who appreciated being challenged, and the honesty and the courage.


[00:19:13] Alex Cullimore: Definitely makes for a better management. I mean, because otherwise it's just running the – Like, “Well, I was going to do what I say,” and you better hope that your opinion is really good. And nobody's opinion is that good.


[00:19:25] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. I don't know that we corrected it to being a much better or perfect summit, but there was at least a lot more interaction and collaboration and teams of people making decisions and working together and brainstorming.


[00:19:40] Alex Cullimore: Yeah, that's actually an interesting piece of what it means to take a break, because taking a break isn't just you unplugging for a bit. You have to kind of be deliberate about taking a break. There's been a lot of articles recently about the idea that like it's something that I think a lot of people have been doing. You're going to stop working at the end of the day, but then you end up either just watching TV or be scrolling Twitter or whatever it is for hours, and your brain doesn't recharge during that time. It's not doing any kind of active recovery. It's not doing anything that's really helping you. So you can end up feeling more drained by the end of that even though you haven't technically worked for two hours or for several hours, and it's not going to necessarily put you in a nice restful place for sleep either. And then sleep becomes a very important part of course of recharging and restarting a cycle.


[00:20:24] Cristina Amigoni: Definitely, yeah. In the three and a half and two hours and 47 minutes and 15 seconds, I think I repeated that, days that I was gone, I did go skiing, because that was one of my point. One of the key reasons to go up to Keystone was that I could ski. I did end up going skiing on one of the days, not all of them. And when I was on the chairlift alone, because of the pandemic, and because there was really nobody on the mountain, like there are like maybe three people on the whole chairlift from the beginning to top. And I didn't have headphones on purpose, I just kind of sat there waiting to get to the top, and besides hoping not to fall, all I could do was kind of look, look around me, count the trees, be grateful, admire nature. And that's one of the thoughts that I remember having is like, “Wow, like nature really does not care about being perfect. It's perfect in its imperfection. Every tree is different. And it's not going to sit there and compare itself to everybody else and say like, “Oh, you're a little taller than I am. I need to do something about it.” But it was really, really refreshing.


[00:21:37] Alex Cullimore: That reminds me of all of my conversation with Steve Evers. That was a really good point of just being in nature. It is refreshing that way. And I think that's the other benefit of a change of scenery. I think nature is especially helpful because it is such a drastic change of scenery. It's not indoors. You may not be in an office, but you could be indoors in a hotel or somewhere else. But if you go into nature, that's something that very few of us get to work in. So it is a change of scenery. And you can appreciate just the variety of life. And everything changes, just day-to-day. You can walk the same path, walk over and over again. But it'll be different. There'll be different – A tree might have fallen over some grasses different. Some animal has run through, or is there now, whatever it is. There's some variation and it reminds you that it's not as stagnant and unchanging as I can feel when you're inside for weeks at a time in a pandemic.


[00:22:25] Cristina Amigoni: And a deer does not necessarily walk through your office and leave paw prints on your carpet. Maybe it does.


[00:22:33] Alex Cullimore: Kind of cool. 


[00:22:35] Cristina Amigoni: Hasn't happened. We did have deer in our backyard. We saw paw prints of deer in our backyard. So until this summer, when my office gets moved into the backyard, I will not have those.


[00:22:47] Alex Cullimore: Although we do like to leave people with actual advice, and I think that's the first piece we have for you. If you can invite a deer into your house, it's going to feel a lot more like a break. That's going to shake things up a lot.


[00:22:58] Cristina Amigoni: Now, if you have cats and dogs, they can definitely change your scenery within the four walls.


[00:23:05] Alex Cullimore: So yeah, step one, if you can't get into nature, invite nature in your house.


[00:23:10] Cristina Amigoni: Just start singing like Snow White. See what happens.


[00:23:14] Alex Cullimore: There's something valuable just about stirring up your mindset. Because it's easy to get stuck into habits when you can – routines can be super helpful. But they can also be just sticking points. I mean habits, there's a lot of research that has come out in the last decade or so about how to form habits. How useful it is. And a lot of people talking about attaching a new habit you want to learn to something you're already doing. So you’re kind of in the moment and your brain can start to form all these shortcuts and all these very quick paths to continuing to do the same thing, which is super helpful if you're looking to wake up earlier or get into a routine with working out or being consistent with things like that that take a long time and require consistent input. But we can get into that rut I think with work and with jobs as well. Because you start to get into, “Well, this is the time I have X meeting. This is the time I do that.” And your brain is constantly working on the same few pieces of information and the same habits forming over time without any interruption. And if you don't find the purpose and meaning and it's not feeling like it's changing something for you, then everything starts to feel a lot more like a rut, and I think that's what causes burnout more than extra hours. It's lack of meaning, lack of purpose. And the way to treat burnout is to find a little bit more meaningful work.


[00:24:31] Cristina Amigoni: Very true. Yeah. Habits are good and bad, just like anything in extreme. Just following habits on autopilot can definitely be destructive.


[00:24:43] Alex Cullimore: And it leaves no room for, yeah, spontaneity. That leaves no room just to do something that you might not have done before. And I think everyone hopefully has had the experience of doing something they hadn't done before that they got a huge benefit from and we're just lucky they had happened to have tried that time.


[00:24:59] Cristina Amigoni: And it leaves no room for change, which is the only constant in life. So if you expect things to be happening the same way, which happens a lot, especially in the workplace with people, is like you're always expecting people to react the same way, whether the individual or the collective, or you expect someone that is in a job that loves their job, and I think we've talked about this before, to just keep loving, doing the same thing over and over and over. It was like, “Oh, if you really love developing that code. How about you keep doing that for the next 10 years to 450?” Why should you grow? It's convenient for me, if you just keep doing the same thing and reacting the same way.


[00:25:43] Alex Cullimore: That's a really good point is just how we interact with other people. Are we letting other people have their breaks and changes? 


[00:25:49] Cristina Amigoni: Yes. 


[00:25:49] Alex Cullimore: And that goes back to some of that incentive structure too. You can be happy that somebody put in a lot of work over a month, but maybe the reward is go take some time off. Not, “So glad you did this. Here's the next task. I know you'll be able to do this one.”


[00:26:02] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. And it does take a lot of effort from the leadership point of view to give permission and keep giving permission. So it can't be just, “Yes, we respect you when you're on vacation,” and then you're on the beach at 6am and get a text message that people didn't get their checks. So besides the lack of actually respecting the vacation, even if you do respect the time off, you have to keep reminding and keep incentivizing. So it's not a one-off. That's a good habit to keep doing actually, is telling your people to unplug when you see them online and they're on vacation, or they reply to an email. 


And I remember doing that a lot with my team, is like, “If you're off and you reply to an email, my answer is not going to be –” Well, it's going to be thank you. But with the thank you it's going to go, “Go away, or I'm going to shut off your internet.” I do not want to see you replying to email.


[00:27:00] Alex Cullimore: That's a great point. And that's a great habit to get into is just like that constant reminder. And it's a good point for what we're talking about anyway. We get too into the habit. And if can go out and tell every employee on their first day, “We love when people take time off, and we really encourage people to do so.” But without that constant reinforcement, it's so easy to drift into all the habits that you can assume fairly safely people have, because everybody has come from, at least some time in their life, a workplace where it was not rewarded to take breaks, or they just have the guilt of feeling like they shouldn't take breaks, or there's stuff that comes up when they're on break, or they think that they've become a linchpin in some process and now they have to be around every time it's run, whatever it is. There's some reason that they feel like they can't go. So if you don't reinforce that, I think collectively we will tend to drift towards burnout, lack of breaks, not taking that time seriously. It's a great way to lead by example too. If you're a leader on vacation be like, “Look, I'm going to be out of reach for a few days.” And maybe you still will be in reach if there is a specific emergency, but other leaders can then tap in and say, “Look, he's off. I'll be taking this portion of it. I've already been as much as I can. So just come to me if you have any questions.” It then gives a little bit more transparency to share some work, which is always a good idea anyway, since people should have some knowledge of what other people are doing. It helps to know general processes. But it's a good time to lead by example. There's a chance to change things.


[00:28:26] Cristina Amigoni: That's for sure the team I used to work with, that we also work with now, when we get a chance to, they were also very good at sending me away when I was on break, because I was definitely not a good one to respect the break. Because of the pressure of like, “Oh, there's a fire. Is anybody else aware of this fire and can help the team? Or do I have to jump in and make sure that this is taken care of.” And so they were always very good at if they saw me online or interacting or any form of I'm not really on break, they would tell me, “Go away. We've got this. Not for you.”


[00:29:05] Alex Cullimore: That's also a good indication of trust that the team can challenge that, because we were just talking about like it being very important that the leaders continue to point that out. But that is, I think a good indicator of when that message has started to take. When the team feels comfortable saying that the other direction, which is why it's important to lead by example first and not expected just to get picked up and immediately put both directions. But once you start to get that bidirectional feedback of like, “Yes, please go take a break. You shouldn't be on this right now.” Then you've built. That message feels a little bit more implicit, and people trust it enough that they're willing to remind you about it.


[00:29:40] Cristina Amigoni: And they'll know that I'll appreciate it and not cause any problems of any kind for challenging me.


[00:29:51] Alex Cullimore: Yeah, lack of retaliation ends up being a pretty important part in any kind of cultural change.


[00:29:56] Cristina Amigoni: Should definitely be on the top list of leaders skills? Totally. Yeah, don't do that. Just don't.


[00:30:07] Alex Cullimore: It's also interesting you brought up like you go out for a couple of weeks, or you go out for a week or even a couple days, and you come back to a monstrous inbox. And we've all seen this happen. We've all had that experience of like, “Oh, my God.” And what is the first thing everybody says in the first meeting when they're back? They're like, “Well, I'm catching up today.” And I realized, recently, I took some time off. And just like you, I got to go to the mountains for a bit. But when I came back, I realized that it wasn't – I took the time off. I shouldn't have to catch up to like go remake those days. It should be picked up from that place. You might have to catch up on communications and some of the things that have changed and happened or if there's a new priority, but that might be a little bit more incumbent on the team just to catch up and be like, “Hey, I remember about when you left. Some things have changed here. So this will probably be a new priority.” But there is kind of this pressure to basically take this vacation, and that makes that vacation so much harder to come back from when   that first day is inbox combing, and meeting catch up, and reading notes. None of these are bad activities. But we take it as if we should try and get all of that done, because we're already back and we should already be hitting the ground running. And that becomes a pretty quick case for burnout almost immediately after you had a vacation, at which point you start hoping for a new vacation, which people tend to be less receptive for on the team. And they're like, “You were just gone for a week.” Well, okay.” But I also then just jump right back in and burn myself out immediately.


[00:31:35] Cristina Amigoni: So I'm going to be gone again,


[00:31:37] Alex Cullimore: Yeah. We need to go for another three hours, 47 minutes and 26 seconds.


[00:31:42] Cristina Amigoni: That's definitely – And a good practice that I've tried and succeeded, or at least I felt like it was successful. I guess I should ask the other people to see what they think. In the past was to make it a point before I go on vacation to schedule even like a 20-minute, it doesn't have to be an all-day of meetings, but a specific meeting that's just about catching up on what I need to know. So now, I've established, I have a team and I trust them to do the work without me. Big, big thing. And I also trust them that they know what matters to me from an information point of view. And even across team. It doesn't have to be in the same team. So that then when I come back, and I do have the 700 to 45,000 emails, depending on which job in which moment, I can ignore probably most of them and just mark all as read because I have scheduled a meeting where people are going to tell me, “This is what you need to know. It's these five things. These are the decisions. This is where we're left off. And this is where we need your help. 


[00:32:50] Alex Cullimore: I think it's a great practice. I guess we could pull the crowd and see what everybody else feels about that one, but that one is a – That feels like a good way to go transition back in without becoming an overload immediately. I think there's that pressure to like return, and there's always that pressure to feel refreshed. I mean, if you're being asked to be like, “Well, you just had some time off. I'm sure. You're just ready to go.” And you're like, “Well, yes, but also no.”


[00:33:21] Cristina Amigoni: Starting the car from not moving. Not ready to go. Not ready to drive the Formula One race yet.


[00:33:28] Alex Cullimore: This isn't Tesla. It's not just going to pop up immediately. It's doesn't have to be long, but a brief ramp up. And it makes it easier to do that ramp up when you do like that 20-minute meeting instead of trying to read 2000 emails over the next four hours.


[00:33:43] Cristina Amigoni: And it's really important to establish with that meeting should bring to the table, and having that trust too. Help people knowing you enough that they understand what it is important for you to hear and what's not, at least from an urgency point of view. You'll eventually catch up on everything else. But maybe you don't need to know today that they've switched chips brands from Lay's to Doritos. Wait until you go to the kitchen and realize there are no chips at all and then you wonder what happened. 


There's definitely a lot of communication that needs to happen, a lot of trust. A lot of just working as a team understanding each other, being able to read minds, which really comes from jus understanding what's important to each individual. And also the fact that the answer can’t be “Oh, not much,” because then all I'm going to do is go back and read the 45,000 emails. Because, clearly, if I have 40,000 emails in my inbox, something did happen.


[00:34:39] Alex Cullimore: I think it's a crucial point that it comes down to some amount of trust and empathy. Like there's empathy in knowing what the other person's job is and what they will be interested in. There's empathy in knowing what a break is and what it means. It is important to take a break. It's important to defend other people's breaks as much as your own, and then it is important to understand the mindset going into and coming out of the break as well because then you can better help support the transition points. 


[00:35:04] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, definitely.


[00:35:06] Alex Cullimore: One of the things I think that takes practice in it is giving yourself permission to take the break. And sometimes it's good to define what you're going to do on that break to some extent. It doesn't have to be hour-by-hour. But even if you just have an evening off and you know that it's a Tuesday evening, Wednesday's work is going to be there. You know what you're going to have to do. But if you give yourself that permission and you specifically say, “Tuesday, I'm taking off. I just haven't sat for a while. I'm going to watch some TV.” You can do that without the guilt of feeling like, “Have I watched too much? Have I watched too little?” So there is some amount of giving yourself permission and very explicit permission, that helps when you're going to go give yourself a break and you're going to take that time, is that allows it to be a much more of an actual rest, rather than something you feel like you're either getting away with or you shouldn't be doing.


[00:35:54] Cristina Amigoni: Very true. And it's hard. It's hard to give ourselves permission to take a break because of the never-ending laundry list of things that we should be doing. As entrepreneurs, I think it's even harder, because, well, we don't get paid time off. I mean, we don't really get time off. Time off is from life is time off from the business. And if you're building the business, not working on it really could feel guilty. It could feel like you're falling behind. It could feel like maybe you're leaving your business partner to take all the pressure. And so there's a big piece there to distinguish between “I'm thinking about the business because I have all these ideas and all these things that I want to bring in, and I'm working on the business”. So which one of the two? Because especially if you really love what you're doing, you're not going to shut it off. And I think having the pressure to shut it off is going to cause more stress than actually just letting those thoughts and ideas come.


[00:36:56] Alex Cullimore: That's a really good point, the idea especially of work you love. Like if you really like what you're doing and you like what you're getting to do. And I think entrepreneurship is very much like that, because hopefully you're working on something that gives you some excitement to something you want to see happen. And if you have that, then it's hard to let that just sit by the wayside. You want to keep working on that. But you can easily burn yourself out need to break just as much there. 


And that was an interesting one. I was just listening to a different podcast about annual planning, and how most CEOs and entrepreneurs will go take or at least the ones that end up having growing the business year-by-year, they go take a good weekend or a week early in a year to think and plan what they want this to be. And they'll go usually find a cabin in the woods or a beach or something somewhere that they can be change of scenery, something different. And you just spend time thinking about a little bit more of the larger direction for the business, instead of the to do list that you've created over the year, where you're like, “Yeah, these are the 85 discrete things I know I have to get done. But I'm going to set these aside so that I can think a little bit larger picture, reprioritize, and then come back with a much fresher mind.


[00:38:05] Cristina Amigoni: That's a great advice. And also establish that safety within the team that it's like, “If I know you're in Breckenridge or you're on break on the beach, well, then stop emailing me. I'm not going to schedule any meetings where you have to be part of. And if you text or email with some idea, or article or more strategic thing that just came to mind, that's also acceptable.” I think there has to be a balance, and it's a gray area. 


[00:38:35] Alex Cullimore: Yeah. And I think it's just up to the trust of the team to be able to set the boundaries. Like if somebody is messaging you like, “I'm not going to respond to that right now.” It's fair to say that as long as you have that build trust. A lot of this comes back down to trust really.


[00:38:49] Cristina Amigoni: It always does, trust and values. We don't need anything else.


[00:38:55] Alex Cullimore: We do have put an unnatural emphasis on the value of, I would say a hard work, but it's almost more of the value of appearing to work hard. Like we put a lot of emphasis on making sure that happens. And that can be both a self-induced guilt trip, as well as a company-wide cultural guilt trip that is overly common, but not particularly helpful. I think, once people take a good deliberate break, you can start to see breaks not as this time where I'm going to have to catch up afterwards. Or this time that I'm kind of stealing away from the team or stealing away from the overall task that I'm working on. And you start to see it more as a tool where you're like, “Okay, I can feel the slowing of the thought process. I can feel everything starts to hurt a little bit. I can feel how I'm tired. I could go try and write up this next landing page, or I could sleep, or I can take a nap, or I'm going to go take a walk.” And once you start to see that as a choice, it's much easier to A, let your brain simmer, which is useful when you're trying to solve complex problems, and B just a good idea in general, but it's also something that allows you to – Once you see that as the break that it is and the additional power that it gives you, you start to use that as a tool and something in your belt, just like writing up different templates or having knowledge from before. It starts to become a tool you can use over and over again of like, “Yeah, I know this situation. This situation means I'm going to do better if I take a break. So I sleep on this. If I just step away for a while, I'm going to I'm going to do this task better.


[00:40:28] Cristina Amigoni: For sure. One of the things that we work on in coaching sessions is influencers. And I'm sure we'll do a podcast on that. But there're basically six types of influencers; spiritual, emotional, social, environmental, physical, and mental. And in the physical influencer, which is the most tangible one. Lack of sleep is one of the things that comes up. It’s how do you perform? How do you show up? How does lack of sleep, for example, or poor diet or too much wine, or not enough wine? Depending on which spectrum you’re on, it affects how you show up. And it's usually pretty clear for everybody eventually, what happens when there's lack of sleep? There's maybe a period or some sort of confusion on like, “Why am I yelling at everything? Why am I upset at like anything from the milk of carton being backwards in the fridge to the end of the world?” At the same rate of anger. And then if you pause long enough, and you realize like, “Oh, wait, I didn't sleep last night, because I was woken up three times, and I was too cold or too hot, or whatever happened. So that makes me overtired. And when I'm over tired, I don't focus, I'm in threat behavior, everything seems harder.” And so burning out is the same thing. So if you equate burning out to lack of sleep, well, are you going to be your best employee? Are you going to be your best self at work if you're overworked and overstressed all the time?


[00:42:03] Alex Cullimore: Unlikely.


[00:42:06] Cristina Amigoni: I would love to see that happened. I turn into Hulk. So you want me to take a break?


[00:42:14] Alex Cullimore: I definitely feel like for me, very similar, like emotional regulation is like the first thing to go. It's much harder to not be irritable, to not just have those little things where you're like, “Oh my god! I cannot take that.” Again, like the milk carton.  Yeah, “Oh my god! Are we out of milk again? Oh, my god!” And then that feels like – That could ruin the next two hours of just kind of stewing on that sometimes where you're just – or it feels that way. Or it's just something that just ends up coloring your mood a little bit going forward, and it's harder and harder to pull yourself out of it. That's definitely something that I feel when I get enough nights of no sleep, or you woke up four times and you're sleeping weird on your neck and now everything hurts a little bit of usuals.


[00:43:00] Cristina Amigoni: Definitely all the usuals. And especially when it's a team, and everybody seems to be snapping, or everybody seems to be reacting a little bit with short tempered way too often, then step back and realize, “Okay, what's been going on? Oh, we've all been working crazy hours in the middle of a holiday, and there's a lot of work to do.” And looking ahead to that it's even more important as a leader, is looking ahead and knowing there's a lot of work to do. There's Christmas coming up. How are we going to balance this? 


And one of the things that I always ask first myself, and then I make sure the team is very aware and comfortable understanding is, luckily, we're in professions where we're not saving lives. And it's to actually think that and remember, is like when you feel the pressure of having to work even though it's Christmas Eve, or having to stay up late a couple more hours because this is not quite as done as you wanted it to be, just remember, we're not saving lives. If we need an extra day, we'll have the conversation with the client and get an extra day.


[00:44:07] Alex Cullimore: Yeah, that's another important thing is we get that feeling of like it's going to be the end of the world if we try and push that day. And that, especially when we're already tense or as the team's tense, holidays is a great example. Because that's definitely a time where just it's more stressful, there's more stuff to do. You're kind of excited for some of it, but it's also just a lot of work and you're going to have some time off and try and balance those. And so it's always a bit of a guessing game. And that leaves I think people – It's kind of like the pandemic has been. You are in that state of ambiguity for long enough and then it becomes difficult just to kind of continue in that state and just manage it as if that's going to be your constant go to.


[00:44:48] Cristina Amigoni: Having those kind of foresight to look ahead and realize like this is where we're headed, given where we are in the project and on the timeline and what's going on in people's lives and we were in pandemic and whatever other 50,000 things are happening, and kids are home from school or their school just shut down, whatever you want to add to that, is having that foresight to say like, “Hey, the next week, it's looking pretty heavy for everybody. So from a project perspective, let's reprioritize. Let's take some things off the plate. Let's not go out of our way to produce Steven Spielberg type videos, and maybe take a few notches down on some of these videos. And it's okay if they are runner up to the Academy Awards. We're still going to be doing a good job. It's still over expectations from what the client needs, and we can still get there without burning out and without sacrificing everybody in the process.


[00:45:52] Alex Cullimore: I think that helps twofold not only in that next week where it would have been much busier. But it also, to your point earlier, is setting the example of saying it's okay to say these things. It's okay to find these findings paths and make these changes, take the breaks. 


[00:46:06] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 


[00:46:08] Alex Cullimore: And we kind of know this implicitly. And it's kind of a destructive portion of thinking of mind and body differently. We know when we're like working out. And you don't just do, I don't know, push-ups endlessly. You know you have to break at some point. 


[00:46:21] Cristina Amigoni: I don’t. Maybe …


[00:46:26] Alex Cullimore: We kind of been like, “Yeah, I'll work out and then I'll stop.” And then especially male professional athletes will definitely tell you about the importance of taking physical breaks. But I think anybody who does the gym enough, hopefully isn't burning themselves out, because you're risking injury.


[00:46:41] Cristina Amigoni: And energy, both.


[00:46:42] Alex Cullimore: You're risking energy. You're going to get so much energy out of this? If you just go to the point of burnout all the time, that's when they literally call it burnout too. It's not helpful.  You reach the point of failure. You're not actually like building anything. You can't just ask yourself to continue with physical activity forever and then get better at it. You can't run a marathon by just continually running and running and running and running and just having that work.


[00:47:07] Cristina Amigoni: We should ask Eimear. She trains for marathons. 


[00:47:09] Alex Cullimore: Yeah.


[00:47:10] Cristina Amigoni: I'm pretty sure she doesn't just run until the end of the marathon. And then she's just running.


[00:47:16] Alex Cullimore: Well, it's a habit now.


[00:47:19] Cristina Amigoni: Why would I stop?


[00:47:21] Alex Cullimore: And we understand that with like physical workout. We kind of understand like there is a break. And there's still a lot of like shame and guilt, or if we feel like we are working out enough or we didn't do as well as a previous day or something. There can be that feeling of regret, which is equally unhelpful. And that's one of the things we talked about with Shante’. Shante’ hit that one on the head. She said, “When you need the break, take the break, and listen to your body for what it actually needs, because you're going to get the results faster, and you're not going to hurt yourself to get the there. And we do that with physical activity. We just don't treat the same mental activity. It’s all the same body.


[00:47:57] Cristina Amigoni: It's interesting how we’re very clear, for the most part, we're very clear on physical stuff, influencers, activities, where our limit is. Again, for the most part, we hike a fourteener without actually doing any training or no more than walking around the block. And you may end up in bed being sore for three days. I don't know, I've heard about that. And you do do that. And we all kind of push the limits, sometimes physically, but mentally and emotionally and spiritually we forget. There's almost like – Because it's unseen and unfelt and you're not limping around and not being able to walk up and down the stairs or have a sprained ankle, there's that like, “Well, no. Like I have to be super human. I have to be superhuman mentally in focus and concentration and productivity. I have to be superhuman in grief.” Grieving is a big one that's like, “No, push that aside. No. I'm done. How long could you possibly grieve this one situation? It's done.” We always put a timeline on ourselves and others, unfortunately, on grieving, and just all these things. And I'm like, “Well, no. How about you do what you need to do? It doesn't matter how long it takes.”


[00:49:16] Alex Cullimore: It really is an interesting point of how much we discount what we can't see, that if it’s not visible to us, we let that go entirely, which is why communication is so important. Because there're no way to see that. If somebody walks into the office and they're just feeling exhausted because they've had a long week or they're just mentally tired, or they're grieving, or they're whatever, whatever mental state they have brought in, it's not going to be visible. And if it is, it's not going to be visible to the degree that that person is feeling it because we aren't able to relate unless we're incredibly attuned to that person. We know something's a little bit wrong. But even then we're not going to be able to describe it, which is why communication then becomes our stopgap, our fallback for, “You can't see what's going on with me right now. But this is what's going on.”


[00:50:01] Cristina Amigoni: And empathy, because we can see. I'm a big believer that we can all see when something is off. We can feel it from how people respond to texts, or don't respond. We can see it, especially if we see facial expressions, we can definitely see it, we can hear in the tone of voice, and we don't know what to do. Because if people don't open up by themselves, and we're like, “Well, I'm going to let that be, and maybe it's me, not them. And so I'm going to ignore it. And they'll tell me if something is wrong.” 


Well, if somebody is grieving or burnt out, or just struggling for any reason, they may not want to share openly and just put a big sign up. They may not all be me that I share all the time, I try to. But they may not be that comfortable. They may feel a lot of shame and holding back. And so be attuned to that by how they are showing up. It's huge. Also, another big psychological safety piece in a team is having the team being able to just say, “Hey, Cristina, you're in a bad mood today. What's going on? Don't really care about what we're talking about workwise. Let's pause. What's going on? Because clearly, you're not in your best position to be talking to other humans right now.”


[00:51:24] Alex Cullimore: I think you brought up a really good point. And that's something I'd to correct myself on from five minutes ago. Yeah, communication is key, but there's a lot of things you might not want to share, or you just don't want to. And the trust then comes in believing that somebody says, “You know what? I just can't show up fully today. And I don't want to talk about it. It's not happening for me today.” That trust is incredibly important, because then you can say – If the team is willing to accept that and respond with the “Okay, I totally get it. Let us know if there's anything we can do,” then that's going to be a much more supportive environment. And it doesn't have to come down to communicating every last detail of why you feel away, because then you'll also end up feeling like you have to justify everything that you're feeling. And that gets really messy and probably uncomfortable if something you didn't want to share in the first place.


[00:52:10] Cristina Amigoni:. One of the things that I think I learned from our friend Gail, is to instead of asking a direct question, say yes or no, is there anything that I can do? Because then, well, if you're not feeling like sharing, guess what the answer is going to be? No. Because then if you say, yes, you're going to have to share and then opens up a whole can of worms. But actually asking, “What can I do to help?” Because then the answer can be “just be here, or just give me time”.  Because it's not a yes or no answer.


[00:52:43] Alex Cullimore: I like that. That's good advice. And that's a good way in general of communicating. You don't have to like know everybody's mindset, know everything that's happening to them if the trust is there. If you can trust the other person, A, you're going to be attuned, like you were saying to what they're feeling. You will have some knowledge of there's something off. But B, you can trust that person might just need some space, and you can give them that. And it will be better in the long run for it.


[00:53:09] Cristina Amigoni: And for breaks too. I mean, it's definitely helpful to switch the questions from, “Are you going to take a break?” To, “When are you taking a break? Because now you actually have permission. You've given permission. You have permission, and then you get to think about it.


[00:53:25] Alex Cullimore: And you're putting it in a supportive way when you say, “When are you going to take a break?” You're saying, “I am expecting you to take a break, and I support this decision.”


[00:53:33] Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Are you going to take a break could possibly be interpreted as, “You better say no, or somebody else is going to be sitting in your chair or you come back.” Or you're going to cut out of all decisions.


[00:53:48] Alex Cullimore: Either of the fun things that we all kind of worry about happening where we’re not being replaced.


[00:53:52] Cristina Amigoni: Exactly, exclusion, being replaced.


[00:53:55] Alex Cullimore: I think it’s very much true. And to your point of being able to feel when other things are off, if you want to be able to increase your own empathy. I think one good task to work on is knowing and being able to describe your own emotional state. The more you can be in touch with that and the more you can be accepting of that and understanding where you're at and be able to explain that, the more open you're going to be to other people. Feeling the same way, or feeling similar ways, or having a brand new feeling that you've learned to kind of train that on yourself. And that will not only help you, because you'll feel better and be able to explain whatever you're going through, but it will also make you a little bit more empathetic to other people. I think that's an important thing to take on if you want to increase this skill set.


[00:54:37] Cristina Amigoni: Definitely is. And I have a new thought leader crush. I get crushes when I find out people exist, and then I binge listen to anything that they put out there and read them and follow them everywhere. Well, not physically, but social media, everywhere. So my latest thought leader crush is Dr. Susan David, who's a psychologist, and she just wrote a book called Emotional Agility, which is one of the many things I'm listening to. And I love the fact that she points out how the data and just in general even without massive numbers of data, people usually describe their emotions as three words. I mean, there's like Bible size lists of emotions and adjectives that we can use to describe emotions. And typically 99% of the time, 99% of people say, “I'm sad, I'm happy, or I'm upset, or angry, upset/lash angry.” 


And so one of the things that she really highlights is this, “Describe your emotions with more words than just those three. It’s like what sad? Is it I feel excluded? I am grieving. I feel alone.” Sad, it mean something clearly. But it doesn't describe what's actually going on. You're upset, or you're angry, or I'm sad, because I stubbed my toe in the shower, and it hurts and I should have been looking where I was going before looking away. So what's actually going on? Like use one of the 1000s and 1000s of other words, or three or four of them to describe what's actually going on at the moment.


[00:56:23] Alex Cullimore: Like trying to describe Vincent Van Gogh's Starry, Starry night as a pretty blue painting. You didn’t really do it justice. There's a lot more going on there. We've used the word blue, but there's such an encompassing variety of things that covers just like the word sad, just as an umbrella term for 1000s of different little things that could happen.


[00:56:43] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. And so the amazing part about this, which is also big other coaching skill, is when you pause to actually have to verbally say how you're feeling. You've now disconnected from the reaction. Because you've taken the break from, “I'm angry, and I'm going to punch something, or I'm angry, and I'm going to yell.” No. If I'm angry and I'm like, “Oh, wait, I'm angry. Why am I angry? Oh, I'm frustrated, I feel excluded. I thought we had agreed on something. And it seems like I was misunderstood, or I misunderstood.” By the time I'm done going through all that process, I haven't yelled at the person in front of me.


[00:57:25] Alex Cullimore: Which kind of goes back to our central thesis, kind of important to take a break. Take that moment, take that step back, get the perspective.


[00:57:31] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. So it's not just about going to the mountains. It's about taking a break between stimulation and reaction.


[00:57:38] Alex Cullimore: Yes.


[00:57:39] Cristina Amigoni: And all you need is a few seconds, because by the time you take those few seconds, since we cannot multitask, very big myth. Our brain cannot multitask. Our brain now focuses on figuring out what caused the emotion? What the emotion actually is. So the brain cannot get us to yell and figure that out at the same time. You could try, but I don't know that it's going to work.


[00:58:01] Alex Cullimore: I think a quick, cool shortcut to get to that, to take that step, is to change your internal language and possibly external, if you're yelling already, from I am angry, to I feel angry. 


[00:58:15] Cristina Amigoni: Yes, another big Susan David thing.


[00:58:17] Alex Cullimore: Yes. You’re having a feeling. You are not the feeling. It's not your identity. It is an experience that is currently happening.


[00:58:26] Cristina Amigoni: And that would even to decrease the shame piece and piggyback on that. When you see that reaction on somebody else and you're making a very big interpretation that you actually know how they feel. Like, why are you upset? First of all, I am not upset. I'm a woman. I'm a human being. So let's separate how I feel, if it's upset to who I am, because I'm not permanently upset, but hopefully you're not permanently upset. It's not in my DNA. You can look at it in my blood tests. And also, I don't feel upset. I am depressed. I am tired, because I didn't sleep last night. I am really sick of the snow outside.


[00:59:20] Alex Cullimore: The empathy to extend to other people. They just say, “Look, I don't even need to know the reason. I just know you're feeling down today. And if you want to explain it, that's fine. We can talk about it. If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine.” I see something is off. What can I do to help? And if nothing, please feel free to take some time, take whatever. We can allow for that, especially since it will make everything better in the long run. We always consider this as like, “Well, I guess we'll take –Somebody's going to take like 20 minutes off work to have some personal conversation, like “Yes,” because then you get the next three hours that are way more productive than just an hour of sitting and thinking about the thing you haven't discussed. That could have been 20 minutes.


[01:00:00] Cristina Amigoni: Either than staring at the wall or yelling at everybody and stomping off, maybe you can actually be productive.


[01:00:07] Alex Cullimore: Not the yelling and stomping isn't fun, just not very helpful.


[01:00:11] Cristina Amigoni: I wouldn’t do it too often if you actually want a team that actually wants to work with you beyond when they have to work with you.


[01:00:17] Alex Cullimore: Like I said, not helpful. 


[01:00:19] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 


[01:00:20] Alex Cullimore: Well, this is much more of one of our classic episodes where we get towards the end and then find about 98 revelations. Thank you guys so much. 


[01:00:27] Cristina Amigoni: It’s like, “Oh wait. Another one.” 


[01:00:30] Alex Cullimore: Thank you guys so much for tuning in. Please go take a break. I would absolutely recommend just getting some deliberate break time and use that word deliberate very deliberately, because that helps me personally when I need to make that transition. And I've definitely felt a huge lift even just in only a couple of days away. I'm looking to take a little bit more time a little more frequently just to unpack the mind. And I hope everybody gets a chance to do the same, especially as we hopefully roll out at the end of this pandemic and look at the next few changes life's going to throw our way.


[01:01:01] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, and get ready for the next pandemic, COVID-20, 21. Where we’re at? Maybe we should change the words. Something will happen. That's life.


[01:01:14] Alex Cullimore: Well, thank you guys so much. Live is coming at you. Feel free to take a break. Take some break, because it is life too.


[01:01:21] Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, it's not selfish. It's selfish not to take a break, because nobody wants to be around pissed off upset, depressed, short tempered people.


[01:01:32] Alex Cullimore: That goes for employees, employers, parents, children, people you work with people, people you bowl with, everything.


[01:01:37] Cristina Amigoni: Significant others, dogs, deer. 


[01:01:40] Alex Cullimore: Yes, especially when you invite them in your living room. 


[01:01:45] Cristina Amigoni: Especially deer, yes. You do not want to be around a pissed-off deer. You definitely don’t want to be pissed-off when a deer is around.


[01:01:51] Alex Cullimore: Just turn the lights off and let them nap on your couch. They may need the break.


[01:01:55] Cristina Amigoni: Yes. So just turn the other way and take a break. Well, thanks again. Take a break even from listening to our podcast. We're not going anywhere. That's why they're recorded.


[01:02:08] Alex Cullimore: Thanks, everybody. Have a good one.


[01:02:09] Cristina Amigoni: Thank you. Bye-bye. 




[01:02:12] Cristina Amigoni: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo podcast. 


[01:02:16] Alex Cullimore: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Lara; and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood. 


[01:02:21] Cristina Amigoni: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. 


[01:02:29] Alex Cullimore: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas or questions. You can reach us at podcast, or at our website,, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. We Are Siamo is spelled W-E A-R-E S-I-A-M-O.


[01:02:48] Cristina Amigoni: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others and always uncover the human.