Editor’s note: Triangle entrepreneur and thought leader Jes Averhart, CEO of Jes & Co and host of the “Reinvention Road Trip,” is a regular WRAL TechWire contributor who explores topics pertaining to reinvention, especially prompted by the onset of the global pandemic. Her columns appear weekly. This week she discusses recess…and why we need to bring it back.

Note to readers: WRAL TechWire would like to hear from you about views expressed by our contributors. Please send email to: info@wraltechwire.com.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – I’m out for recess!

Yep, I’m living into the things I preach and scheduling breaks over the next 4 days to read, plan for the fall and get a Thai massage. Can’t wait!

Jes Averhart. (Photo via Rachel Mork)

What’s the inspiration you ask?  Well, let’s hop in the way-back machine… all the way back to elementary school. You’re fidgeting in Mr. Snoresville’s class, watching the clock, waiting for the bell to ring so you can dash out the door because…

It’s Recess!

You can feel it, can’t you? The excitement of heading outside to unstructured play and 45 minutes of sweet, sweet freedom.

Maybe you settled into a spot on the bus curb and ki-ki’d about crushes. Or you grabbed a basketball to play H-O-R-S-E with the crew. Or maybe you were out on the field choreographing dance moves to the latest song.

Jump rope… swings…whatever… recess was the best!

So what happened? When did the magic of recess get left behind in our memories? How did it get replaced by overwork and burnout? There’s probably a million little reasons, but today…

We’re taking recess back!

And here’s a thought exercise to help you reclaim this precious childhood ritual.

If you heard the recess bell ring right now, what would you want to do with that time?

Need a little help? Here are some ideas.

  • Go for a drive with no destination in mind… and see what adventures beckon.
  • Meet a friend to catch up and dive into a long overdue conversation. It’s like the curb chats of yesteryears but with a more mature twist.
  • Pull out the crayons! Adult coloring books are a thing for a reason—get in the flow state! You can also paint in the fresh air, or craft something unique.
  • Get your game on. Remember those board games and card games we loved? They’re back—and today’s games are better than ever. Explore online and physical games—they’re more fun than you probably remember.
  • Take a stroll. Embrace Mother Nature. Enjoy the little details you wouldn’t have noticed if you rushed.
  • Turn up your music! Dance. Sing. Learn the latest Drake release and belt it out in the shower. I’m here for it!
  • Have some fun in the kitchen. Try that recipe you saved on TikTok and go for it.
  • Or, if you’re like me… hit up a new cafe or food truck (less dishes to clean).

Growing up doesn’t mean we have to grow out of playfulness, laughter, or meaningful connections. It’s all about finding balance. Stopping to enjoy unstructured time allows us time to chill out, recharge, and refocus. It gives those stress hormones the ole heave-ho and brings back our mental superhero powers.

So take a break this fall from the hustle and embrace the joys found around you. Let’s keep the spirit of recess alive together. You with me?

I thought so…let’s play!