10 minute pause spaces

#10minPausespace tag

Welcome to 10-min Pause Space. Find the right version for you and your team here.

Thank you for being curious about running a 10-min Pause Space or using 5-min Me Space. Professor Michael West says that they are both “delicate and powerful”.

We now have a range of Pause Space delivery options to suit everyone, both face to face and virtual versions, and for groups or individuals/pairs. We hope that you can find something that enables you to join with many others who are creating these essential ‘pop up’ spaces for their teams and colleagues (and themselves) to re-set, recharge and re-commit.

Pauses Spaces allow people to take a pause, and learn the three teachable habits that lie at the heart of “Compassion Circle” practice:

  • Listening with a Quiet Mind
  • Asking Questions that Matter
  • Appreciating from the Heart

In Pause Space practices, one of the focused questions that matter is, “what does caring for yourself mean to you?”.

What does caring for yourself mean to you? What does caring mean to your team?

Pause Spaces have been designed for everyone to benefit from. This is a human space; it doesn’t matter what your role is; anyone can run one or take part. The guides have been designed for anyone to use, in any setting, and to respect the current challenges on time and space. When you run a Pause Space, please make sure that you have the right script in front of you. You can use them by reading off a screen, or you can register for an account on this site and then download them for use offline, if you prefer.

Each script is the structure that keeps the Pause Space running to time and feeling safe. One uses the script as it is written, so no need to worry about what to say. You’ll notice there are lots of reminders and prompt notes within the scripts, which can make it look a bit ‘busy’ at first glance. Those extra words are simply there as a guide; as you get used to running those spaces, you may not need them as much. Each guide simply offers a step-by-step approach.     

Recommendations are that the group Pause Spaces are run in work time and people shouldn’t have to stay late to join one. Some people use these at the start of their shift/workday, and others to check out just before the shift/workday ends. Remember too that they are optional. Encourage people to join but don’t force them or make them feel bad if they don’t want to. 

Each Pause Space script contains more guidance notes for you, and the virtual versions even include a draft invitation that you can use with your teams. 

Please take a look at the collection and select the best Pause Space for you.  

These versions are designed to assist you through different scenarios:

  1. 10-min Pause Space | Designed as a ‘pop-up’ face-to-face practice for a small group
  2. 10-min Pause Space Virtual Version Using Breakaway Rooms | For a small group, using virtual platforms with breakout pairs rooms/technically confident facilitators (new guide attached above)
  3. 10-min Pause Space Virtual Version Easy-To-Run’ | For a small group, using virtual platforms without breakout pairs rooms or when facilitators are less confident using technology (new guide attached above)
  4. 5-min Me Space | For self or pairs use, face-to- face or virtual use

We’d love to hear more about whether these are helpful for you. Feedback can be shared:


To anyone that has appreciated this time and wants to find out what other support is available, please take a look at the growing number of offers across this site.

What’s the evidence for this?

10-min Pause Space has been developed by Andy Bradley, his long-time trusted colleagues and Laura Simms. Laura, a nurse by profession, has worked in healthcare for 32 years and hopes this version is accessible and helpful to all compassionate and inclusive leaders, whatever their role.

This offer is not ‘validated’ in any formal way but rather distilled from other practices and widespread experience from clinicians and colleagues. We encourage you to try it and see for yourself. It is approved for widespread use in the NHS.

Andy Bradley (recognised in 2012 by Nesta and The Observer as one of Britain’s 50 New Radicals), has been developing and sharing Compassion Circles for over 10 years. Compassion Circles have been adapted for use in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board where over 1000 healthcare staff have participated in rounds over the last 5 years. The Welsh Government are now sponsoring the roll-out of Compassion Circles which are known in Wales as ‘Taking Care Giving Care Rounds’. Evaluation indicates that the experience is highly valued. Compassion Circles have also become an integral part of the Compassionate Mental Health gatherings offered as a space for transformation and dialogue in Wales.