Caro conquers the cold!

Business Cornwall account manager Caroline Carter feels the cold anyway, so what on earth possessed her to take the plunge into a barrel of iced water? It’s all good for the soul, she tells us!

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With the Feb 2022 issue of Business Cornwall magazine focusing on health and wellbeing, as well as emerging from the recent pandemic, there has never been a better time to focus on employees’ wellness.

In 2022, successful businesses will be those that understand that poor mental health and wellbeing in their workforce means poor productivity. They know that the effects of the pandemic are likely to be with us for a long time. They also know they have a duty of care towards their workers, so they will prioritise support for their mental health and overall wellbeing.

When I was given the opportunity of taking part in a Wim Hof Method workshop, I grabbed it with both hands. Soul Sweats that delivers this workshop featured as one of Business Cornwall’s Healthy Heroes in the February issue. The Wim Hof Method focuses on breathing techniques, training of mindset and focus and cold-water therapy.

You can imagine the trepidation when I received my information preparation package a month in advance, suggesting that we prepare in advance with a cold shower challenge every day. In February.

Personally, I am an individual that always feels the cold. Reaching for a blankets, extra jumpers and a five-minute warm up with the electric blanket before bed. I’m also an early riser and the first week of cold showers at 5am did not feel good. However, I became amazed that by the end of the first week, I started strangely looking forward to the next cold-water dose and the invigoration and zing that went with it.

The Feb cold shower challenge complete, I arrived at the Mount Pleasant Eco Park for a full-day workshop with Samuel Boot and Jana Virian, founders of Soul Sweats. After an introduction to the group, we participated in intense breathing techniques both inside and then in the geodome outside. We discussed mindset and focus. Wim Hof believes a strong mindset is important in realising your inner strength. This was required to face our next challenge, which was an ice bath. In the Wim Hof method, the cold is an essential force involved in accessing the autonomic nervous system (and the associated immune system).

Jana led us in more breathing and yoga, which further unlocked the body’s inner heat. As a group, one by one, we stepped up and took our two-minute experience in the outdoor barrel filled with ice and water, guided by Samuel.

Remarkably, despite the nervousness of this task, all participants succeeded in completing the ice bath challenge. The group bond also felt unique to this situation. There was also a strong sense of accomplishment and achievement. Breathing and movement techniques ensured time was given to warming up.

I feel invigorated and ready for the week ahead, as well as empowered to take back control of my wellbeing.

Ultimately, if employers place employee wellbeing at the centre of their business model and view it as the vital source of value creation, the dividends for organisational & employee health can be significant.

The next Soul Sweats sessions are on March 6 and 13 at the Mount Pleasant Ecopark, Porthtowan and April 2 at the Zed Shed, Penryn and April 20 at the Millenium Rooms, St Mawes.

www.soulsweats.com @soulsweats