Helping you become at least 1% CALMer for work/life brilliance. Just scroll down to the questions you’re interested in and click for more info.

Why is cold water good for me?

The ice bath challenge for Derbyshire Mind took place on a freezing and windy day at Mercia Marina on 12th February. It was an amazing experience for us as a new team and we were absolutely chuffed to have raised over £2500 for the charity. I’m also a complete convert to cold showers and cold water therapy – I can feel my brain and body changing and building resilience. Powerful stuff. We couldn’t have done it without Kev from Breatheolution who is doing brilliant work helping people deal with a range of mental health challenges through breathwork and cold water therapy. We were also hugely grateful to Luke from The Ice Bath Co. for letting us use one of his beautiful ice baths and his advice and support during the challenge was amazing. Check out more about what they are up to here – Breatheolution and The Ice Bath Co.

How does the way I eat impact my ability to focus?

Lots of research going on at Calm In A Box towers around our ability to focus and grow our attention spans inspired by the great Johann Hari (who also was a huge source of inspo for the C of CALM). Without the capability of being able to pay attention, we struggle to focus long enough to solve complex problems, finish what we start, work through change and build trusted relationships. Our frazzled attention spans can show up in all sorts of ways and one of the root causes of our 21st century struggle with this, can be in the way we eat. Many of us start the day by eating something with large amounts of sugar for breakfast such as white bread or cereal. This gives us an energy spike which slumps by the time we get to start work… then we look for some more sugar to help us recover. We can then spend the whole day on a sugar rollercoaster, swinging from high to low energy which is terrible for performance and focus. It’s widely known that we need to look for slow energy release foods but I hadn’t previously made the connection between this and our attention capability before… With millennials attention span at an average 8 seconds, let’s buy the ones we love some porridge oats for breakfast – I add pomegranate seeds to mine for some sweetness 🙂

How can I get more stuff done?

It’s proven that CALM can lead to greater productivity for organisations, teams and leaders and I’m always interested in reading or listening to anything about this topic. Change the word ‘stuff’ to something a bit stronger and this movement is up to some interesting things in this space – plus the graphic really stands out and caught my eye the other week. So I thought I’d share it here 🙂 No. 5 on No Meetings stood out for me – check it out here


Why can daffodils be such a powerful part of CALM culture?

We set out on a CALM team experience this Winter with the wonderful people at Weston Park Cancer Charity. At the beginning it’s important to do some work on why CALM and why now and Emma Clarke, the CEO, shared that after everything the team had been through during the pandemic, she was passionate about supporting people through Winter ‘until the daffodils come through next Spring’. So it was a beautiful moment when halfway through the programme, Jackie Welsh, their lovely Head of HR, presented everyone – including me – with daffodils to take home and grow.

Find out more about this CALM team who do such amazing work here


What is Sleep Easy about?

This annual challenge is the most important in YMCA Derbyshire’s calendar, through which they seek to raise awareness of the hundreds of people who sleep rough in Derby & Derbyshire every year and raise vital funds to help us continue to support young people and communities in need of their services. Last year was my first Sleep Easy and it was so insightful in helping me understand what someone who finds themselves in that position can be going through as well as developing greater empathy for some of the challenges they may face. Due to Covid, I slept in a tent in my garden waking up to an icy frost about 4am. I was so grateful to go back to my warm bed for a few hours inside my house. This year the event is back at the Incora County Ground on Friday 11th March. If you can spare anything, please donate here

And find out more about the Sleep Easy here