12 Months of Self-Care - January Had Me Floating
Well, we are almost one whole month into 2019! How is your new year going?
If you follow us on social media, you’ll know that SpunkyDiva Diaries is passionate about #SelfCare. So much so, that it is our main focus in 2019 (and beyond).
We want to help put not just the topic, but the IMPORTANCE of #SelfCare on the forefront of your mind.
We want to remind you just how easy and simple #SelfCare can be.
We want to show you how affordable #SelfCare can be.
We want to give you out of the box, new & fresh ideas for what #SelfCare can look like!
As a busy marketing diva and corporate professional, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a survivor of narcissistic abuse (domestic violence) who is still healing, someone with chronic pain and health challenges, creator of a lifestyle blog, a social butterfly, and passionate volunteer in my community…. (WHEW, you get the picture!), it is EASY for #SelfCare to fall by the way side and put on the back burner. I’ve done a really good job focusing on my mental and emotional healing, but I feel like I’ve neglected taking care of my physical body. Don’t get me wrong, I take care of myself but I just don’t pamper myself anymore like I used to.
So, over the course of 2019 it’s our commitment to bring you as many useful tips, ideas, tools and reviews on various self-care activities. We’re so serious about this that we may even create a #SelfCare Resource page like we have for “Narc-DV Abuse.” And, the “universe” must be totally behind this and others in my various circles are on the same vibration because everywhere we turn someone is posting something on #SelfCare! We’ve even had other companies and organizations reach out to us with articles and self-care guides to share with our #SpunkyDivaTribe of readers and followers.
January Had Me “Floating”
Our first self-care activity was recommended to me by a very dear friend of mine. She’d told me about something called “Float Therapy” which I had never heard of before. She described it as taking a super Epsom salt bath on steroids. She’d thought that with my aches and chronic pain from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis I would benefit from it.
She’d taken advantage of a Groupon deal to try it out herself and fell in love with float therapy.
What Is Float Therapy?
Float Therapy is a powerful tool for wellness, relaxation, pain relief and better sleep.
Also called, “Floatation Therapy” or “restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST)” or “sensory deprivation therapy.”
It involves spending anywhere from 30 to up to 90 minutes in a small, pitch-black, soundproof room floating in a pool of body-temperature water that has anywhere between 800-2500 (or more) pounds of Epsom salt.
The Epsom salts take over and your body reaches zero gravity that causes you to simply “float” on the water. The pool I was in was only 11” deep so if you’re not a strong swimmer (like me) no worries - you will be just fine.
Some facilities use a “pod” or tank while others like the wellness center I went to use a small temperature controlled room. It doesn’t matter because either way your body will feel like it’s suspended in space. You’ve no doubt heard about the weightlessness effect the Dead Sea has due to its high salt content.
This method has been around since the 1950s and while its popularity has been hot and cold, it’s definitely been trending “warm” lately.
The sports world is very familiar with float therapy with athletes like Stephen Curry and Tom Brady who owns float tanks in his home and several Olympic athletes also avid proponents.
Check out this YouTube video with Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes talking about how and why they use float therapy!
What Are the Benefits of Float Therapy?
Floating provides the following benefits:
How Do You Float?
I was wondering how this whole process was going to work. They gave me good instructions. I was told to take a shower before & after. Once showered, I was to carefully ease my way into the floating pool and sit on the edge of it to let my body get used to the water. It didn’t take long for me to be able to lay back and “float.” I was told once I reached zero gravity that I could experiment with small stretches in the water (more on that later!).
Here are a couple of infographics that describe the process:
How Did It Feel?
Well, hindsight being what it is, I wish I had put the earplugs in my ears!! I was given these clear, round silicone discs for ear plugs. I didn’t realize how bad I would need them and didn’t put them in. BIG MISTAKE! I had water in both ears for days…maybe even a couple weeks after my appointment. I actually got out of the water to grab them but couldn’t figure out how to put them in. They were too big for my ears, but what I didn’t know was I could tear them into smaller pieces to fit my ears. Now I know! So, it was hard for me to get “comfortable” and truly, completely relaxed. I was fighting with keeping the water out of my eyes which I clearly lost that battle.
That was my only hang up because otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed floating. I am a tad OCD and don’t like taking baths. But, I do love water so I pretended I was in a spa pool on a resort somewhere. The place I went to had mood lighting because I didn’t want to be in total darkness. The light was blue at first, but I could hit a button on the wall of the float room and it would change colors. I turned it “pink” of course!
I also would not be able to do 60 whole minutes in complete silence. My mind would have a field day racing around on god knows what! So, I did have the option to have some spa music piped into the room. That helped a lot.
As I mentioned earlier, I started doing some light stretching. I would stretch my obliques and touch my ankle or foot on each side. I did some leg stretches making “water angels” instead of “snow” angels. It all felt effortless and easy to do…until the next morning when my abs, core and inner thighs felt EVERY bit of those stretches! It felt like I had worked out hard core and I was sore for a few days.
Overall though, it was a very relaxing or had the potential to be a totally relaxing experience. I felt so “zen” like afterwards and went home to take a nap. It helped that it was a ugly rainy day outside too!
WOULD I Do It Again?
I would ABSOLUTELY do this again…with earplugs next time though! I could see this becoming a regular part of my #SELFCARE regiment. I encourage you to look on Groupon or in your local area for “Float Tanks” or “Float Therapy” and try it out too…then let us know how you liked it!
The wellness center I went to has some other cool services on their menu so stay tuned for other #selfcare ideas coming soon…