We'll all float on okay
The past six weeks have been nothing but beautiful chaos. The last time I wrote we were gearing up for heart month and all that goes along with it. There truly aren’t adequate words to express how much all of this has come to mean to us. However, if I had to pick one word to begin to describe things, it would definitely be passion. Mike and I’s stories with congenital heart disease are old news, but the development and continuation of our goals and identities are evolving each day. Sharing our stories and being integrally involved with such insanely important causes has been the ride of a lifetime. We kicked off the month with Go Red day and then joined the planning committee for the Walk for 1 in 100 ACHA Heart Walk, where we also accepted the role of honorary chairs. We attended the American Heart Association of Baltimore’s Heart Ball and spent an incredible evening with our medical team and some amazing CHD warriors and their families. We spoke for close to an hour at Deloitte to their employees where we not only shared our stories, but also the healthy for good and be well missions. We had our quarterly support group meeting at the University of Maryland and tackled some emotional topics. Finally, we had the privilege to attend, and speak at, various evenings of the Hearts Delight Wine Auction this past week.
All of this went down while I was going through quite a busy period at work and while Mike was going full speed ahead in his LAST semester of DMS school. It was exhausting, there were definitely times where my physiology caught up to me, but it was exhilarating and beautiful and surreal all at the same time. It’s still hard for me to believe that we’ve spent the past six weeks attending beyond amazing events, championing for essential causes, and developing ourselves as public speakers.
Amidst all of this I knew we would need to do our best to prioritize taking care of ourselves. I can’t wait to share with you my newest obsession and what I’m truly loving lately when it comes to self care: FLOATATION THERAPY. Floatation therapy has immense benefits for your physical and mental well being. Studies have shown that floating reduces pain, improves sleeping patterns, reduces stress, improves focus, creates an incredible sense of calm, and decreases depression and anxiety. In fact, one hour of floating equates to up to four hours of meditation and six hours of sleep!!!! That’s absolutely incredible! In the stressful and chaotic world we live in, this type of extremely efficient and wildly beneficial therapy can’t be beat. It truly is the complete escape.
Floaters spend 60 minutes in a sensory deprivation tank filled with 12-18 inches of water saturated with over 1,000 pounds of pharmaceutical grade Epsom salts. The salinity of the water makes floating completely effortless and relieves all tension from the entirety of the body, particularly the spinal cord. The top of the pod closes completely and you are left in complete darkness and silence. This serves to eliminate all external stimuli, allowing for total rest and rejuvenation. The water and air is heated to your body temperature, which allows for natural heat generation to escape without your muscles needing to spring into action to maintain your homeostasis. In other words, there are literally no distractions and your body has absolutely nothing to do. It is effortless. Studies have shown that this directly changes the pattern of your brain waves, allowing for deep meditation and rest. Additionally, it has been found that the more frequently you float, the more profound, and lasting, the effects are.
My first float was actually yesterday. It has been something I’ve been wanting to try, and numerous people had recommended it to me for anxiety. The space itself was exquisite. You start your session in a luxurious shower to rinse off any oils, lotions, or other products you might have on your skin. You then enter the tank and pull the lid closed. For the first few minutes there are twinkling lights and light music before everything fades into nothingness. You are left in complete darkness and complete silence. It definitely took me a few minutes to “get comfortable” and settle in, I was totally out of my element and had no idea what to expect. I remember thinking, “there’s no way I’m going to last in here for 60 minutes”. Next thing i knew…boom! I felt completely settled and everything else melted away. I could feel the tension leaving my body, particularly through my shoulders and jaw, and before i knew it I was able to enter into an extremely restful state. As the minutes ticked on, I found myself in a deeply meditative state. My creativity was flowing, I was setting personal goals left and right, and feeling beyond confident in my purpose and my plan to achieve them. I felt an incredible sense of calm and well being and felt one with myself. I could hardly believe when the lights and soft music came back on - I swear it felt like I had only been in there for 15 or 20 minutes. After an incredibly luxurious shower I emerged feeling so calm, so peaceful, and downright serene. As this was my first experience, I know that I have only just begun to uncover what floating will have to offer me.
I realize that this may not be for everyone - but what i’d love for you to take away from my post is this: think outside of the box. Explore all different ways and find what works for you when it comes to taking care of yourself. Find what makes you able to float on okay through the day to day grind.
We are wrapping up an amazing weekend and start to Mike’s spring break with our best friends and I couldn’t be happier. Sending you all good vibes to start this upcoming week!
ps. props to you if my post title made you think of Modest Mouse ;)