I live in a constant state of sensory overload.
I’ve convinced myself that I like to live that way. Constant noise, bright lights, plans and lists to conquer, mobile phone just an extension of my arm, and an inability to switch off.
Unchecked alerts make me anxious. Missing phone calls – no matter who they are – makes me anxious. Having no cell phone service so I can respond to emails instantly makes me anxious. Device batteries on less than 50% make me anxious. Not knowing the time makes me anxious. Silence makes me anxious. Darkness makes me anxious.
All of this is easily remedied. I charge my phone often, always have it on a charger in the car when we’re traveling, and I never have it on silent. Never. I hunt out reception wherever we are, or set auto-reply if I’ll be out of service for more than 2hrs. I always, always, always have my phone on me – so I can instantly check messages, reply to emails, check the time, answer calls, and send constant snapchats. I fill our home, car, or tent with music, or TV noise, or the sound of the washing machine, and always leave our little Scentsy Whoot owl on at night time.
But something’s gotta give, right? No one should ever be so ‘unpluggable’. While our lifestyle means it’s relatively unobtrusive to live this way, lately I’ve been feeling like I deserve a little time out, a little peace, a little utter quiet.
All the signs pointed me to floating. A VIP Business Women breakfast seated next to the owner of Floatzone came first. A discussion with a friend about how much I didn’t think I could enjoy it came second – I’m never one to back down from a challenge! A Silver Medal deal thanks to one of our Olympics got me in the door at Floatzone.
If you don’t know what floating is – this is it in a very tiny nutshell: you strip off and lie in a pod filled with Epsom salts saturated water which has the Dead Sea effect – you float. Earplugs keep the water and sound out, the water gives your body a remarkable zero-gravity feel, the pod light and gentle music creates ambiance, and then once you’re brave enough, you can turn the light off for complete sensory deprivation for an hour.
I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the pod – while you can’t quite do laps, there’s plenty of room to bob around in, and I managed to do two full spins around the pod and had a bit of fun bouncing off the walls (like I said, I struggle to chill out). I thought I’d feel too closed in once I pulled the lid down, but no freak out ensued – the pods are very spacious.
Seeing as I thought the closed space would be my biggest issue I thought I’d brave it one step further and turn the light out – enter total effing freak out. It is pitch black. If you cannot sleep without a nightlight, don’t turn off the lights – I’ve already taken one for the scared-of-the-dark team. A few minutes later I tried to turn off the light again. Yea, same result that time. I’m no owl – dark is just not my thing.
The rest of the hour was incredibly relaxing. I went into that pod with an open but overflowing mind, and had no expectations about what level of relation I would reach. I didn’t try to ‘stop thinking’ – I just lay there and soon realised that once you lose all cues – visual and otherwise – to your life, worries become forgotten.
Sure, I was awake and aware the entire hour, but the things I thought about were mindless, pointless, almost humourous. How many pods would fit in a standard living room? Should I taste the water? Will it be saltier than the ocean? How dark will it be if I turn off this cool pink light? Abort! Abort! Idiot! How heavy is this pod? How good do my boobs look?! Look, I’m so short I can float sideways!
I didn’t think about Emmy. I didn’t think about work. I didn’t think about tomorrow. I didn’t think about the messy kitchen, the loads of towels in the laundry, or the sheets that need changing. I didn’t think about the list. I didn’t think about the winter power bill. I didn’t think about the Olympics. I didn’t think about emails piling up, or unchecked Facebook notifications.
I just relaxed! Soundless, touchless, odourless, and mostly sightless.
When the music started up again to tell me time was nearly up I was almost relieved, but in a really nice way. I had made it the entire hour without thinking about checking my phone, or the time, or my emails, or worrying about Emmy.
The added health benefits to floating (please do read about this at https://www.facebook.com/floatzonenz) are amazing, but were just a bonus for me this time.
It wasn’t about body for me this time – it was about mind.
I’ll try anything once – twice actually if you remember the darkness disaster. However, this is one experience firmly on the rinse and repeat list. After one float I am a total float convert. Hours later I am still feeling the effects of total unplugging – I’m much more focused, efficient, and purposeful. I am much more aware of priorities, and much more calm in getting through them. Jobs that may have taken hours have already found themselves a spot in my completed items, and my mind feels clear.
Best of all, Emmy gets the full effect of the added calm in our home and already wants to learn more about floating so she can do it when she’s a big girl.
Floating – an amazing way to kick off Me Modays.
Note: This is Part One of a four part blog over the next month focusing on getting some Me-time into our lives – an essential part of a healthy and happy home. Check back next week for Part Two – Massaging out the Kinks!