Hi bloggy friends! Sorry if I scared you by taking a blog break after my nervous breakdown post! We’ve been really busy. If you’re new here, I’m pregnant, I’m a mess, it’s the holidays, and we’re moving. This Friday. After I wrote that last spill-my-guts post, some really great things have happened. First and foremost, so many of you shared with me that you feel or have felt the exact same way that I do. It means so much to me to know that we’re in this thing together, so thank you! Also, I’ve started making some changes to work on my own happiness, and so far the results have been… interesting. And good. Today I’m going to tell you about my experience “Floating” this past Saturday! Up until about two weeks ago I had never heard of Floating or Sensory Deprivation Therapy, but it’s really interesting and pretty cool. It involves a dark pod, warm salty water, your brain, and well… floating. Today I’m sharing my experience at the newly opened H2Om FLOAT here in Jacksonville!
I first heard of floating about two days after my last blog post because a sweet, inspiring person from our neighborhood announced on Facebook that she’d just become the manager at a brand new place here in Jacksonville called H2Om Float. I immediately Googled it and learned that Floating is called “Sensory Deprivation Therapy.” The float pod takes away your sense of sight, sound, and temperature/touch. I was instantly intrigued by the benefits, which include creativity boosts, anxiety relief, stress reduction, pain relief, and heightened senses. UHM hello you had me at stress and anxiety relief.
So this past Saturday, despite having a child with strep throat and approximately 1 bajillion things to do before we move this Friday, I forced myself to honor my commitment to the ever-elusive “me time ‘, and I headed out to float. Getting out the door was difficult, and of course I was consumed with momxiety and guilt, but I kept going.
When I arrived at H2Om Float I was greeted by a modern, tranquil and welcoming lobby. The aesthetics of this place are top notch, down to the smallest detail. Even the heavy teak clipboard was on point with the feel of the place, and those details are definitely not wasted on me.
I filled out some paperwork (if you’re pregnant check with your doc first!) Also, don’t go there drunk or under the influence of narcotics, because for some reason they don’t allow people who may be inclined to pass out to get into a dark, unsupervised pod of water. Weird, right?
Next, it was on to my float room! I was getting nervous at this point. Not because of the dark or the nakedness, but because I had no idea what my brain would torture me with when left with nothing to do but think. On my own. In the dark and quiet. For an hour. That prospect is far more scary than exposed cellulite to me!
The room was beautiful. The giant float pod with a calming blue light was on one side, and the shower was in the opposite corner. I was instructed to shower off before
hopping carefully stepping into the pod, then put in earplugs (they mold to your ears), pull the lid closed, and press the button on the side to turn off the blue light in the pod.
I completed the showering and turning the light part off, but then realized JUST before my head hit the water that I’d forgotten the earplugs. I reached to turn the light back on, but accidentally hit the intercom button whilst simultaneously spouting out a curse word that I’m certain the tranquil lobby could hear. “HELLO? ARE YOU OKAY CAN WE HELP YOU?!” Nope, I’m just an idiot and hit the wrong button, thanksss!
I grabbed the ear plugs and reclosed the pod. When I laid back, it was incredible to me how easy it was to float. The water is super saturated with Epsom salt, so you essentially just become a giant buoy and have to give zero effort to float completely weightlessly. I spent the first few minutes thinking about how dark and quiet it was in there, and then I thought about what would happen if someone just wouldn’t get out of one of the pods and how the staff would have to handle that, then I wondered who did the design of the place because I really liked everything they’d done, then I wondered if I could do some design like that, then I thought OMG is that my stomach making that sound? And eventually, after probably 10-15 minutes my brain started to slow down.
The first thing that struck me was the sounds of my body. The whoosh of my breath in and out, the clicking of my eyes blinking (they sounded just like a camera), and the cracking of an occasional bone when I moved an ankle or arm.
Then I had a bunch of creative thoughts about projects that I’m working on, and then I thought about some logistical and planning things with regards to our move. I didn’t feel stressed or overwhelmed when I thought about these things at all. It was easy to sort my thoughts and not get all ADD and lose focus. I loved that.
Occasionally I felt really cool and then really warm, which was odd to me because the water is consistently heated to your body temperature and the temperature in the pod doesn’t change.
At one point I made the mistake of scratching my nose, which lead to a single drop of water trailing into my eye. Holy salt this water stings in your eyes! Thankfully I was able to reach the fresh water bottle and the towel that they’d placed in the pod (without hitting the intercom button again) to wash it out, and then I was back to floating.
I was so concerned that I would feel claustrophobic or panicked, or that I would get bored just floating around for an hour. I didn’t at all. I was sad when the little single jet in the tub turned on to tell me that the hour was up.
I showered again and got dressed and felt really energized and happy. I wrote a review for the awesome people at H2Om Float in their lobby journal and told them I would happily share my experience.
I think it really says something about my state of mind after my float that I was able to go to Wal-Mart (on a Saturday, a mere two weeks before Christmas) and not get enraged a single time. It was so relaxing and calming and I really enjoyed the experience. If you’re looking for a different way to relax, or you need time to clear your head or think out a problem, go see my friends at H2Om Float and float it out! I can’t wait to do it again, and to continue on with Project Get Happy!
So what do you think? Would you give floating a try?!
3546 S. St. John’s Bluff Road, Suite 105
Jacksonville, FL 32224