mental health

Float Loft

Float lofts are popping up all over major cities, in Cincinnati I am now aware of four different locations where you can “float”.  Floating is described as a type of meditation, pain management and stress reduction strategy.  Of course, I had to try it so that I can report back to you!

Upon arrival, I was given a brief introduction to floating.  The attendant described floating as “Flying” if medication is like “driving across country”.  I was ushered into my room where there was a float pod and a shower.  They suggest you put ointment on any cuts you may have as the salt content in the water is very high.  The buoyancy of the water is the key to floating.  There is a salt content is the same as that of the dead sea.  It allows the human body to float on top of the warm water within a sensory deprivation pod.  The pod had some soothing music playing for the first few minutes before it faded into silence.  The lid of the pod can be open or closed; you get more of a sensory deprivation effect with it closed as it is PITCH BLACK.  I am grateful that I do not experience any claustrophobia!

I agree that I felt like I was in a meditative “happy place” much quicker than I am typically able to achieve with meditation; however, after about 30 minutes, I lost my focus and was unable to regain it.  Observing the pod environment became distracting: my hair swirled around and tickled my arm, I bounced off the sides, my arms were coated in crystalized salt, I scratched my nose and then the salt burned…at that time I knew I was done!

After floating, a shower is mandatory due to the saltiness of EVERYTHING in that room! I had to use a ton of shampoo (which they graciously provided) to help clean my hair and I think I used a gallon of conditioner! They also provided a room with hair dryers and mirrors to get yourself re-ready for the day. 

I enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend it to anyone who is stressed out or experiencing chronic pain.  There are discounts at many of the float locations if you have documentation from a medical doctor about your potential pain issues.

Happy Floating!

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Websites for Support

Just as there are apps, there are also some great websites out there to provide encouragement and distraction if you are struggling with depression and anxiety.  Below are a few of my favorites:

http://www.gretchenrubin.com/ Author of The Happiness Project, this website/blog has some great encouraging posts and realistic challenges you can try to bring more joy to your life.

http://www.positivityblog.com/ “Happiness and Awesomeness Tips that Work in Real Life”

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/ Realistic and uplifiting blog posts to improve your day/mood.

http://tinybuddha.com/ “Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives”…who doesn’t need that?!

http://thenicestplaceontheinter.net/ Need a hug? This is the site to visit!

http://www.thedailycute.com/ Something about cute puppies and kitties that just lightens the mood and makes it awfully hard not to smile.

http://www.calm.com/ Walks you through a calming experience

http://www.goodnet.org Information related to “good” causes around the world, can be uplifting to see the good things others are doing in the world

And of course this blog!! Don’t forget to check back often for new posts J

What are your favorite web pages to visit when you need a pick-me-up? Comment below so others can also check them out.

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Leave Me Alone!

I want to take a moment to remind you of the value of alone time! Whether you are a parent, a student, single, married…you need to take time for yourself.  Optimally this would be time for you to do an activity you enjoy, alone.  I note that of the top ten things I like to do in my free time, they can ALL be done solo or with a partner.  I find value in both.  Hiking, gardening, and crafting can all be done with someone…which is great for the relationship and can be great fun; however, doing them alone allows time for introspection.  Engaging in fun activities alone can help you get to know yourself, bond with yourself, and increase self confidence.  

Often, people who avoid doing things alone because they are afraid of how they will look, they will feel anxious, or they are judging themselves.  I encourage you to challenge yourself on those theories.  I have gone out to eat alone, gone to movies alone, taken rides on my bicycle alone…all can be incredibly freeing if you let yourself enjoy the moment! I assure you, most people are far too busy with their own lives (or smartphones) to care what you are doing.  Give it a try…choose something that you’ve been wanting to do with a friend, and go it alone!