Deprive your senses

After nearly 10 days of full-time solo parenting, I found myself with a few hours on my own this morning.

I had an entire bucket list of things I wanted to do, even though I had about 24 hours’ notice.

Go for a walk/run/gym session, get a sports massage, pedicure (ssh, don’t tell anyone – my feet are broken after a week of trips to soft play areas and waiting on my children), visiting my local wine merchant, grabbing a coffee and reading, going for a drive…the list goes on.

Instead, I went to my local floatation centre.

Photo by Shazmyn Ali on Unsplash

For the uninitiated, floatation tanks are a bath tub about the size of a double-bed which contain body-temperature water, filled with half a tonne of Epsom salt. As with the Dead Sea in Jordan, the salt causes you to float.

After stepping in, you close the lid, turn off the lights, lie on your back and float.

You quickly get to a position where you feel weightless.

You don’t have to support your body, or respond to anything in your environment. After a while you can’t even feel the water, since it’s at body temperature and stops moving.

This sensory deprivation gives your brain a break.

You might fall asleep, relax and let thoughts pass you by, or commonly for beginners, feel restless and struggle to get comfortable.

I had one of the latter sessions today. My mind was racing. I felt stiff and couldn’t relax. I forgot to turn off the light inside the tank and, since I had a strong coffee beforehand, struggled to drift off into the refreshing sleep I’ve experienced in the past.

But guess what?

Even after an hour of lying there wishing the time would be over, I felt amazing. Like I’d had a brain massage.

I really did switch off, even if, from the outside, my experience looked more like a bad-night’s sleep than a deep slumber.

Afterwards, as I was out and about, I got chatting to people randomly. I felt energised and in a good mood.

I’m an occasional visitor, but today reminded me that this might be worth doing more regularly.

If you’ve never tried it before, I encourage you to give it a go. What do you have to lose?

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