If you have been feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, stressed and you haven’t had “me time” in a long time.. I can’t wait to share this with you! I promise I don’t share this to brag – But, I have just experienced the most peaceful and enlightening hour of my life! And, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience after having been on the edge of burnout and having been overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. I hadn’t felt like myself in awhile and this experience I’m about to share with you, left me feeling.. revived!
Months ago, I talked to my husband about an idea I had.. to book a hotel in a city miles and miles from home, request a day off work and to take a 3 day weekend for a much needed, solo staycation. I did just that and I honestly cannot wait to do it again. During my staycation I spent time praying, meditating, journaling, facing some hard truths – cried a bit – released some hurtful things I’d been holding onto, I drove around and explored the city, had a bubble bath and I thoroughly enjoyed having No TV, No social media, No emails, No Netflix/Hulu/Movies etc. the ENTIRE weekend! Having that time to disconnect and distance myself from all distractions and really just love on ME was the reset I needed. On the drive back home, I could not stop smiling… I felt a genuine excitement about life and renewed self confidence that I hadn’t felt in a long time. And, that in itself is a gift!
For those of us who are goal oriented, who are always busy, always on the go or have many responsibilities that often leave us feeling drained, it is essential to our mental health and to improving our overall quality of life, that we are intentional about our self-care. And, if it requires picking a date on the calendar, scheduling time off, physically retreating away from home, away from our jobs and life stressors – that’s what we must do. We work hard, we give and give and give… However, we should never wait until we are running on empty before we take time for our cups to be refilled. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and your family, friends, career, business and YOU – deserve the best of you! Not the last drops lingering at the bottom of your cup. That is why self-care is not selfish.
The highlight of my solo staycation was my first Visit to True Rest Float Spa. If you haven’t heard of float therapy, float therapy, also known as sensory deprivation, is where you float on water, filled with epsom salt which allows you to simply float. Float therapy is known to promote pain relief, stress and anxiety relief, relaxation and better sleep.
My experience was phenomenal. As soon as I walked through the front door, it was as if I entered the zone of zen! The vibe was soo peaceful and soothing. I was greeted with music so serene and the customer service was top tier. But, what I wish to remember most is my first float experience inside the pod. When I stepped into the water and attempted to lie back, I felt a sudden rush of anxiety. Up until that point it had been pure excitement with a hint of nervousness. I learned soo much in the first 20 minutes. It legit took me about 10 minutes before I finally, successfully willed myself to lie back and allow my body to float.
At first, I kept trying to support my body by holding onto the pod walls and having my arms touch the pod floor. After I finally stopped trying to support my body, I started to float. But, even then, I kept feeling my body sink slightly, because I was extremely tense in my mid-section. Even then, I was still trying to support my body. Eventually, I started a deep breathing exercise and slowly my body began to relax. There was a point where I thought about just sitting upright in pod and spending the time remaining meditating. I had to keep reminding myself of how badly I wanted this experience and how it was already garaunteed that my body would float effortlessly, I just needed to stop putting in the effort. I needed to let go.
The biggest lesson I learned about myself during my first float therapy experience is that my stress, anxiety and depression largely stems from my constant need to be in control. In every aspect of my life, I want to have some type of control, because my trust has been damaged of the years. People are human, people are imperfect, we makes mistakes and that sometimes results in us being hurt. Fear of being rejected or hurt can be paralyzing. For some, it prevents us from doing certain things like pursuing our dreams. For me, I have relied so much on information. I like to know what’s going on, why someone made a certain decision, what’s going to happen.. Even if it’s just a clue and not the full picture, I find comfort and a sense of control in knowing. But, life is quite literally full of surprises – some good, some bad, some that don’t allow me to be in control.
In that pod, it was not until I released full control of HOW I was going to float that I was finally able to float. During the remainder of my float, I did not meditate much or fall asleep. I basked in gratitude. Gratitude for that moment, for that opportunity, for that experience and for the lesson learned. But, what was the most significant for me during my float, was the realization that all the times I want to run away from my problems, all the times I wish to hibernate, and to hit reset.. I can.
I believe that God wants us to cast all of our worries, doubts, frustrations and problems onto him and he wants us to leave them there.
In that pod, I thought about my life stressors – all the things I was angry and frustrated about and I made up in my mind to leave them in that pod. That when I stepped out, they were not going with me. I also had strong sense of gratitude for the reminder that God knew that I would be floating in that pod that day and that he allowed that hour to be carved out just for me to do exactly what I’d been craving to do – hibernate. In a pod, lid closed, floating as if on a cloud, with all my worries, my job, my responsibilities, far far away.
The thing is… God wants us to be able to pray to him, casting all of our cares upon him, to leave them there and just float… Resting in Him. Hiding in Him. Trusting in Him. But in order to float, we have to release. We have to let go. I realized that if I can work on releasing my need to control, I will then be able to just float. That sounds much better than constantly worrying about how something is going to work out. It’s okay to set goals, plan, and execute. But, there will be times when we’ve done our part and then we just need to lie back and let things play out.
1 Peter 5: 7 Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you (NLT).
Letting go is easier said than done some times. I experienced that not only in my daily life, but also in the first 15 minutes inside that pod. I can’t deny how free and refreshed I felt after leaving the float spa that day. It was what I needed and I encourage you , if you have never heard of float therapy – definitely look it up and try it out. If you have tried float therapy before, I’d love for you to comment and share your experience below! Also, be sure to subscribe to the blog because in the next post we’ll be talking about different ideas, ways to incorporate self-care into our busy lives daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually! Have blessed week!