Beating the January Blues
January. Such an abrupt contrast to joyful December. Short dark days, no more yummy treats in the fridge, stretchy pants are the go-to outfit, the credit card bill just arrived, and the weather isn’t exactly inviting you to get outside. Some days, it can take every ounce of energy just to get out of bed to start the day. January 21 was called by many the ‘saddest day of the year’ or “Blue Monday” due to the culmination of the above factors. I know that I am feeling it, are you?
As someone who is prone to depression and anxiety, I find that I need to actively manage my mental health this time of year to avoid the winter doldrums, and make the most of every day. Floating, of course, is my #1 tool for boosting my mood.
Here are 5 tips on how Floating can help you beat the January blues.
1. Get some rest. Winter is a natural time for hibernation and rest. Floating is the perfect place to take advantage of deep rest – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We receive lots of questions if it is OK to fall asleep in the tank, and our answer is a resounding YES. 90 minutes of un-interrupted deep physical rest can make your body feel amazing, and refresh your mind and spirit.
2. Recover quickly from your fitness routine. Did you get back into your routine after Christmas, or start something new? Are you feeling sore? Exercise is a proven method to boost your mood, but muscle soreness can be a downer. Book some extra floats to help speed your recovery and keep your goals in sight. Being weightless allows your body to rest and recover more efficiently because your body doesn’t have to fight the effects of gravity. The float environment also gives you an opportunity to really pay attention to your body and any areas of tightness so that you can release them.
3. Visualize your success. January is a natural time to set some goals and set some intentions of what you would like to create during the upcoming year. Perhaps you have fitness or weight loss goals, perhaps you have career or family goals. In all cases, it is inspiring and exciting to set goals, but a bit tougher to take the action steps to reach them, and even more difficult to make habitual changes and maintain them. Your float time can be a powerful tool to keep you focused on your goals. Pick one specific goal, and take some time to savour the feelings of success – what does success look, sound, feel, taste or smell like? Are there different perspectives that you can view your success from? Daydream a little bit, and imagine that you have already accomplished your goal, and bask in the victory. Let the feelings of success sink in. I like to ‘store’ these visualizations and the feelings that come with them so that I can recall and revisit them later, outside the tank.
4. Practice gratitude. It has been proven that having an attitude of gratitude boosts your mood. The feeling of gratitude prompts your brain to release Dopamine – a brain chemical that has a reputation as a ‘feel good’ hormone, and is often associated with feelings of bliss, euphoria, concentration, and motivation. I love to incorporate a few minutes of gratitude in my floats. Simply having the luxury of peace and quiet to fully appreciate a handful of things that I feel blessed to have in my life gives me a sense of wellbeing that lasts long after the float has ended.
5. Stay healthy during cold and flu season. Sailing through January feeling healthy is a much more attractive option than battling the dull days with a head cold. High levels of the stress hormone Cortisol have been linked to reduced immune system response as well as feelings of depression. Floating facilitates deep rest, reduced feelings of stress and cortisol levels, as well as a positive state of mind, all of which keep your immune system strong. Couple the physical aspects of floating with visualizations of your healthy, strong body, and you increase your chances of starting the year as your healthiest self.
Above all, January is a perfect time to practice excessive self care, indulge in activities that you love, and celebrate the small wins.
Stay salty my friends,