What has the COVID-19 isolation taught you? How did you handle the stress, anxiety or fear, all of which came to us all so unexpectedly? How are we all going to handle the “new normal” moving forward as we re-open business, school, and social spaces?
During quiet times, we often have feelings and emotions surface we were unaware we were carrying and sometimes we don’t understand where they came from.
For us at Water Temple Floatation & Holistic Health, we understand the benefits floatation therapy offers for all levels of stress, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, fear and depression and the overall sense of wellbeing, both physically and mentally that is gained from regular float sessions.
Stress has been one of the most talked about topics during the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ways we are coping with sudden changes in our day to day life. It is not only the restriction on movement both physically and through social interaction, but the isolation that was so sudden and then the not knowing of how long it would go on for. The strong emotions of fear of those around you getting sick, the shutting down of businesses and people’s ability to go to work, or even maintain employment have a cascading effect on mental health and wellbeing.
How individuals and families have coped have been as different as the circumstances they found themselves in regarding their employment or businesses. There have been business’s that have been around for decades who have had to close their doors permanently and yet there are others who have thrived in the environment.
Talking to many from our floating community over the last few months and asking the question of what they missed most about floating, has been insightful as has speaking to people from emergency departments who are at the front line and how they feel a strong need to have a space they can isolate and reset and wished that floatation therapy was available through the lock down. We hope this shines a light on the benefits floatation therapy can and does provide. The importance of being able to disconnect from social media, technology and reconnect to yourself and what is important to you.
Life sometimes will cause you to get stressed or worried about things around family, work or school. The fear of catching the virus has and still is high for many people, although Australia has been able to generally contain the virus, the vulnerable are still on high alert and there is a sense of uncertainty as to how we can protect ourselves in public.
The State and Federal Governments have set up hotlines to advise people how best to manage this transitory period. It’s important to know the facts to help elevate worry. Discover some useful advice.
It will be a slower journey for some more than others as to how we re-enter the new normal day to day life. What is important is to stay connected to family and friends, eat well balanced meals, and get quality sleep and maintain physical exercise as much as possible. If you are not in a fitness routine, now can be as good a time as any to start. Meditation has been shown to have many benefits in calming the mind and improve heart and brain connection and is as simple as breathing into your belly and focusing on your breath for 10 mins at the beginning and end of each day.
Routine is one activity that becomes important when other external structures have fallen away like work and school. As simple as getting up at the same time each day and starting your day as you would before Covid-19 helps with feeling in control and keeping a structure to your daily life.
Research is showing that REST (Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy) is becoming a therapy people suffering with any form of mental health issues are finding benefit. The deep level of relaxation the mind and body experience when floating in a special designed isolation tank ensures 20% of the brain’s energy is put to rest by not taking in sensory information or having to process spatial awareness. As noise and light can be removed, which in fact enhances the body’s own senses one will benefit from the zero-gravity affect created by the concentrated Epsom salt solution which will enhance one’s awareness of their breath and heartbeat causing a calming, rhythmic effect on the individual. By reducing blood pressure and improving peripheral circulation, the nervous system calms down, dropping cortisol levels and shifts more easily into the Theta brain wave pattern most associate with meditation and a serene state of mind.
Research from Sweden has shown that there was a convincing beneficial effect from floatation therapy, on difficulties in emotional regulation, indicating that the awareness of emotions increased and the treatment enabled individuals with GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) to better understand and regulate their emotional responses.
Depression is often linked to anxiety and studies conducted through Monash University showed a rise in anxiety and depression due to the COVID19 pandemic which we will only over time be able to understand the impact and how much it has increased and what the long term effects it will have had on all areas of our society.
The PTSD that some of our community are already dealing with plus there will now be more people who will need to process this as the world changes. The most vulnerable groups are the elderly and those with disabilities or those that are health compromised already. These are the groups who are at a much higher risk of mental illness.
It is so important to share your feelings and thoughts with those close to you or reach out to the many Mental Health services that provide assistance in Australia such as SANE Australia, Lifeline , Beyond Blue, Black Dog, Kids Helpline & Men’s Helpline who have trained staff to listen and direct you on to the best help you need.
Floating has a positive effect on well being
The most current research completed in 2018 by Dr Justin Feinstein Ph. D, Clinical Neuropsychologist and Principal Investigator at The Laureate Institute for Brain Research, reported that there was significant reduction with symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress, muscle tension and pain, with increases in sense of happiness, relaxation and serenity.
Individuals felt refreshed after their 1-hour float with more energy, and overall, this had a positive effect on their general wellbeing and outlook lasting days after their float session.
If we have learnt one thing from the COVID-19 experience it is that society is busy being busy, sometimes one is just coping with day-to-day life. Stopping for 60-90 minutes while floating is like hitting a reset button. Your health is your first wealth and it all begins with giving your mind and body some time to just be.