Give Yourself A REST: The Benefits of Floating for Parents

February 6, 2016

When was the last time you worked through lunch? Missed a workout? Skipped your weekly bubble bath? We often add time for ourselves on the to-do list, but somehow those tasks are still left without a check mark at the end of the day. When the surprises of daily life pop up, me-time tends to take a backseat. Some may view mental health breaks as unnecessarily indulgent or selfish – even when they’re vital to meet the needs of demanding careers, hectic family schedules, and active social lives.

So how do we make a mental shift and prioritize self-care? That’s the question we’re exploring by encouraging you to “Give Yourself A REST,” a series of posts that proves a regularly scheduled floating practice is as important as anything else you see in your calendar.

For parents, setting daily priorities is a special kind of challenge; the best laid plans veer off course when a child inevitably forgets a school project at home or suddenly catches the flu that’s been going around. While we can’t reschedule surprise shake-ups, we can call in reinforcements to help ensure that major concerns take precedence. Here’s why your floating practice should stay toward the top of the to-do list…

Physically Recharge: Your kids might be able to bounce from the playground, to swim lessons, to dance class, but your body probably has a harder time recovering from a packed schedule. Whether it’s a sore shoulder from coaching little league or a knot in your back from driving carpool every morning, the rewards of parenthood usually come with a few extra aches. Stay one step ahead of the pain with regular float therapy sessions.

The secret is in the salt – a 30% magnesium sulfate solution eases muscle tension, reduces inflammation, and draws impurities out of the body. Even patients with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia report a significant improvement in pain management with a regular floating practice. By relaxing the mind and body while the Epsom salts go to work, mild to moderate aches can be relieved in only one session, while chronic pain is diminished with a routine practice.

Restock Your Mental Arsenal: Love is patient, love is kind…but even the most loving parents can find their patience running low when they have a cranky toddler in tow. We often associate the idea of burnout with paid professions, but the 24/7 demands of parenthood can result in similar symptoms: Exhaustion, irritation, and forgetfulness are familiar feelings to all parents from time to time. Prolonged periods of physical and emotional fatigue drain the mental energy supplies we need to face day-to-day stressors, and before you know it, you find yourself snapping at the kid who bags your groceries.

Take moments of frustration as a sign that it’s time to re-invest in your own mental health. A one-hour float therapy session lowers blood pressure and reduces cortisol (the “stress hormone”). More importantly, floating is one of the most effective ways to enter deep relaxation. Even first-time spa-goers often fall into a meditative state, allowing the brain to hit the reset button and engage neural connections that have been depleted. The result: A rested mind, a buoyant mood, and a readiness to tackle the next mini-crisis with ease.

Lead By Example:  We can impart all the sage wisdom we want to our kids, but studies show that children mimic what we do more often than what we say. Until their teenage years, children look primarily to their parents for social cues, behavioral guidance, and active feedback – and they’re not easy to fool. Research demonstrates that even young children can place value on behaviors based on parental actions; even if you try to make a show of healthy habits, they will only stick if your little ones see that you’re committed to an overall wholesome lifestyle. While they may not be ready to start floating at age 6, consider commitment to your practice a life-lesson for your youngsters. When they watch you take an hour away and return relaxed, rejuvenated, and engaged, it reinforces the value of their own well-being, too.

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Have a standing appointment with the babysitter? Skip dinner and a movie this week and turn date night into a reason to relax at your local True REST Spa!

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