I have recently been looking for ways to relax. Growing up I never really needed to set relax time aside because… well I either didn’t need to relax or, in college, most of my life was relaxing.
Now, however, I feel like I’m stressed and anxious quite a bit of the time so I need to find a way to stop that.
As a result, I’ve tried two (new to me) things and I’m here to tell you about them: massages (which you’ve totally probably already tried and are one step ahead of me) and floating.
Getting a massage
So, all my life I felt like massages were reserved for super posh society ladies. I guess that means I’m a super posh society lady, now. Ha. Just kidding!
I actually went to a teaching day spa recommended by a friend. If that’s an option for you and you’re trying to save some money, I would definitely recommend that. It’s usually cheaper and at least at mine, they wouldn’t let us tip because they’re students.
It was also super great quality, so that’s important too, ;).
I made the appointment for a Saturday – ample time to bask in the relaxed feeling and went in a week later. I actually got a full body sugar scrub and a 90-minute massage. My skin is SUPER sensitive to the dry weather, so I thought a sugar scrub would be phenomenal before they massage lotion into my body.
That was a good choice.
So, if you’ve never had a massage before I’ll tell you a little about what happened. If you have, well, skip down to the floating part.
When I got there they had me fill out some medical paperwork just letting them know what I’m allergic to, if I’ve recently been sick, etc. They then brought me into a little stall and had me take off all my clothes and put on a robe.
***Stopping to answer a question right here: I left my underwear on. I probably would have taken them off if the robe was bigger and if I wasn’t on my period, but I’m a big girl and am on my time of the month. So.
Then I met the girl in the massage room. She had me get on the table lying on my tummy, and then she draped the sheet over me.
She did the sugar scrub first, starting with the backs of my legs, then my back, then I flipped over and she did the fronts of my legs and my arms.
Then the massage, which was wonderful.
There were definitely some parts that I should have spoke up and said less pressure, but all-in-all it was a wonderful experience. Oh, and I learned apparently one of my legs is SUPER ticklish.
After the fact, drink LOTS of water. Apparently, deep tissue massages pop the lactic acid out of your muscles kind of like a pimple. It can make you exhausted and sore the next day, like exercise. Drinking water, however, alleviates that.
Then the next day was honestly phenomenal. I have quite a few aches and pains from a high school dance injury and sleeping in an AWFUL bed, but this morning I am walking around with almost no pain (except for a little bit of soreness in my shoulders). It’s amazing.
A couple random tidbits: I so totally almost fell asleep, which was glorious. My masseuse was super sweet and made me feel comfortable in terms of being naked and all that jazz. If your massage place has the option of putting a blanket on OVER the sheet totally say yes, it’s amazing.
Best part: the foot and scalp massage part
Worst part: I should have told her a little lighter in spots, but I didn’t because I’m a scardey cat.
Would I recommend?: YES. I’m thinking about alternating between getting a massage and floating once a month if my pocketbook can afford it.
So, many of you probably haven’t heard of floating, and if you have it might be from my birthday weekend post! Floating is essentially laying in a sensory deprivation chamber.
Still confused? Here’s a video:
I’ll give you the same play-by-play I did for the massage.
So I went to a float place in Bellvue. If you’re in Seattle, I would totally recommend going there. It’s called Float! How original 😉
When I first got there the guy (I don’t know if he has a title. He was like the front desk/working guy) took my cousin (she came to float, too) and I through the facility. He told us about the whole process and answered any questions we had. This was AWESOME because I was super nervous about the whole thing. It was me who really wanted to do it, but sometimes the anxiety messes stuff up.
Then he left us alone in our little room. The room has a shower, a bench to put all your stuff and then the pod.
You shower off first and then you get in!
The pod that I was in was an actual pod, so it looks kind of like an egg. It has a lid with the handle on the inside so you can pull it down as you sit. I really liked this setup. I don’t think I would have been comfortable in a tank.
So I put in my earplugs (sensory deprivation) and closed the door.
If we’re being really honest I had trouble at first. There’s a light inside the pond, and I had to turn it on maybe three times before I was comfortable. I also had to sit up and open the door once.
It had nothing to do with claustrophobia like everyone thinks about. It was mainly because my anxiety doesn’t like not being able to hear things.
But after maybe 10 or 15 minutes I became comfortable and it was fantastic.
People talk about an out-of-body experience and you’re supposed to feel like, basically, you don’ thave a body anymore, but I had the exact opposite.
I felt more comfortable in my body than I ever have.
This is going to sound odd, so just bear with me…
In the pod, in my body, I felt more safe than I have ever felt in my life. Like my body was this warm little comfy shell that I can retreat into that’s just mine. I told you it was going to sound weird.
And it was GLORIOUS.
I spent the next couple hours very zen and centered. From there I was super peppy and focused. Honestly, I think I’ve been happy and fulfilled since then. It just made me feel very different about life and reality and myself.
Idk. Hard to explain lol.
Best part: settling in to just let myself be still and introspective
Worst part: the anxiety at the beginning
Would I recommend?: 100 times yes
So, there you have a couple of ways I have been de-stressing.
Some big girl questions
So, as a bigger girl, there are some times where I get anxious about new things, honestly because I’m worried they’re going to tell me I’m too big. So I’m going to answer those questions for you.
Will I still float? Yes. It’s nearly impossible to not be able to float. It’s so saturated with Epsom salt that everyone will float.
Will my boobs do that weird suffocate me thing? Now, it’s not actually suffocating, but if you have this problem when you lay on your back you’ll 100 percent understand what I’m talking about. The answer is pretty much no. You still get a little of that, but it’s really not bad and definitely not unbearable. The way the water is saturated makes your body wider instead of gravity that makes your boobs fall backward. That’s hard to explain, but I hope that eases some of your concerns.
Do I float naked? Yes. Don’t bring a swimsuit. It’s amazing and no one is going to see you.
Can I fit on the massage table? Yes. And it’s seriously not a big deal.
Will the robe fit? Maybe, maybe not. Mine honestly didn’t. Like the velcro would catch but it wasn’t strong enough to put any stress on it. So I held it shut and walked in with my head held high. It’s a spa. It’s nothing they haven’t seen before and it’s not THAT big of a deal. You got this.
Should I tip extra because of my size? That’s a question I was asking myself while laying on the table. I honestly think that one is going to be a personal preference, but I don’t think you should feel like you have to. Bodies, especially these days, come in all different shapes and sizes. You may feel uncomfortable about your size but that doesn’t mean you need to apologize for it. You got this.
What do you to relax? Do you have any good massage or float stories? What questions do you have for me about either of these?