Do you feel that? The indulgent sense of calm and serenity that has washed over you? This is the afterglow (more commonly referred to as the post-float glow), the result of allowing yourself an extended session of relaxation and rest in a float tank. If only we could hold on to this feeling of bliss for as long as possible, but so many of us find the world outside waiting just where we left it. Friends on Facebook are debating politics, emails are blowing up the inbox, the entire connected world seems to be crying out, “Hey! Come back and pay attention to me!”
How to Enhance the Afterglow
So how do we prolong that wonderful afterglow when the world around us quickly vies for our attention, our thought, our focus on the day-to-day grind? Here are a few pro tips on how to make the best of an experience that is just as important as the float itself.
Afterglow Tip #1: Schedule Time to Reflect
You just made a wonderful investment in your physical and mental well-being, and you owe it to yourself to spend time thinking about your experience. When you’re planning your float session, give yourself anywhere from 10-30 minutes of additional time to relish and reflect in your afterglow. Spend some time in the lobby enjoying a chilled glass of water or some warm tea. Take a walk through a neighborhood park or stop by a scenic overlook. You will be looking at the world through refreshed eyes, and it can be quite the experience if you allow it.
Afterglow Tip #2: Keep a Journal
Through your reflections, it can help to spend time journaling your thoughts and feelings, written or recorded. This will capture a moment in time forever and allow you to revisit this moment in the future, which can bring the feelings right back to the surface. Alternatively, if your float left you feeling inspired in your afterglow, a journal is the perfect outlet for gathering creative outpourings.
Afterglow Tip #3: Drink Water
When floating, the body is relieved of pressure to the musculoskeletal system, blood pressure is reduced, and oxygen intake increases. Following all of this up with proper hydration can ensure the best return on this wellness investment, and prolong the positive afterglow feelings that accompany your body achieving optimal performance.
Afterglow Tip #4: Connect with a Close Friend or Family Member
It’s common to feel a sense of bliss or euphoria after a float, one that you may wish to share with others. However, don’t go straight for the social media channels – you owe yourself better than that, and you never know what stress-inducing content awaits you! Instead, share your experience directly with a close friend or family member who understands and can appreciate the contact. Even simply catching up will be unique as you’re likely listening with a rejuvenated sense of empathy.
Afterglow Tip #5: Avoid Avenues of Stress or Strain
It should seem obvious, but the quickest way to kill an afterglow is by forcing yourself into the direct opposite of a relaxing environment. Jumping right back into a high-tempered email thread or going straight to high resistance anaerobic training can be like dumping an ice bucket on your head after a warm shower. If work must be tended to, try channeling your glow into a collaborative project. If exercise beckons, try yoga or stretching techniques and save the strenuous activities for before your next float.
Afterglow Tip #6: Release Your Creative Spirit
As mentioned above, a float can leave you feeling inspired and bursting with creative energies waiting to be harnessed. Don’t hold them back! Journals, recorders, napkins, paint, pencils, crayons, whatever you happen to find lying around you – the world is your canvas and brush. A float afterglow is a magical time for creativity, so use it to your advantage.
Afterglow Tip #7: Book Your Next Float
Floating is a powerful healing technique that mends the body and sharpens the mind, and the afterglow is the reward you give yourself for making the time investment. Each session can result in a completely new experience, and even lifelong floaters report that while each afterglow is amazing, no two are truly alike. But just like a regular fitness regimen, floating rewards the persistent even more, and the true long-term benefits are unlocked when you make the long-term investment. Find a schedule that works for you, be it weekly, bimonthly, or monthly.
A post-float afterglow is a powerful and enviable place to find yourself, so make sure that you take the time to prepare properly for your float to ensure the entire experience, during and after, is enjoyable. A few pro tips before you float:
- Don’t shave within 24 hours of your appointment
- Eat a light meal or snack 1-2 hours before but avoid caffeine
- Shower without conditioner right before your float (pro tip: insert ear plugs before you shower)
- Cover any small cuts, wounds, or abraded skin with petroleum jelly (a proper float center will provide this for you)
- Dry your face entirely with a clean towel before entering the salt water to prevent itches or tickles.
Make the commitment to yourself that you deserve. Book your float today!