Is This For Me?
by Daniela Galdi, Founder of Still Standing Together
Is This For Me?
I’ll be honest, I ask myself this before every float. My anxiety kicks into high gear the night before I’m supposed to be isolated with my own thoughts for 90 minutes. With this anxiety though, I also find myself craaaving a float, most especially on those days where I am overwhelmed with confusion in my mind. Sounds contradictory, right? Let me break down my experiences for you to help you understand.
As my floating practice has continued, the night-before jitters have shifted from “Can my anxiety handle this?” to recognizing my need for relief and the reset from that time afloat. It has become a healthy escape and tool to use to center my mind as well as step out of environments that heighten my anxious mind and make it hard to manage my racing thoughts. How do I know this? I attribute it to the 2-3 nights of solid, restful sleep throughout the night following a float session. I attribute this to the clarity in my choices and decisions for days after. Most importantly, I attribute this to the opportunity to surrender to my circumstances and achieve meditative states I’m unfamiliar with on a daily basis. In other words, I feel deeply connected to my “Self” -- that intuitive inner voice that I otherwise ignore or feel clouded and confused by when in a room with others trying to meditate.
With my work in mental health and my own ongoing efforts to navigate anxieties, I am aware people with anxiety disorders feel a need to control everything around them in order to feel at peace. To help me feel that control, I have a planned routine every time I go into a float tank to help get my mind centered. I suggest that if you are in a similar situation as I am (diagnosed anxiety and panic attack disorder) is to fully prepare yourself as if you are a new, beginner floater before every floatation session. Read over the website details, read the email confirmation, show up early to your appointment, ask all the questions -- these are all a part of the mindful experience of floating and will contribute to the readiness of your mind and thoughts. Halcyon does a fantastic job of informing you with every way to prepare, both on their website and in-studio. Every time I float, I have them give me the rundown, and every time, I am made to feel safe in my environment.
Who has time for that? For the people who don't feel they have available time, this may be for you. (Wait? What?!? 90 minutes of nothingness??? Don’t hyperventilate just yet.) I encourage you to put yourself first -- it’s what I need to tell myself everytime I schedule -- and then I remind myself of how at peace I feel following a float. In addition, if you’ve ever found yourself screaming inside “can everyone just leave me alone!?” Here you go. No distractions. No judgment. It’s your chance to just be and feel free in your body. There’s an anxiety tool I use to achieve this and that is by doing a body check or body scan. Once I’m in the tank, I start from my head taking note if I’m holding tension (scrunching my forehead, clenching my jaw). I breathe and release. Then, I work my scan through each area of my body down to my feet and toes. I imagine my whole body feeling heavy or weighted. This feeling brings on instant comfort in the tank because you are completely supported by the buoyancy of the water, and it is not only an existential feeling of comfort.
I understand the thought of being alone with our thoughts can be terrifying and intimidating for those of us managing anxiety. It still is for me, but it is in those times, I now know, is when I need the relief from my anxiety and stress the most. I’ll share an affirmation in hopes it will help you fully enjoy your floating experience before stepping into the tank: I allow myself to feel relief, release, and relaxation.
Circling back -- is floating for me? Yes. Is it for you? From my own experiences and outcomes, these are places I’ve found myself -- interested, curious, wanting to feel better with more tools to add to my anxiety management, telling myself I don’t have time for it, finding it extremely challenging to experience some sort of meditation, instilling mindfulness in my actions and a calmness in my reactions following each float, and open to trying therapies to offer relief from pain, discomfort or tension in your mind and body -- if this resonates with you, this may be for you, too.
DANIELA GALDI - Founder of Still Standing Together. Daniela Galdi, a Health Mentor, Entrepreneur, and Artist, is the founder of Still Standing Together, an empowerment community supporting individuals through their struggles and challenging circumstances in order to help one another move forward with hope and happiness during these times. She has been a professional and educator in health and wellness for over 15 years.
Daniela’s own struggle with anxiety, depression, and panic attack illnesses led her to spreading awareness on mental health therapies and solutions. Her mission through Still Standing Together is to connect people and get them talking to one another by sharing their messages of overcoming obstacles, managing and rising above them everyday. She uses her training in Emotional Empowerment, Self-Care, and Coaching to help guide the discussion, offer solutions and strategies to implement into personal and professional management for creating balanced, yet thriving, lifestyles. You can learn more at danielagaldi.com.
See Below for information on Still Standing Together's Upcoming event!