Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Time for a digital detox? Try a float at HÄLSA Spa.

How do you do a digital detox in a busy city? It can be very hard. Even when we get away from the city we still stay connected most of the time. Believe me… I know.

I have lived in Vancouver for over 20 years and have been a Digital Media Designer since before the internet even came about. With the social, visual digital world having become the main way we connect, I spend a lot of time on all the digital devices.

In addition to three monitors on my main system, I also have an iPad, two iPhones, a laptop and I am often only ‘offline’ when I go to bed. Even then, there are the ebook and articles I have saved to read later and some times I fall alseep while reading. In final video production, I can spend up to 10 hours a day for 2 weeks straight in front of multiple screens. 
If anyone knows what it is like to be connected and immersed in the digital world, I do.

At the same time, I have also practiced a great deal of meditation, studied chi-gong and tai chi, done retreats and read a lot about the positive and negative effects of the hyper-connected world on us, our brains and our wellbeing. The studies show that even the position we hold our heads in while looking down at our phones is a mild depressive state, same as if you were hanging your head in sorrow.

The rapid speed and often urgency of messaging, the ups and downs of online commenting or sharing, the frustrations of devices crapping out, or getting broken and the never ending flood of new games and social apps to try and we barely ever get the time to know what it feels like to be in our own bodies.

Many of us are always off somewhere in the web and much of the time it’s in fits and spurts that can cause the brain to remain in an anxious state, always trying to process a wide range of information that, at the end of the day, does very little to make us feel good.

A friend recommended I try it. Said it is not only a great escape for an hour but the heavy concentration of epsom salts does wonders for detoxing the body and soothing the nerves.

I booked a float and went with a reasonable excitement at trying something new.
What I didn’t anticipate was the feeling of being in the womb, or at least in my own little bubble where space and time seemed to drift away. I didn’t want to get out. 
I have been to many of the serene places that surround Vancouver, but this was different. It was like getting away from it all in the middle of the city, a beautiful, peaceful break right in the middle of everything else going on.

I’m not really sure how to describe the feeling expect to say that I felt more in my own skin and more ‘just me’ than I often do being pulled in many digital directions. It was like a check in with my heart and soul. With my heart because I could feel it and hear it as I drifted in and out of a lucid state. With my soul because it really reminded me that taking time out isn’t just a matter of putting the phone down or going to the beach. It was like an easy meditation to regroup and remember the person that is always connected, but without the connections, just the person, me.

I’ve told a few people that I know who are pretty disconnected from their core that it is well worth trying. I’m writing this to give the lovely people at HÄLSA a little cheer for providing the place to do this in the city but also to anyone who reads it to say that it is really a great way to check in with yourself. 

The feeling lasted into the next day, being more consciously aware of anything that took the peace away. And being such a unique experience with the lighting, music and cool egg-pod-like float unit, I can still recall it and kind of go back to that place easily just by thinking about it. It’s that unique that it totally stands out in my mind.

If you are even remotely overwhelmed by the ‘always on’ world, give it a try for yourself. It’s really a slice out of time for self-care. We could all use more of that. A bit less stressing through life… a little more floating along in joy and bliss. 

Here's a link directly to their site so you can see more of what it's all about. >> 

Here's a link to answer some of the questions I had before I went >>

Happy floating! :) Steve