Oh Go Float Yourself - Float House Review

What is floating you ask? This recent trend is gaining popularity and for good reason. It is suuuuper relaxing and in my opinion, one of the ultimate self care "me" times. 

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go check out the Float House Edmonton. It was basically pure bliss. But before we get into my review of the Float House, first let's chat about what floating is.

What is a float tank?

Basically it's a tank you lie in with a high salt water content so that you actually float in the water without effort. The tank is enclosed to block out noise, light and basically most sensory stimulation. It's sometimes called a sensory deprivation tank.

The amount of salt that goes into every tank!

The amount of salt that goes into every tank!

What's the point?

By removing the stimulus of noise, light, draft etc the body can go into a deeper state of relaxation and/or meditation. 

What if I'm claustrophobic?

This is a REAL question. I 100% have claustrophobia issues. about 5/6 years ago I had my first experience in a tank and it wasn't too bad (I had already done lots of work on my claustrophobia), but I was able to keep the door of the tank open to ease my anxiety. That said the tank I was in was on the smaller side so I found myself not completely relaxed. Personally at Float House Edmonton in particular their tanks are so big that I was completely comfortable and even closed the door all the way .

What do you in there the whole time?

Well, whatever you want to do I guess. Dominic did a great job of explaining some things about being in the tank. He suggested some things like playing in the space a bit, ways to find comfort, doing a body scan or meditation. I personally found it comforting to play around with my positioning a bit, make waves in the water and feel around the walls a bit before coming into a settled position. The great part is that whenever you feel ready you can leave. The tank is in it's pwn room and you can get out and shower whenever you feel you are ready too. 

What are the benefits of floating?

There are tons! I go for the relaxation and meditation. But check out the Float Houses #WhyWeFloat page for the best resource on this subject.

So about Float House. 

I love the vibe in there. Located just off Whyte Ave it's amazing to come off a busy street into the chill setting. The space is very clean, relaxed and inviting. Sitting down with Dominic, he helped put me at ease about the process, giving me a lot of good tips. 

Inviting front reception with the stunning at work.

Inviting front reception with the stunning at work.

The amazing intention setting wall.

The amazing intention setting wall.

The room itself is beautiful. A private shower in the room, just outside the tank. It makes it easier to have a cleansing shower before the float and a nice warm shower upon stepping out. There is a few lighting options. You can choose total darkness, which sets on a timer. You set it to total dark and it gives you time to get into the tank and settle before it goes all dark. Additionally you can choose more light or a little bit of light. There are a couple of small holes in the ceiling of the tank that let in the smallest amount of the room light. I chose this option to help keep me oriented. 

The tank itself is really large. I'm 5'2" and had lots of space to bounce back and forth from foot to head. Additionally height wise I'm pretty sure I could actually stand up in the tank. So It felt more like floating in a room then a tub. 

float tank.jpg

One of the best parts however is the post float. There is this beautiful room where they encourage you to sit and have some tea, or maybe read, write or reflect. I had a beautiful conversation with Dominic and another floater afterwards. It was like hanging out with long time friends. 

Calming and relaxing please to come back to real life stimulus in the post float lounge. 

Calming and relaxing please to come back to real life stimulus in the post float lounge. 

Reading selection in the post float lounge. 

Reading selection in the post float lounge. 

Overall, I really love this place. Personally every Sunday I have a morning bath and I think I will be replacing that time once a month with a float. 

Have you ever floated?

 

Love, Jen

Self Care Sunday - Walk It Off

Welcome back. I hope you have had a good week and were able to take a bit of time away from social media from last week's "Going Dark" post. 

This week, let's go for a walk. A simple and free self love and self care experience. 

Some of the benefits are:

  • Being outside (in nature even better) is calming.
  • It's a great gentle way to get a bit of exercise, releasing some of those happy endorphins. 
  • It's a great way to reconnect with yourself and your thoughts.

This walk is about you taking time for yourself. So maybe the kids can stay home, the dog can be walked by someone else or earlier (you don't need to think about picking up poop) and leave the earbuds and heart rate monitor at home. 

It's not about burning calories or counting steps for the day. It's about you taking some time for yourself. 

I myself admit I multitask waaaaaaaay to much. "well if I'm going for a walk, I might as well take the dog, or my podcasts" or whatever else it is we are trying to do at the same time as we relax. Which in reality is defeating the purpose. 

So try this on your walk:

  • Listen for the sounds in the area. Maybe you've never noticed just how quiet your neighbourhood actually is? Or that the family of chickadees lived in those trees?
  • Explore a pathway you don't usually travel. Maybe there is some hidden gem view on the other side of this road?
  • Feel the air on your skin. The fall air is crispy cool, yet something about it seems calmingly satisfying maybe?
  • Feel you body relax as you walk. Do your stressful shoulders maybe actually soften and relax away from the ears, bringing on a sense of relaxation?

Sometime the simple pleasures in life are so satisfying but also very difficult to come to in our busy lives. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Real Self Love

I've been writing Self Care Sundays for a few months now. And I believe we are all ready for this week's self care. It's a doozy.

I was talking with a friend/client yesterday morning and we were talking about how easy it is for us to name off all the things we don't like about our physical appearance. I imagine most of us can easily name of a dozen without thought. But most of us may find it hard to find something we like about ourselves. 

I'm currently reading Michele Theoret's book Empowered Body and in it she talks about how the world of marketing and social media basically sells us stuff based off of the fears of not "being enough" or good enough". We create these images in our heads of how we "should" be, rather then loving and accepting who we actually are. 

Today we aren't focusing on who we are in progress of something. Today we love ourselves for who we are. Period. The end. 

So this week's self care Sunday is uncomfortable. It may be challenging. But it will be worth it. 

We are going to look at ourselves in the mirror and find something we like. Actually two things. Because I guarantee you have at the very very very very minimum two things about you that are worth YOU loving. 

For those that are unsure, maybe it's sitting in front of a mirror staring at your face. Study it while repeating self love words. "I love........ my freckles, dimples, eyes", "I like the way........ my skin does, my hair is, my lips.......". Catching yourself when you start to put words out that do not serve you in self love.

For those maybe a little bolder.... Get undressed. Stand in front of the mirror. Find things you love. "I love.... my toes, my posture, my skin tone, my butt, the way I can wrap my arms around myself in a hug, the way my scar makes me look badass, my belly button......" or "I like...... the way my muscles pop as I flex, my height, my hair, my tattoos, my....." whatever it is. This is obvious deeply personal. 

Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some love. Genuine unfiltered love. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Acupuncture

This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking about acupuncture. A little while back Andrea Wingrave from Acupuncture Edmonton and I put together THIS post, all about acupuncture and what it is.  I thought what a wonderful self care idea. Getting some acupuncture. 

Luckily most benefits cover acupuncture these days up to $500 or $1000 so in reality you aren't out anything if it isn't your thing. But really, it's going to be. 

The needles are sterile one time use needles. I know this is something people have expressed concerned about when I tell them about acupuncture. I was also worried I wouldn't be able to donate blood anymore, but turns out if they are sterile singe use then you still can. (Bonus!)

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At first it seems a little intimidating thinking about the needles going in and/or staying in. But really after they go in and some minor adjusting to your comfort, you don't even feel them.

But here is the best part people..... you get a 30 minute nap. Yeah, the needles go in, adjust as needed and then you get 30 minutes all to yourself to relax on a soft comfy bed and have a heat lamp on your feet. Oh that glorious heat lamp. I need one for home. 

Now whether or not you are sure if you "believe" in acupuncture working or not, the relaxing time spent in the room and you taking time for yourself is a huge step toward tapping into that parasympathetic (rest and digestion) cycle of the body. This is truly self care. Calming down, unwinding and finding time for yourself. 

Oh and before I forget.... you get a head massage at the end.... *drooooool*

So a few tips for heading to the acupuncturist. 

  • Maybe find a referral from a friend. I love friends that tell me about professionals they love and why, that way I sort of know what to expect. 
  • Wear loose fitting clothing. That way pant legs can be rolled up if access is needed to the knees etc. 
  • They will have music but honestly I think this relaxation time would pair perfectly with a mediation podcast or yoga nidra recording on youtube. 
  • Turn off your phone. Not on vibrate, You don't want to hear buzzing and crap as you are trying to relax. 
  • I highly recommend booking an appointment in the evening so you can go to sleep after!

Have you ever seen an acupuncturist? Whats your favourite part?

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Tea Time

 Throughout the centuries tea has been a custom of calm, gathering, relaxation and tradition. 

Chinese tea ceremonies at weddings as an offering to parents and thanking them for raising them.

In Indian, chai tea can be found on every street corner.

In Morocca, mint tea is practically their national drink. 

Classic British afternoon tea time. (I always picture cucumber sandwiches and the Queen)

And in Russia "Zavarka" is tea time with a piece of cake. They called it "naked" if not eaten with cake. 

No matter where in the world, or what tradition, tea time is a time for oneself. A time to sit and enjoy this small pleasure or warmth when it's cool or cooling when it's hot. This is this weeks Self Care Sunday.

Take the time to go a tea store and browse, smell, ask questions about what teas are for different things. Possibly see if a friend sells tea through a direct sales business. (I love supporting local business and friends). Or even take some time in the tea aisle at the grocery store. I like to stand there and read all the interesting flavour mixtures companies have come up with. 

Set aside some time this week and plan it in your calendar. Yes, we are planning 30 minutes of relaxing tea time people. Maybe plan everyday at a certain time you take this 10-20, or 30 minutes to sit down with your tea. 

A few tips for your tea time:

  • Turn off t.v''s or media if you can. Or be in another room if you are using it to distract your kids!
  • Find your favorite mug. Everything is better in your favorite mug.
  • Slow down and pay attention to all the sensations of drinking the tea. Notice the temperature as your mug touches your lips.  
  • Is the tea bitter, sweet, sour? I love mint tea and I like the tingle left on my tounge long after the sip is gone. 
  • Feel the warmth of the tea in the throat and belly. 
  • Pay attention to the aroma.
  • Sit quietly for a little while. Set a time if you are concerned about getting back to your busy day. 

How do you like your tea? sweet with sugar or honey? Smooth with cream or milk? 

My favorite is mint tea, black without sugar or milk. 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Get Yourself Some New Clothes

Hello again friends. This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking getting ourselves some new clothes. As much as I like to find cheap or inexpensive ways of self care, sometime you also need to spend a little on yourself. You deserve it.

That said, if money is tight you can also host a clothing swap (I will so blog about that soon). Clothing for free while cleaning out your closet. I actually spent the first 6 months of the year without buying any "new" clothes. As in meaning from a store. Only clothing swaps and second hand stores. 

Now as that was fun, this past week I got some new clothes and it feels pretty great. 

I did some online shopping at Belle + Bliss Boutique and got this awesome shirt.....

And this sassy skirt.....

As I said in the Self Care Sunday - Self Primping post, when you're in a rut, when you spend some time on making yourself feel good, something awesome happens. You start to feel good! It's really that simple. A few simple pieces of clothing that make you feel sexy, comfortable, saucy or just plain fresh and new help boost your confidence, starting that chain reaction of positive thought. 

So this week I want you to buy yourself a new piece of clothing. Either actually new from a store (think investment pieces lasting longer than #30wears) or new to you from a thrift store or clothing swap. Not that you likely need tips in shopping but here are a few to avoid maybe some upsetting:

  • Think about what's missing from your wardrobe that would make a difference. For example, I'm actually in particular need of some cute flats that aren't sporty or sandals. Closed toe, non fancy cute flats. Something that every time I leave the house in cute shorts and think "crap I don't have the right shoes for this", so it would help complete my wardrobe and feel better. 
  • Go alone or with girlfriends. DO NOT drag your kids or hubby along. This is time for you. 
  • Plan a few stores (or stores online).
  • Eat a good light meal. No need to be hANGRY  (hungry + angry) and get impatient while waiting for the dressing room, but not to full so you're bloated!
  • When you look at yourself in the mirror each time, say one nice thing to yourself. Even if it's unrelated to the clothing. (This is a bonus tip just to be nice to yourself)

Happy shopping friends! And come back to share with me what you got. Either on here, my Facebook  Page or Instagram

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

 

Self Care Sunday - Self Primping

This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking about doing a bit of self primping. I'm guilty of putting off coloring my hair, waxing my brows or even shaving my legs until I absolutely have to. By then it's simply because I'm annoyed my hair wont work with me, my eyebrows look like a caterpillar or it's hot outside and I need to put on some shorts.

But this week, I want you to plan some time to do some self primping. What is something that always makes you feel good after you have it done/do it for yourself? When I feel like a hot mess, I sort of become a hot mess. When I'm feeling like i'm in a rut, I like to spend some time on myself and I swear I come out a new woman. Something about feeling good about the way I look, makes me more confident and ready to take on the world.

A few suggestions for some things you can do.: (And make sure to do a couple at least)

  • Color your hair. In my picture below I know I'm at home. I am a licensed hairstylist so I can do this. I do not, I repeat I DO NOT condone box dye and coloring at home. Just my opinion though. (sorry at home box dye people) Find a local salon with childcare like Pamper and Play Salon here in Edmonton if you have to!
  • Waxing your eyebrows. Go to a local salon or I love these pre shaped eyebrow wax strips I get at Shoppers. So easy and inexpensive. 
  • Get your nails done. Again so many options here. Go get those fancy gel nails with designs or cat claws, get a regular ol manicure or do it at home. Find your favourite color and spend some time shaping and painting. 
  • Buy yourself some beauty products. Stroll Shoppers or Mac or support your local community and try out some products from direct sales businesses. This week I've been using the Arbonne Re9 from my friend and the extra 5 minutes I've added to my face washing routine has been nice, spending that time on myself. 
  • Paint your toenails. Sort of same like getting your nails done, at home or in a spa. 
  • Buy a new outfit. Nothing like a new outfit or pair of shoes to add a little stuff to your strut. It doesn't even have to be Armani either. Honestly I feel great with a new outfit from  a thrift store!

What are some of your favourite things you like to do to make yourself feel a little extra special?

 

Love,

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Something For The Soul

Hey guys, I'm back again with Self Care Sunday. I was gone last weekend because of training and being caught up in  a million things at once, so I took my own advice and instead of pressuring myself to write I took some time to relax. 

This weekend I had a post planned for you but I attended the Wellness on Whyte's Fine Tune at Noon event and I was inspired to write something else. My dear friend Chris and I went together and both came out all blissed out on the other side. At first we did the 6 healing sounds (watch their blog for info on these), then was given acupuncture, aromatherapy and tuning forks. While the entire room had to be serviced you were left to hang out in your own mind for a while. A relaxing meditative experience for sure.

So, brings me to today's Self Care post. Doing something for the soul. I like to think that all my self care posts are nurturing for the soul, but realize maybe while doing these things we can still be caught up in our own heads and thoughts. All this chatter about why we can or can not do something, or how we should be doing something else and so on. 

This week seek out something that sets fire to your soul. Find one thing to do that makes you feel good inside. Without restrictions or limitations. Don't worry if people will stare or what others might think of you. Something you are interested in, always wanted to do and/or you have forgotten you love. This is about you going deep inside and finding something that makes your heart sing.

Gene Kelly living it up in the rain. 

Gene Kelly living it up in the rain. 

A few ideas: 

  • Coloring or painting. At home or find a paint night.
  • Singing your favorite song at the top of your lungs. In the car, shower or random farmers field.
  • Attending a meditation class/workshop.
  • Dancing in the rain. You're Gene Kelly in the movie Dancing In The Rain.
  • Rolling down a hill.
  • Skinny dipping in the lake.
  • Writing a story.
  • Taking a city class. Learn to cook Indian food or knit or karate chop!
  • Plan a girls night and laugh until your cheeks hurt. 
A fond memory with my oldest, playing and laughing until our cheeks hurt. 

A fond memory with my oldest, playing and laughing until our cheeks hurt. 

What is something you love to do? Whats something that sets fire to your soul?

 

Love,

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Taking Yourself On A Date

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. This week we are talking about taking ourselves on a date. I am all about a girls night out every once and a while for sure, but sometime I find it even more stressful trying to plan them. Every one is busy and finding a date that works can sometimes feel impossible. 

This week my husband was in a course and I had to teach yoga at a place without childcare. My daughters went off to our trusted occasional dayhome so I could teach. Rather then them being there only the hour or so I would be gone I dropped them off an hour and a half before. With no plan to grocery shop or run errands before hand I took myself on a sort of mini date. I went and got an iced coffee, read a bit and even had a mini nap in car from listening to a mediation! (luckily I set an alarm in case that happened!)

So this week, plan to spend some time alone. Same as every week, schedule the time (and keep it), turn off your phone and enjoy this time to yourself. The world will not end, the emails will not vanish and the problems will all still exist when you are done. This time is for you to enjoy. 

A few ideas for self dates:

  • Coffee and a book at a local coffee shop.
  • Take yourself to a movie.
  • Take yourself for dinner. Check out that local restaurant you've been wanting to try. 
  • A night at a hotel. A bubble bath, room service and making a mess without having to clean it up. 
  • A day of shopping. Real shopping for yourself, not your kids or husband or friends birthday party. If funds are low you can always go to a thrift store. I actually recommend it instead. Save the planet a bit and you never know what you are really going to find. I've found Lululemons for $6!
  • Book a photo shoot. You could do Boudoir or some headshots for your Linked In profile. 
  • Look up a paint class. Those guided paint classes with wine and snacks are awesome with friends, but totally doable by yourself! I like the Paint Nites
  • A long drive. Nowhere to go or "stop by" on the way. Here in Alberta we actually have some interesting back roads and sites to see. 
  • Book a city community class. Learn pottery or how to knit!

I encourage you to try and find something maybe you wouldn't normally do on your own. Such as a movie or dinner. Remember you are taking yourself on a date. Spending the time falling in love with yourself a little. 

Love, 

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Restorative Yoga

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. This week let's talk about some restorative yoga. There are many styles and types of yoga, all used for different things. Restorative yoga is a practice more about allowing the body to relax and rest. There is minimal effort put into postures. You take some time setting yourself up in comfort and then relax into it for a few minutes at a time. 

Some of the benefits of restorative yoga are:

  • It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Turning off the flight or flight response (stress) and tapping into the rest and digestion cycle of the body. This is calming in the mind and physiologically in the body. 
  • Helps create body awareness. Slowing down for a few minutes and noticing the sensations in the body is helpful for the rest of our day. Noticing something like tight shoulders and neck, make us more mindful when we sit down at our desks of our posture.
  • Improves immunity
  • improves respiratory and blood circulation
  • Anyone can do it, nearly anywhere!

The beauty of this weeks self care, is that it can be as short or as long as you would like. 10-15 minutes on a lunch break at work, half an hour before bed or whenever you'd like.  Make sure to schedule this time though. We often have wonderful intentions of doing something and put it off until "tomorrow". So plan your time this week to practice restorative yoga once or twice. 

Tips to get the most out of your practice:

  • Turn off your phone and other distractions.
  • Grab a sweater and/or blanket in case you get cold. 
  • Grab a pillow or two.
  • Find any other comfort items available given the space. Candles, eye covers, bolsters, yoga blocks or straps. 
  • Put together some calming music to listen to. 

You can set a gentle timer to remind you to move after 5 or 10 minutes to the next pose or back to work, in case you fall asleep. Below is a few poses you can try or you can search the internet for a few more. 

After a few poses, end in savasana, by lying on your back without props, take note of how your body feels, taking a few big deep breaths and moving on with your day.

Legs Up The Wall

Legs Up The Wall

Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold

Morning Brooke

Morning Brooke

Childs Pose

Childs Pose

 

Love, 

Jen

 

Self Care Sunday - Month End Reflection

Welcome back to another Sunday. I hope your week has gone well and you were able to take some time to yourself. 

Since we are only a couple of days away from a new month starting, this Self Care Sunday is about reflection and intention. 

In the yoga room we talk about noticing what happens in postures, be it what we physically feel in our bodies or what starts to happen in our minds as we move (or slow down).We may not be able to change these things when we first notice them, but as soon as we are aware then we can start the work. If we never take the time to reflect, how are to to become aware and start the work of change?

So let's sit down this week, or next few days before the new month starts and think about how it went. Reflecting on what has made us proud and what needs work. Setting intentions for what we wish for ourselves. 

Some suggestions to help you with this reflection:

  • Turn off your phone (starting to see my theme for these self care Sundays?)
  • Find a space you can be alone in the quiet. See my Self Care Sunday A Simple Bath for tips on finding this time and place alone. 
  • Bring a pen and paper.
  • Bring along music, candles or a glass of wine. Whatever helps you relax a little into the space.

Then we start to ask ourselves these questions

  1. What am I grateful for this month?
  2. What am I proud of?
  3. What is something I would do differently?
  4. What do I want to let go of?
  5. What do I want to add into my life?

This of course seems more simple then it really is. Trying to not get caught up on things that didn't go so well or planning to much on how our next month will go. As we ask these questions starting to pay attention to how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally about each question.  

For example, what am I proud of? Maybe you are proud you have started Self Care Sunday practices. You may feel pride, a sense of calm, the body relaxed and chest puffed out and open. 

Moving through these questions again without lingering too long on the sensations to dwell. If it help you can even set a time for 2 or 5 minutes once you ask yourself a question to come back to the next one. 

After we've spent some time reflecting, moving on to our intentions for the month. This isn't our goal planning. This is our intentions for how we want to be. "I want to move through my days with ease and peace", "I wish to find the positive in situations.". From there later on (another day) you can set goals to achieve these intentions, but for now we are just putting out there what we truly desire from life. 

Once we have sorted through our thoughts a little, taking a few moments to write down any thoughts or feelings. Journaling if that's something you do. This writing is whatever you feel you need to write down. Whether it is some goals or just how you feel. 

I highly recommend ending this with a yoga practice (youtubing is a wonder!) or a bath or anything else that makes you feel relaxes and at ease. 

I'd love to hear what some of your intentions are for the month. Share below or on the Facebook Page .

 

Love, 

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Walking

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. Last week we talked about A Simple Bath. Did you make time to care for yourself this week? It's okay if you didn't. Guess what? You get another shot this week! 

This week I want to chat about walking. Again a simple self care most of us can do. Almost every day I wake before my family. I'm an early riser. A few days a week I meet my friends and we do workouts at 6am, but one day this week I woke up and went for a walk in my neighborhood. I felt the rising sunshine on my face, the still crisp cool morning air on my skin and since I was walking without a "purpose" or "place to go", I was able to slow down and take in the smell of the trees, lawns being watered and notice details of my neighbors houses I've never noticed before. 

I finally walked far enough to this space that open up and overlooks the river valley. I've been here before, but never really paid attention to the view or noticed the trail that leads down the side! I've always been so busy as I pass by. I took a moment to sit on the ground and have a few big beautiful breaths and stretches. I got home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as much as a sweat dripping, muscle burning workout. 

Walking is a simple task, it feels good and gives you the time to reflect. Daydream a little, sort out problems in your head, listen to your favorite music, plan your week ahead, reconfirm mantras and positive affirmations. You can also check out this wonderful post 17 Health Benefits of Walking.

A few tips for getting in your walk:

  • Schedule a day (or more) and the time that you will take this walk. Put it in your calendar and note it's as important and someone asking you to do something else. Note if you are a morning or evening person and possible go with the sunrise or sunset.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. This isn't a fashion show.
  • Download some calming music or an inspiring podcast if your neighborhood or time of day is a noisy one.
  • Talk a water if you will be gone a while or it's hot out.
  • Get help with children. Ask your partner for this time alone, ask another friend to watch your kids and then when you are done you watch hers and she can go for a walk. If you have to bring the kids, there is no shame in giving them toys or distractions in the stroller to occupy them a little. Remember this is about you, not them.  
  • Put your phone on airplane or don't bring it. No Facebook or tweets or emails or phone calls. This is your time to be with yourself. 

 

Share with me where your walking journey takes you.

Love,

Jen