body · disability · Health · Life · self-care · Uncategorized

Have you heard of Flotation?

Have you heard of flotation? I don’t mean those big inflatable pool-floaty things or those foam pool noodles or rectangles you use to help you to learn how to swim. Turns out, floatation actually has nothing to do with swimming at all. Shows like Stranger Things brought a little more attention to floatation, but many people still haven’t heard of it or know what it does, so I had a chat with Mark Smethurst – The owner of a flotation therapy center in my little town of Stafford (the first one that opened in the West Midlands, actually!) to find out about the center and what flotation is actually all about. Spoiler alert: It’s fascinating, and I think everyone should give it a go!

time_to_float

Time to Float‘s location was a little bit surreal to me, as it turns out, it’s actually in the building of an old radio station that I used to volunteer for. I’m good at getting lost, so thankfully, it means I know exactly where the place is! (Which is at 146 Marston Road, Stafford, ST16 3BT, if you decide you'[d like to give it a go!)

So what actually is flotation? It’s basically a less scary way of talking about a sensory deprivation pod. It doesn’t make you awaken latent crazy powers like TV may have you believe, but it can do a lot of other things for you; but I’ll go in to that shortly. First I’m going to tell you a little about this particular flotation center.

As I mentioned, Time to Float was the first flotation therapy location to open in the West Midlands. Flotation is gaining more traction in the world and when you understand what it can do, it’s easy to see why! The location is a small one in the Northern Quarter of Stafford county town (which has some lovely places to visit in general) and delightfully cosy with warm and welcome staff who are happy to have a good natter with you or just let you do your thing.

float_room

So, what do you do, and what can it do for you?

Well, I won’t go in to too many details of what happens when you get there, but basically you fill out a health form, have a little tour and have the place explained to you and this introduction is tailored to you based on your responses to the health form if you have certain medical issues.

In the room is a flotation pod (it’s actually about the size of a Mercedes A Class) and a shower and a few other bits and bobs that will be explained to you before you start, and they’ll only leave you once you’re comfortable! You have a shower and get in this big-ass pod of water and literally sit back and float, thanks to the 800lbs of epsom salt! Now, its advised you close the pod and turn off the light but you can have the light on if you want or prop the pod open or whatever you like.

The water in the pod is heated to body temperature, as is the air, which is circulated to keep the flow of oxygen. Thanks to the 800lbs of epsom salt (which leave your skin feeling so soft, and you don’t look like a prune when you get out either!), you just float in the water effortlessly. (The pod water is filtered four times after each use and the room cleaned, plus the salts are a natural disinfectant too, if that concerns you at all!) Apparently, it’s so relaxing, many people simply fall asleep half way through, which is totally okay! In fact, sleeping for a short while in the pod can have the effect of several hours of really blissful sleep. The salt has a sort of anti-gravity effect, resulting in a feeling of weightlessness; this also helps muscles to get complete rest (and breakdown lactic acid) and for your skeleton to re-align in its natural position. This effect, combined with the high levels of magnesium thanks to the salt (which is also anti-inflammatory) mean floatation can actually help a huge variety of ailments and chronic illnesses, including chronic pain, sleep disorders, mental health issues, or even just being sore from a workout.

Music lulls you away and will also slowly bring you back to reality after your hour is up. You get out, shower to wash all the salt away and get changed and then there is a little recovery room with a hair dryer and mirrors and some skincare products if you wish to use them. Then it’s back through to the main area where they will give you all the water you can drink and let you chill for as long as you like. They’re happy to talk about your float or just leave you to it. Whatever you’d prefer to do basically.

Flotation

There’s way more I could go in to, but this post is already getting a little lengthy. However, chances are, if you suffer from any ailment, floatation can probably help as an alternative therapy – keep in mind though, it’s not a magic cure, nor does it claim to be! However, as someone with chronic illnesses, I couldn’t resist looking in to it and the science checks out. Though you’re welcome to do your own research or contact the center for a chat if you want to learn more. If you choose to book, they have a Float More program they can tell you about too. (that link will take you to referral by me, but if you go in person or talk on the phone or social media, be sure to give me a cheeky little mention)

Even if you feel pretty well in yourself, floatation can really have a great effect as it helps encourage production of endorphins and a reduction of cortisol, so it may just be good for some self-care or a slice of zen. I think that it’s certainly worth a go. If anything can help my pain without having to dose up on medication, that’s always good.

You can find out more via the Time to Float website or catch them on twitter @timetofloatuk. Have you ever tried floatation? Or do you want to give it a go now? I’m interested to hear what you think!

 

Health · Life · self-care · Uncategorized

6 tips for Self-Care

Self-care is SUCH an important thing, yet many of us fail to do it on a regular basis. Life is hectic and often, we are too busy trying to be kind and help other people that we forget to do it for ourselves. So, today, I thought I’d share some of my self-care tips/activities outside of basic human functioning (maybe I’ll do another post on that?)

sunglasses-3363789_1280

Read a book – Maybe even go and read outside if the weather is nice. Your body would benefit from the dose of vitamin D. Books allow us to escape in to an entirely different world and escape from our own heads for a little while. This is one of my favourite hobbies and it benefits my mental health greatly.

Spend 20 minutes outside – As I mentioned in my previous point, the body benefits greatly from Vitamin D. Living in England, it’s so easy to be deficient in vitamin D, so it’s good to take some time and sit outside, even if you just sit there texting, have your lunch, make a phone call or whatever. It’ll give you a nice little boost.

water-2232732_1280

Drink more water – An obvious one yet so many of us don’t do it. We can often be so busy that we forget to sip water here and there. You can add fruits or cucumber or mint leaves or whatever to have infused water for a refreshing twist. Our bodies have a high percentage of water and while you may not feel particularly thirsty, even slight dehydration can have a negative effect on the body. Keep your brain-sponge full of water and you will be more prepared for dealing with your day.

Use a facemask – It’s good to stop and have a little pamper. You don’t even have to stop now with a lot of facemasks. Throw one on while you’re in the bath, reading, playing games, cleaning the kitchen; or actually lie back and just take the time to rest. Your skin will be happy for the care and it’s good to look after yourself.

colorful-1752687_1280

Get off social media – We’re all guilty of being a little addicted to social media. Have you ever thought about how much time you waste passively using social media; such as just scrolling through facebook and not really doing anything? There have actually been studies that show this can have a negative impact on mental health. (Sorry, if you wanna see the studies, you’ll have to google them yourself! The youtuber Boyinaband summarised my point in his video about internet addiction really well though.)

Colour in a colouring book page – You’re a grown adult. So what? Nothing compares to going back to child-like roots where you colour in or scribble with reckless abandon. The image in a colouring book is already there so there is no pressure to get something drawn; you don’t have to really think about it. It’s a good escape and it makes your brain happy. If you’re like me and still feel a bit like you need to colour perfectly and use the right shades or whatever, there’s a book called Colour Quest which is basically like a colour by numbers but they’re all tessellating shapes – you won’t figure out the image until you’ve coloured a lot of it in!

That’s it for this post. I may do another one soon if people enjoyed this. I have quite a few more ideas! If you have any fun or unusual tips for self-care, I’d love to hear them.

Remember to be kind to yourself!

Blogging · Life · Uncategorized

Mystery Blogger Award

mystery

The lovely Ruth from Ruth in Revolt nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Ruth is 27 and from the UK. New to the blogging scene, she participates actively in the community and blogs about anything and everything, just like myself, so needless to say, I’m a fan of her blog!

What is The Mystery Blogger Award?

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. (Okoto Enigma, Award Creator.)

What To Do:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.
  9. Share a link to your best post(s).

 

mystery-3

threethings

  • I am completely intolerant to garlic. It’s devastating. Sob.
  • I absolutely adore books. So much so, I read 101 of them last year! Sadly, I’m nowhere near that amount this year; I’ve just not had as much time!
  • It has been 7 years since I moved out from my parents’ house!

questionsruthasked

  1. What is something that everybody else seems to love, but you don’t understand the fuss? Uhh, The Walking Dead! I tried to watch a couple of episodes with my boyfriend but we both agreed it was actually pretty boring.
  2. What’s the best fact you know? Due to the percentage of cocoa solids in Cadbury Dairy Milk (<25%), it legally isn’t able to be classed as Milk Chocolate, only “Family Milk Chocolate”(20-25% cocoa solids))
  3. If you were locked in solitary confinement, how long do you think you would last before you wanted out? It depends. Do I get books? Provided I have things to keep me occupied, I think I would cope for quite a while. If I had nothing, not even a magazine, it wouldn’t take too long at all.
  4. If you could travel in time, where would you go and why? This is a tough question. I’m really not sure. I worry about the consequences of time travel…
  5. What do you think is your best quality? I’m pretty nice, I guess? Probably that. I mean, it’s a good trait, right?

My Nominees Are:

I’m gonna leave it at 8 because most of my blogger circle have already just done this award tag, including two already shared. I don’t blame them if they don’t do it again!

Questions for my nominees:

  1. Have you ever broken a bone?
  2. When was the last time you went on a stay-cation/overnight trip?
  3. What did you want to grow up to become when you were a child?
  4. What is your current music obsession?
  5. Do you generally prefer the book or it’s movie adaption?

My Top Three Posts:

body · Health · Life · Uncategorized

I’m allergic to grass!

nature-3184889_1280.jpg

Allergic rhinitis. The condition when you’re allergic to Rhinos. I jest. I’m talking about Hayfever. 1 in 5 people get it and I know many joke about it when asked why they’re all nasally and blowing their nose in decent weather, they respond “I’m allergic to grass”! Though sometimes, it’s really not that funny! Severity varies person to person, and then on the current pollen count. The higher the pollen count, the more severe the symptoms – higher exposure to the allergen. It also depends on the type of pollen the person is allergic to. This is also referred to as pollinosis.

unnamedOZE4PU6J

Symptoms include; the sniffles, runny nose, sore throat, swelling, itchy eyes and more. A lot of people get it to a mild degree, getting “sneeze and sniffles” as I like to call it. This is also the way I suffer with Hayfever. I also get itchy eyes that just water and a scratchy sore throat sometimes when it’s quite bad, though I also spend a lot of time indoors with my current health so I’m not as affected as much as I would be if I were to be outside often. When I was in secondary school, I witnessed the worst hayfever sufferer I’d ever seen. Everyone seems to have hayfever to some degree but boy, this was bad! His face had swollen, his eyes had swollen in to little more than slits, his voice was croaky. He had it bad! I remember thinking how insane it was that someone could react so badly to nature.

tulips-3333718_1280

Tissues! One of my best friends in my handbag. Okay, so I’m the type that has the kitchen sink in her handbag, but truly, one thing I can not go without, is tissues. I try and have a little pack of wet wipes in there too. Always very useful! I’m prone to sniffles in winter and Hayfever in the summer, so I always need my tissues. If you end up having to blow/wipe your nose a lot, you can rub some Vaseline or a crappy lip balm on to the side of your nostrils before you go to blow it, then instead of rubbing the skin more and making it dry and crack, you will rub the Vaseline off; so you don’t have such a sore nose! In winter, I’m permanently applying Vaseline to my nose, though if you do it and leave it in the spring/summer, you’re inviting pollen to the end of your honker; so apply it,  then blow! These have been crucial things for me with suffering from hayfever. They may or may not work for you, but it’s nice to share. I also have a nasal spray that squirts up my nose which helps too. Do you have any tips for coping with allergies?

flower-2919284_1280.jpg

If you check the forecast and a high pollen count is predicted, you can nip symptoms in the bud by taking an antihistamine before leaving the house. It doesn’t work for everyone, some people are still symptomatic but less severe, others, it completely knocks them out of the ball park. Though it’s also worth keeping in mind that they can make you rather drowsy.  If you suffer severely and antihistamines don’t help, your GP will be able to help you out. So don’t be afraid to ask just because “everyone” has it. We’re all affected differently by different things and there is no shame in asking for something to relieve your symptoms! And remember, cover your nose when you sneeze!

home · Life · Uncategorized

LALALAB.

LALALAB, formerly known as Polagram, is a photo printing service available via a free app. I take photos on my phone ALL the time; I mean, I think we all do. With the current generation of smart phones, often they produce images on par with many cameras as well as having the convenience of being able to edit and upload the images from the palm of your hand.

lalalab_prints2

I have so many of those little packets full of photographs with the separate little pocket for my negatives from photos I took when I was younger with disposable cameras. I couldn’t select which images I wanted, so I have quite a few photos of my thumb. I’m sure I’m not alone on this! Well, with LALALAB you can choose whatever you want to print, starting from 26p for individual photos. They can be printed in the standard way or appearing like polaroid or instax style. To help you preserve your memories, you can use the code PGHI1AAH for £5 free.

lalalab_UI

They also sell photobooks, wall décor like posters, canvases and framed photos, magnets, cards, phone cases, calendars, and your photos all in a box so they’re not all kicking around loose. I feel like I maybe definitely need a phone case with a photo of my cat on it… Now, my friends over at breaks.com are hosting a giveaway with the chance to win a £50 LALALAB Gift Card if you fancy trying your luck. It’s free to enter so you have nothing to lose.

lalalab

It’s always nice to have photo prints to show other people. You also don’t have to worry about them swiping through photos and seeing something they shouldn’t. 😉 My mum likes to have printed photos of me and my life and she likes to share those with my grandmother, so I’m pleased that I can get photos printed really easily from my phone so I can share things with my family. The photos are printed on Fujicolour Crystal Archive paper and are of excellent quality! I’m very happy with the quality of the prints I received.

Do you like to have physical copies of your photos or do you keep them all digital? Remember, you can use my code at the start of this post to get £5 free (and I get £5 too!).

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with credit towards my order. 

Blogging · Life · Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

kuwait-252613_1280

That picture is of Kuwait, isn’t it absolutely stunning? New Years always brings lots of fireworks with it. If you’re having fireworks, please, be safe.

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I also wanted to thank everyone who has been supportive of my blog, the content I produce; albeit sporadically and for supporting me as a person. It means so much to me.

new-year-3012990_1280

Do you set New Years Resolutions? I don’t. I do set some goals but it takes time to form a habit. You don’t just wake up as a new person on January 1st. For 2018, I’m aiming to get at least some regularity to my blogging, rather than scattered content. I have a large whiteboard, full of ideas, several posts that are written by hand that need typing up and imagery to go with them, loads of notes and ideas I’ve yet to form in to stuff that makes sense to people who aren’t me. I hope to share that with you over the coming months and I hope you will stick around to see it!

I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you all. Hopefully, it will be a better year for the world.

 

Life · Uncategorized

Seasons Greetings!

christmas-3015043_1280

It’s Christmas! At least, it is where I am in the world. Wishing everyone a very happy holiday! Do you have a favourite thing about Christmas? Or this time of year in general? I think it’s pretty chaotic, but I love the lights, the music, seeing my local community band together to help each other.

My favourite thing about winter in general? HOT CHOCOLATE! Especially peppermint hot chocolate. People say hey, why is mint hot chocolate festive? because CANDY CANES! Make a normal hot chocolate and add a candy cane. They even hook over the side of your mug. It was meant to be!

hot-chocolate-3011492_1280

Anyway. Just wanted to do a quick post to send my love to you all. Have a wonderful time and stay safe!