You might already know what a float spa is or you might be like I was a week ago (aka: completely clueless) about it. Here’s how I figured out what the heck a float spa is. Connor and I had been needing a break for a while, so I decided to scroll through the “beauty & spa” section of Groupon to look for a deal on a massage or maybe a facial. That’s when I came across something called a “float spa.” I was intrigued. What did that mean? Did people lay on a bunch of cloud-like pillows while getting their nails done? Was this some sort of indoor skydiving spa? It only took a little bit of research on float spas to decide to book our appointments.

What’s a float spa?

Good old Google told me that float spas are basically an enclosed bath filled with a high percentage of salt water. Not only does the salt water allow you to float… but apparently it’s also capable of solving almost every other life problem. It’s supposed to help with anxiety, depression, physical pain, high blood pressure, it makes your hair grow and your skin glow, etc, etc. You get the point. Basically, it sounded like a “cure-all.” Since Connor and I are going through a rough time at the moment, it sounded like the perfect thing to try. If it didn’t work, well, at least we got to try out something new!

Even though it didn’t end up being a “cure-all” by any means, I’m still glad we got to try it out. It did relax my body and mind and I don’t know… maybe my thin hair will start growing at mega speeds and become ultra voluminous. Ya never know! Anyways, if you want to try out a float spa, make sure you check out Groupon for some good deals! If you do end up going or just want to learn more about float spas… here are 6 things you should know before your first time!

1. There’s no need to rush. Start slowing down as soon as you enter the building where you float spa is.

When you’re going through life non-stop busy, it can be hard to all of a sudden flip the switch to “relaxation mode.” When I entered New Age Wellness Spa (the spa where the float spas were), I realized that I had to shower and do a few other things before getting into my float spa. I got a little anxious about that because I didn’t want to waste even 2 minutes of time that I could be in the float spa.

I started rushing and getting stressed when I could have gone a bit slower and prepared myself better for the experience. Start slowing down as soon as you enter the building where your float spa is so that you’re in the right mindset. It’s okay if you’re 5 minutes late getting into the float spa. It’s better than getting in there in a frazzled rush. Also, the bathroom I got to get ready in was BEAUTIFUL. I got to appreciate it more after I got out of the float spa- when I was in less of a rush.

2. Knowing how to meditate might help but it’s also good to go in knowing there aren’t any rules for your thoughts.

I’ve been practicing meditation the past year or so, but I STILL had trouble shutting my brain off inside the float spa. While I was in there, I realized it’s okay if I’m not a Ghandi-level meditation expert. I decided to give myself a break and think of the experience as relaxing no matter what- even if my brain wasn’t capable of shutting up for even 2 minutes. Here’s my advice: let yourself think and feel and dream up whatever it wants to while you’re in there.

When I stepped into my room where the float spa was, I noticed an “inspiration whiteboard” that you could take into the pod to jot down any random ideas you got while floating. So, CLEARLY, this experience isn’t only for those who can 100% shut their brains off. In fact, you might even get some inspiration in there if you decide to let your brain wander.

3. Pick out music and/or meditations you like before going.

If you’re a total-picky-weirdo like me and don’t like 3/4 of the mediation sounds/music in the world, make sure you figure out which meditations and music you like before going to your float spa session. They’ll probably have an Ipad in the pod that has Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora. You’ll be able to choose from one of the playlists they already have on there or type in whatever soundtrack you want.

Make sure you have a set of songs or an album you like before going in so that you don’t have to take up 30 minutes trying to find an album you like or settling for the playlists they already have picked out. You can also turn all music off, which I ended up doing because I couldn’t find music/meditations that I liked. (Again, I’m super picky about music and meditations. This might not even be a problem for you.)

4. Learn to become unafraid of whatever it is you’re afraid of.

When we got to the spa, one of the employees gave us a tour of the float spas and explained how they work. I’m pretty sure I asked her about 15 questions. Is there a panic button? What if all the lights turn off in there and I can’t find the light button? What if the top doesn’t come up and I’m trapped in there? What if I fall asleep and then I drown?

It was pretty obvious I was a nervous wreck. Before you go, look up some of the things you’re afraid of. If I had looked up, “Can you drown in a float spa?” before going, I probably would have felt 10x better. There’s really nothing that can go wrong in there, so try to calm any unrealistic thoughts by doing your research before going! A lot of times our “what if” questions are unrealistic.

5. There’s a simple way to stop yourself from bobbing up and down and hitting the sides of the tank.

Bobbing up and down and hitting the sides of your pod is inevitable UNLESS you do this simple task before starting: Stretch your arms out to the sides of the tank and hold them there for 20-30 seconds until you feel stabilized. Let go and voilà! You won’t be bobbing up and down and hitting the sides of the pod like a ship lost at sea.

6. Go into it without any expectations. Think of it as a time to relax.

Like I said earlier, this isn’t going to be a “cure-all.” Sure, you’ll probably lose the headache you had before going in, your back will hurt less, and you’ll feel less anxious. But this isn’t going to turn you into Rapunzel after she got down from the tower (aka: carefree, happy, gorgeous hair, handsome prince). You’ll probably feel a bit more carefree and happy, but don’t expect miracles. I’ve heard that the more you go, the better you’ll feel. So, don’t give up after your first time just because it didn’t solve all of your problems. And most importantly, if you go in thinking of it as a time to relax- not as a solution to all of life’s problems- you’ll be in for a treat!