Washington state has been dealing with a harsher-than-usual winter. It’s been exceptionally wet and cold, which can take a toll on your psyche. In the winter months, many Washington residents suffer from a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Floatation therapy can help alleviate symptoms of SAD, also known as the winter blues.
Why Do We Get the Winter Blues?
Winter is a fun season in some ways – the holidays kick it off, and if you live in a state like Washington, winter is an opportunity to enjoy several winter sports and activities. However, winter is the coldest and barest season. Wet, cold, even icy weather often keeps people from coming outside for days or weeks at a time, leading to cabin fever. From early January to as late as mid-April, most public schools are in session for weeks without a break. Work and school tasks feel longer and harder, and even favorite activities lose their appeal.
As a result, many Washingtonians struggle with the winter blues or SAD in its most severe form. The winter blues may feel like an ongoing blah mood, or you might feel so depressed you struggle to do basic things. Many NWFC clients fall somewhere in between. Despite physicians’ diagnoses of SAD, light therapy, or medication, they continue fighting the blues. About 20% of Washington’s population suffers from severe SAD each year. That’s where floats can help.
How Sensory Deprivation Helps Depression
Too much sensory input makes depression or SAD feel worse. Many of our clients unconsciously focus on people or events around them that are supposed to be happy. They berate themselves for not feeling happy too or try to snap themselves out of it. In reality, this doesn’t work, because the more you focus on sadness, the sadder you become. Along with depression, you may experience body aches, fatigue, or psychosomatic nausea.
In a sensory deprivation tank, you don’t have to feel anything or focus on maintaining a brave face for those around you. You’re under no pressure to meet demands or answer questions. You can simply float in silence for 60 to 90 minutes. As you do, your brainwaves will slow down until you are no longer processing external signals. You’ll be able to relax and focus on positive thoughts, such as meditations or affirmations. At the end of the float session, you’ll feel more positive about winter and your environment in general. Additionally, you may notice improvement in physical symptoms related to depression.
To help cope with the winter blues, schedule an appointment to float at NWFC.