It’s the Day to Try Naturism (as it says in the flyer)!
As the Covid-19 crisis has developed into a world pandemic, Ireland along with many other countries has had to put into place new guidelines promoting social distancing and new restrictions on travel.
In Ireland all public social events, including ones organized by the Irish Naturist Association (INA) have been either cancelled or postponed. However, the INA were also quick off the mark and responded to the situation by creating the “Online Naked Vinyasa Yoga” event and the ‘stay-at-home’ World Naked Gardening Day Challenge. This naked gardening challenge encourages people to take a discrete photo of themselves naked in their gardens, and then submit the photo in advance of World Naked Gardening Day (Saturday 2nd May 2020) to win free 2021 INA membership and some free naturist swims.
Across the water in the UK similar restrictions have now been put into place by the government there, though slightly later to those already in place in Ireland. And the organization promoting naturism in the UK, British Naturism (BN) has adapted to the changed circumstances there, by calling to people there to try naturism for one day a week during this stay-at-home period, that BN are calling “Work Naked Wednesday.” With so many people now being asked to work from their homes, the BN idea was that naturists or those new to naturism, could be naturist for a day in their own homes. As the BN notice accompanying the article states:
“OK – so we made it up! But what an opportunity to give Naturism a try in the comfort of your new workplace – at home! It’s perfectly legal to enjoy the sun in your garden too.”
In researching the background to #worknakedwednesday for this blog post, I realized that this idea of working naked is not a new idea. In 2009 David Taylor, a UK-based business psychologist and leadership guru, persuaded a design firm “Onebestway” and its sister company “Angelfish” in northern England try out naked team-building exercises for their staff, during what David termed “Naked Work Friday”. The idea behind this “Naked Work Friday” was to encourage staff to strip off their clothes, so that they could strip away walls blocking good communication. David’s premise was that by removing their clothes, staff members could treat each other as equals, be better team members and be more transparent and honest with each other. This “Naked Office” idea later became the inspiration for a TV documentary in 2010 of the same name. To this day David Taylor is a director of a business and leadership consultancy practice called “Naked Leader”, no doubt as a result of gaining some fame from this TV documentary!
Then in 2012 a writer /visual designer named Jessica Saia wrote an online article called “What Our Office Learned Working Naked for One Month” for April Fool’s Day of that year in which staff at her (San Francisco based) company ‘The Bold Italic’ learned how successfully working together naked could enhance their productivity (which it transpired wasn’t a lot)! ‘The Bold Italic’ staff allowed pictures of themselves to be taken by Sierra Hartman, showing them arriving at work, removing their clothes, working at their desks and holding meetings…. all while they were naked! The original idea behind Jessica’s article was to make fun of and send up the trend for open-office spaces that was becoming so popular at the time! However Jessica’s article became a huge worldwide hit, no doubt because so many people were interested in the concept that working naked could be a lot of fun! And today there’s a connection to that article and BN’s initiative, as the photo used in the promotional material for their #worknakedwednesday is of “The Bold Italic” staff supposedly at work in the break-out-area of their office!
But behind the ‘fun’ element there are even more reasons / benefits of being naked. It’s widely acknowledged that practicing naturism in Ireland is liberating, healthy, friendly, legally acceptable (since 2017) and promotes an active, relaxed outdoor lifestyle. But Lorii Myers, an author who wrote a book called “Targeting Success, Develop the Right Business Attitude to be Successful in the Workplace” argues that naturists often benefit from the very act of being naked! She states that people who enjoy the sensation of being naked are less burdened with fear, guilt and other negative emotions and demonstrate what she refers to as an exceedingly strong passion for living because:
“Passion in life… is life. It’s contagious. Get naked and roll around in it. People who enjoy living have it all figured out. They are passionate, driven, alive, and they are real.”
As it has become apparent that most of the Irish workforce will now have to work remotely until at least 5th May 2020 (or not at all), INA has decided to promote #worknakedwednesday as a means to encourage workers to try naturism and feel more passionate, driven and alive than ever before. And our naturist organisation is also reminding us that shedding our clothes can be done in the comfort of our own homes!
To get the ball rolling on this initiative, INA first created a #worknakedwednesday flyer, which was then posted up on our Twitter and Instagram accounts in order to see if it would gain some support online. And support it has got…. with Instagram recording that the post is doing better than 90% of our recent posts! And the results are still coming in…and perhaps it’s because the connection between our shedding clothes and our worries at the same time is resonating with people, and being replaced by this “passion” for living honestly that David Taylor, Jessica Saia and Lorii Myers has tapped into!
Hopefully, all of you reading this or seeing the flyer will support and engage in this naked activity for the remaining weeks of the ‘stay-at-home’ measures, not only to help normalize naturism in your homes, but also to encourage others to take up what is after all, a natural and fun activity.
So please share this INA initiative [#worknakedwednesday] with your friends, family and colleagues via social media or word of mouth and see how they feel about trying out naturism in their homes.
As we naturists often say ‘body confidence’ is the reason we shed our clothes. In this time of crisis, the #worknakedwednesday initiative can remind us once a week to tap into this passion and inner confidence for physical and mental wellbeing. As we all deal with preventing Covid-19 spreading in Ireland, a little body confidence can go a long way to keeping our spirits up and making us and our families laugh a little! So do join us for the next few Wednesday as we shed our clothes for 8 hours in the day!!
And of course, please continue to ‘Stay-at-Home’ as much as you can, keep up social distancing measures outside your home when on vital errands and above all stay well!