How to overcome fear of nudity in the sauna

Juhannus is coming up so I figured many of you may be headed to mökki about this time, and as always, nudity is part of the experience.

2013-08-13 15.40.56

Just a quiet, naked, weekend away!

As much as I would’ve liked to have been raised in a nudity-friendly culture, I wasn’t. And changing this mindset has not been easy (I even tell people how uncomfortable I feel sometimes haha). This little dilemma gets frustrating and old pretty fast. Why do I need to get naked to enjoy time with my friends!? Or why can’t I just get over it!?

Sometimes I cop out: “I know, it’s such a shame I have a shift at the gym today. I would’ve loved to have joined you guys in the sauna.”

But sometimes I face my fear and I go. Always high fiving myself after for having done so. I noticed the experiences where I’ve been able to relax more easily, have all had one thing in common: my perspective. Not like what I was thinking about  but quite literally: the way I saw things.

My vision was different because I didn’t wear my glasses or contacts. And despite what you may be thinking, very concretely changing your vision – to the point where you only see a blurry line between where people start and the rest of the sauna (I’m not even that blind: -2.25) but it made me feel much more at ease.

Kind of like when kids put their hands over their eyes and think no one can see them? Well because I couldn’t see anyone else naked, I felt like they couldn’t see me either. Damn – what a relief!

So yeah, I have to strongly support a change of perspective as a radically underrated solution to doing anything, and I’ll leave it at that 🙂

How about you? Do you strip down or skip the sauna altogether? Have you felt more at ease as time goes on? I’d love to hear more opinions on this.


irina signature


P.S. I’m writing you from Berlin today, since I’m attending a polyglot (=multilingual) gathering. Super excited to fill you in on this passionate community and all the awesome things they’re doing. Stay tuned for an update on that next week!

Tags: , ,
TedXOtaniemiED widget 3

Hi! I’m Irina.

I’m a multibelonger to Finland, Canada and Romania, without ONE language or culture to call my own – I have several. My intention is to be present where I am and find inner peace and harmony where ever life takes me. I’m embracing the gems of the ongoing cultural and linguistic transition which is my life and hope to inspire others interested in doing the same. Read my story & more about what I do here.

Did you know you are wired for language? Join the Inner Circle Community to discover your birthright. Plus get your free course Demystifying the Finnish Struggle today!