It’s been hard.

It’s been a rough week. I was thinking about writing a post about seasonal affective disorder. Recent events prove the timeliness of this post. I wanted to research it and learn more about it. I’m no doctor. I honestly don’t know much about it. I know it affects a lot of people to varying degrees.

Naturists will often speak of it in the winter as opportunities for being nude out in nature diminish greatly. What is a natural and healthy stress reliever and an activity that brings great joy to this portion of the population is stripped away viciously due to the colder temperatures.

Naturist parks try to remedy this malady by offering more indoor recreation. Domes get put over pools in some cases. While these efforts are well received and wonderful alternatives, it’s no secret attendance goes down in the winter. Our first trip to a park was in the winter when all this park had to offer was trails and a hot tub. And it was pretty much a ghost town! (Read about our beginnings here.)

The importance of Vitamin D cannot be understated. The sun is a wonderful natural disinfectant and source of this vital vitamin. In the winter our exposure to the sun is cut down by a lot. Moods tend to be more melancholy than in the other 3 seasons. For those suffering any amount of depression or anxiety, I’m guessing numbers go up in the winter. We may enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland when it first hits. A naked snow angel is a fun pastime. After a good snow (depending on where you live) the novelty can wear off. When it’s just ice and cold, we start counting down the days to spring.

Winter just seems to be hard for so many. I’ve noticed during years of ministry and just life experience that there seems to be more death in Winter than in Spring, Summer, or Autumn months. This hit very close to home here of late. It’s been a hard week! Two days ago we buried my grandma, my last remaining grandparent. Today we had to put down our dog of over 10 years. I suppose this writing is a bit therapeutic for me, as I have shed more tears than I have in some time. As Christian believers, we take encouragement from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, knowing we do not grieve like those who have no hope. However, these are real issues that cause sadness. It’s ok to be sad. Death makes the other seasonal issues seem a bit trite.

That’s not to say those other issues aren’t valid because they certainly are. So I’d like to circle back and close this short blog post with question for you, dear reader, and make this interactive. In the comments, let’s hear how you cope with everything from winter blues to the death of a loved one? Answer however you’d like about whatever issue you’d like to focus on. Let’s encourage each other in these difficult days.

22 thoughts on “It’s been hard.

  1. John Figleaf

    I agree very much about the difficulty the winter brings with seasonal affective disorder. Last winter was so horrible that I knew I had to do something to make it through this winter. I began researching saunas and ended up making myself a near-infrared sauna that I set up in my spare bedroom. It has four infrared heat lamps uniquely spaced in a 4′ x 4′ enclosure. The near-infrared spectrum is very different from far infrared in that it penetrates deeply into the body. Similarity, you feel the heat of the sun as you soak in the light. I use it every morning and feel just as refreshed as sitting nude by the pool in the sunshine of my favorite resort. All of this cost me around $500 and for me it was a life-saving investment.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. beadaddy

    Music! Numerous times in my life when times have been really tough, I’ve just soaked in songs like the one I’ll share below. It makes me think of David doing something very similar at some of the darkest times in his life.

    I opened YouTube to grab a song to send, and this one was their top suggestion, so I’m sending it as well.

    And another suggestion:

    And finally, the one that I initially wanted to share!

    Hugs to you guys, and hope to see you soon!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Jan

    Winter time is difficult for me as outdoor time is more limited, especially nude. I become much more unsettled in spirit and body. But Georgia winters offer windows of opportunity and I anxiously await them and take advantage. One of the best things we did was build an enclosed floor to ceiling glassed sunroom overlooking our wooded back property. There I can set and even in winter look out and see the beauty of God’s creation and know that the quiet and dormancy of winter is merely God preparing for the abundance of new and refreshing life in the spring. My heart leaps in anticipation. God is good!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. mnshyguy

    Phil, my heart aches for you and your family. Those times of losing family members (and I do count your dog in that) are so tough. You’re in my prayers.
    Invariably, the sun will rise and spring is also coming. Renewal and rebirth are part of this cycle of mortality and immortality. Just as surely that spring will come, so too will be that joyous reunion with family and friends.
    In the mean time, know that you and all of your family members are in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth

      I’d say the opposite. I sort of let it consume me, if it’s going to. So, in one sense, no, I’m actually not coping with it. I’m being battered by it. But God uses everything. And letting myself get battered by it, unashamedly, then puts me in a position to be able to say “I know you don’t think anyone can see far enough into the darkness to be able to help you. But I have been in the darkness, I know what it’s like, I can relate, and trust me…there is always, always still light.” (Because there always still is.)

      Sorry to hear about your Grandma, Phil. 🌹


  5. Art

    First of all, I pray God will give you peace as you cherish the memories.

    In regard to the Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is very real! I live in northern Michigan and we get up to 6 months of where it is not practical to practice naturism. The fall is wet, dark, and gloomy. Winter is just unbearably cold and snowy.

    I have used this time in the past to research naturism. Interestingly, I discovered your site during the winter months. We have discussed doing some home improvements and adding a hot tub, but a little sticker shock on that project is slowing the process.

    The last few years I have tried to escape to a warmer climate for a week in March. My wife is not into the social naturism side, so that still limits opportunities.

    I hope to be able to winter in warmer climates in about 10 years, but that is still a long way off.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rob Nytro

    As you know, I lost my wife a month ago today. This loss has left so many holes in my life, it is unbelievable! However, I KNOW that I WILL see her again, and also my comfort is knowing that she has already started spending eternity in heaven, with OUR Lord and Savior, that is where I find my peace in this difficult time.

    As for S.A.D., I at times wish that it affected me, so I would have an excuse to leave the lower Great Lakes region, for sunnier climes, but S.A.D. isn’t an issue for me, so leaving my family and friends would be difficult at best!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LionHeart

    I lost my grandmother last year and certainly know the feelings. She was also the last living grandparent. That, in and of itself, brings with it thoughts about family and our changing place in the story. I found it helpful to think about how we were going to teach our kids to bring the same joy and love to those around us as my grandmother had. I pondered my role as son and parent rather than “just the grandkid”, a new level of responsibility. I thought about how she would encourage us and even bless us with her words around leading within the new family structure. She had shown us a grace in dealing with others and the power of that grace to n impacting the world closest to us. Ponder the blessed hope and the renewal of all things.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chuck Douglas

    A doctor told me long ago that I probably suffered from some degree of Seasonal Affected Disorder. In the ensuing years, I’ve come to realize that I am indeed solar-powered. Without the sun I slowly come to a stop and then the remaining enthusiasm is spent on eating carbohydrates. I fight against it, try to spend time outside as weather permits and just slog through to spring and nice, warm weather. This winter daydreams of a Florida nakation in the summer are carrying me along.

    So sorry about your loss there, Phil. Losing a beloved granny is tough but hopefully, the family celebrates a life well lived and loved and she set an example for you to hold to in the years to come.

    In some ways losing a dog is more difficult as dogs don’t seem to live long enough even when they live to a ripe old dog age. They leave too soon and we’re left feeling a little cheated by their passing. We lost our beloved Golden Retriever in September and now our corgi is on his short last legs. You have my sympathy for the loss of your doggie pal. “Dogs do not live long enough, their only fault really.” – A. Turnbull

    Liked by 1 person

  9. James

    I don’t think I have anything therapeutic outside of an occasional visit to the club. I spend most of the winter trying not to let things freeze and worrying about my tenants not letting their houses freeze that I get sidetracked and forget to do important projects that needed to be done last fall.

    Liked by 1 person

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