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  • Writer's pictureJen

Hugs, hugs and more hugs!

Can we talk for a minute about hugging?! It is for sure one of the routines that I am missing during our time in quarantine. I've always been a big fan of hugging, although I may not often be the initiator of the hug. After being in lockdown though, I think my behavior has changed, and I am so looking forward to those hugs once social distancing is lifted.

Often during sessions, I encourage my clients to embrace in a hug, as it portrays such a natural, feel good emotion. Images of people hugging surely does show connection with one another. These sisters embracing shows the love that they have for each other, and how adorable is that youngest sister, pulling them all to her!?

There are quite a few benefits to hugging, in addition to it just feeling great!

Hugging could lead to a decrease in depression. All of us can probably agree that sometimes there’s nothing like a hug when you’re feeling blue. A retirement home in New York decided to take this idea to a systematic level and implement a program called “Embraceable You.” It was a push for more contact between the older residents and staff members so as to improve the residents’ well-being. As it turned out, the residents who received three or more hugs per day felt less depressed, had more energy, could concentrate easier and slept better. 

Someone who is at the top of my list as the greatest hugger is my Dad. He really gets a good, strong embrace, the kind that you can feel in your soul. Another thing I love about his hugs is that they last longer than your typical hug. It makes you feel like he really means it and leaves you so uplifted.

Another example of those wonderful Dad this photo, I just had the Dad embrace everyone in a big hug. Anyone else feel that their Dad delivers the greatest hugs??

Hugging reduces stress and illness. Researchers have found that our brains can produce soothing hormones that help us feel more safe and less threatened through the act of hugging, leading to reduced stress. With reduced stress, we are less susceptible to illness, making hugging a perfect addition to your overall health and wellness routine!

Every time I photograph these girls, I have them embrace. And every time, those are their Mom's favorite photos from the session. How stinkin' cute are they?!?

I leave you with this image of me and my kids. I could just squeeze them all day, although they don't usually feel the same (can anyone relate to their teens squirming out of a hug?)! I do hope that my act of hugging them contributes to their overall wellness though, and I know that they feel the love.

So, hug those people in your household, it's good for your soul. And, when we can get back out there and be social again, be sure to hug your friends and loved ones. After going through this time and needing to be distant, it surely will feel good to get those hugs again!

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