Updated: Feb 2
In 1986, Rev. Kevin Zaborney from Caro, Michigan created #NationalHuggingDay and is now annually celebrated annually on 21st of January. This celebration encourages people to hug their family and friends more often.
According to studies, hugs boosts oxytocin levels and decreases stress hormones. Oxytocin is proven to make us happier and healthier. Hugs are important to us because we are social creatures.
Now the question is - How can we hug someone when we are currently in the middle of a global pandemic?
We can celebrate today by filling someone's else’s cup, and intern fills our own.
Here are three ways to increase our own DHEA (the feel-good hormone) and reduce our stress hormone.
1. Ask someone if they're okay. ‘Is there something I can do to make your day better?’
Let's open our eyes and look at everyone around us. If your instincts are telling you that someone you know or care about seems withdrawn or disempowered, just trust your gut and act on it. You can simply show genuine care by asking them if they're okay, actively listen, and ask them if there is anything you can do! Just by asking this question can give them a sense of feeling supported, even if they say no. It’s the fact that you asked, and showed you cared.
2. Pay it forward.
In a nutshell, pay it forward means repaying the kindness you receive with a good deed to someone else. It doesn't have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as holding the elevator door for others, doing household chores, picking up trash, practising (CLAYGO) clean as you go, and many more, or even smiling at a stranger.
3. Do unexpected things. Take the time to compliment someone.
According to research conducted by Michael Steger, a psychologist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, people feel happier, not because of the things they do for themselves, but doing things for others. Some ideas are:
- Putting post-it notes in cupboards you know your partner will go into when they wake up - Write a note to your child(ren) and put it in their lunchbox - Make someone a beverage at work and place it on their desk with a note ‘You’re Awesome’ - Compliment/acknowledge someone about their work, outfit, hair, positive attitude - Take the family out on a secret adventure
These are just a few examples on how you can give someone a Covid-safe hug today.
What are you going to do today?
Let the chain of happiness start with you - Lead by example.