Right now, during the pandemic, this holiday has a bittersweet feeling to me.
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First, I love that there is a holiday encouraging people to really connect on a physical and mental level.
And, of course, I’m sad, because there are SO MANY PEOPLE right now that I can’t hug.
And I love to hug.
When I meet people, I offer to hug, rather than shake hands. And the current atmosphere has meant I’ve not hugged anyone except my partner and one pod-mate for nearly a year now.
And that is hard on me.
And I can imagine how hard others are taking this as well. Those who don’t have pandemic pod or a partner to spend their hugs on and receive closeness in return.
In 2018, I was inspired to write by a tweet I saw about being touch starved, and I wrote about it:
Skin hunger, touch deprivation, touch starvation…it’s a real thing. We are wired to be touched by other humans. We have a need for physical contact from the moment of birth to the day we pass.
When a person experiences little to no touch from other living things, it can raise levels of cortisol, and you they can start to experience:
— feelings of depression
— low relationship satisfaction
— difficulty sleeping
— a tendency to avoid secure attachments
Certain things can help you feel like you are being touched even during this current time of being social distanced, like taking a long hot bath or shower, using a weighted blanket, and cuddling with pets.
For some, even a corset or tight clothing made from latex or leather can help stimulate some of the same feelings.
And I hope that if you are suffering right now, that you know that I am sending my virtual hugs to you, even if I can’t hug you in person. And that this will end, and we will be able to catch up and touch each other again.
It’s not forever.
Happy National Hug Day to you.