Hug Your Kids More

Even if you hug your children a lot, hug them more. The lack of social interaction and human touch is going to take a toll. We are a species who survived because of the tribe, and now that our tribe has shrunk dramatically in size, we are missing the endorphins released by connection.

A study done prior to any talk of coronavirus looked at college kids, behaviors and predictors of health. It won’t surprise you to know that kids who reported shaking hands as a way of greeting and who shared food and drink with others had a higher incidence of contagious illness. Considering what we know about humanity, it shouldn’t be surprising the study also revealed these students were happier.

Hugs are good for you.

  • They are natural mood boosters, causing the release of oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone.” It is associated with happiness.
  • Hugs reduce stress which will make it easier to ward off illness. Stress crushes our immune system.
  • Hugs reduce anxiety, which may have never been needed in our homes as much as it is needed now.
  • Hugs can even lower blood pressure and your heart rate.

In this time when our children are being taught to be terrified of human contact, when they are being told even their careful and normal behavior can be responsible for killing someone or result in their own death, it is critically important we remind them through touch they are worthy of love, are safe to cuddle and we are not afraid of them. The best part is the benefits of the hug work both ways. I need as much stress reduction as I can get! Quarantining together? Hug away.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, Wellness Coach, and founder of Tips From Town. She is passionate about sharing her medical expertise, her coaching techniques and her parenting experience to encourage happier and healthier lives.

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