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CCP is Sending Virtual Hugs... <3!
Today, January 21st, 2021, is National Hugging Day! It's crazy to think how much we took for granted, like the simple pleasure of a handshake, a pat on the shoulder, but most of all, a hug. Whether it's to show friendship, empathy, to share happiness, or express love, a hug is the most significant touch of all. So, how do we hug and show our loved one’s affection in a socially distanced world? We need to get creative, maybe send a hug emoji or two or three, or send friends and loved ones a "Free Hug" coupon for when the pandemic is "over."
Have you heard of the senior living center that came up with a brilliant way to allow its residents to get something many of us lacked in 2020, the warmth of a hug? In Longmont, Colorado, the Katherine & Charles Hover Green Houses set up a tent with armholes, allowing residents to embrace loved ones through a thin sheet of plastic. It was an incredible and original idea! Would you do it?
Another brilliant idea, by a grandmother in New Jersey, is straightforward and comical, and we have to say adorable too! It's been two months since this grandmother was able to hug her grandchildren, so she put her brain to the test to figure out a way to do just that. In a viral video posted on Instagram, the grandmother walked toward her grandchildren in a pink unicorn costume. You can even see one of the boys run toward her and jumps for joy to hug her!
Tap into your inner storyteller and use your imagination
For you to hug your grandparents or your immunosuppressed friend, you don't necessarily need to get out of your chair to do so. Try some imagery exercises! They can have similar psychological benefits as the activity itself. So, think back to a pleasant physical or social experience. Imagery exercises require two essential qualities for them to work, vividness and specificity. If you just close your eyes and think about your grandma, that won't work. But, if you start thinking about little details like where you are, the time of day, what you are wearing, what your grandma looks like, all of that combined will produce an emotional response that might be close to the feeling you are looking for.
When in doubt, go virtual
We have some good news for our video game-loving friends, that is if you don't already know. If you and your family play the famous Animal Crossing game, you'll be able to get a little social and emotional support at a safe distance. You might be asking yourself whether there is a positive side to going online and "hanging out" with friends? Will that lead to social and emotional support? In this case, something is better than nothing, right?
Now, when the pandemic is no longer a threat, whenever that is anyway, and social distancing is no longer necessary, we will have to properly celebrate "National Hugging Day" and celebrate by what? Hugging, of course!
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