The title says it all!
This weekend’s self-care tip is to hug yourself. If you’re a person who likes giving hugs, you know how comforting an embrace from someone can be, whether it’s a family member, a best friend, a small child, or even a pet. However, this tip is especially useful for those of us with bigger personal space bubbles and who might not be big fans of hugs! It’s also quite a convenient way to score a hug when there’s no one else around.
Actually, loving physical touch releases oxytocin, which is often called the “love hormone” because it brings about feelings of connectedness, trust, and security. The thing is, research has found that oxytocin isn’t released only physical touch from others; it’s also released by physical touch from ourselves. So, although a hug from a friend is fabulous, wrapping your own arms around yourself will actually give you similar results. If you want to learn more about the research that’s been done on this subject, I recommend starting here. Dr. Kristin Neff has written wonderful articles concerning this very topic, as well as a whole book on self-compassion (which I also highly recommend).
It might feel a little weird at first to hug yourself (especially in public), but once you get used to the idea, it’s really nice! After all, what better way to take care of yourself than by offering yourself physical support and reassurance?
I’m heading into Shabbat now, so before I light my candles, I’ll just close the post by saying that I wish each and every one of you a marvelous weekend filled with laughter, joy, and plenty of relaxation. Shabbat Shalom!