I think one of the things that was reinforced through our COVID experiences was the value of ‘hugs’, which are so important in relationships. A good hug is one where, face to face, both wrap arms around each other and often speak a few words (of course hugs from the back are often surprising and welcomed!); so good to see you again, missed you so much, so sorry, love you, and so on – the absent but implicit message in hugs is, I care for you, I am with you, you are not alone. Side hugs, although better than no hug, often communicate discomfort, uncertainty, or awkwardness. My grandchildren started off with ‘side hugs’ but I am selfish and always asked them (told them!) to give me a proper hug, and they did – now I get the best hugs from them. The ‘hug drought’ during the pandemic added to rise in anxiety and depression in our families and communities.
Hug someone you care for, today! Hug more and worry less!