Day 31 #liftupforlent

Today’s encouraging exercise will need to be practiced thoughtfully and judiciously. That’s right. I’m talking about hugging.

In a world where sexual harassment still abounds even after we have all taken sexual harassment training, hugging has become taboo. And though I will always applaud awareness about and action against harassment, the ban on hugging has hurt us all, because hugging is good for your health.

Former Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center program director Mary Haley used to insist that people needed five hugs a day to be healthy. She wasn’t just being touchy feely, she was right!

Hugs make us healthier. It’s in US News and Word Report, so it has to be true (there have actually been a number of studies on the topic). According to real life doctors, hugs can help reduce stress, regulate our nervous system and elevate our mood. A hug before a big meeting, an important test or a difficult situation may be exactly the encouragement someone needs.

It is true that with certain people in certain places, hugs are just not appropriate. And then there are those people who are just not huggers and really don’t want you to touch them. But there are times, when you see someone in need of encouragement and you just don’t have the words, that a hug might be just what they (and you) need.

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