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The Beauty of Hugs-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 10, 2023

It was May 2020 and three months had gone by without me receiving any human connection or a hug. The isolation of Covid did that to us. We were saving lives by locking ourselves up in our homes; so they said. Being single, an extrovert and someone who thrives on the companionship and joy of being with other people, I was slowly dying inside. It was the end of May and I agreed to meet my friend Joanne to remove rocks in preparation of a horse compound. We arrived together, got out of our cars, looked both ways  (to make sure nobody was watching us hug) and hugged like crazy. It felt so good and right, and tears flowed down my cheeks.

Oh the power of a loving hug.

When we’re thrown in jail for a crime we’ve committed, the biggest punishment is being put into solitary confinement. Society knows thi s is where we slowly die from within. This week there is an article in the news that says:  “We can live without sex but we can’t live without human touch.” During the Covid confinement we were told isolation saved lives, but the truth is, over time isolation kills us from the inside out. “Newborn babies are experiencing everything for the first time, including their first touch from mom and dad. This early contact helps promote healthy psychological and physical development. Lack of physical contact can prevent normal development and can even lead to higher rates of illness or death in infants.” [1] This can cause a tragic development called “failure to thrive.”

Failure to thrive

This almost wrecks me when I write this because we are entering into an age of isolation where we are failing to thrive. The antibiotic or cure for this new malaise is human touch or the beauty of a long, meaningful hug. People around us are slowly dying and you and I can do something about it. This Christmas season forget about spending hundreds of dollars of useless gifts. Look around into the eyes of someone who is lonely, in grief or feeling overlooked. Just tell them: “Hey, get ready, I’m coming in for a big hug.” Then do it and you’ll be surprised how much it will make YOU feel better.






[1] https://www.hellomotherhood.com/article/72120-effect-human-contact-newborn-babies/ December 7, 2023

Posted in: alone, alone at Christmas, Christmas, companionship, Covid-19, failure to thrive, happiness needs to be shared, hugs, isolation, loneliness epidemic, power of hugs, singleness at Christmas, suffering, we need each other

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