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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

National Hugging Day: Reach out and hug someone

Besides Squirrel Appreciation Day and One-Liners Day, today is also National Hugging Day. This annual holiday, also referred to National Hug Day, is held each year on January 21st. Reverend Kevin Zaborney “created” this special “hugaday” back in 1986 and today, National Hugging Day is celebrated around the world.

As we go about our busy and hectic lives, some believe hugging is beneficial to our health. Whether we hug your significant other, family member, co-worker, team mate or favorite four-legged friend, hugging helps to reduce stress and depression, is necessary for our emotional well-being and is all-natural and totally free. Often used as a sign of affection, encouragement, comfort or thanks, or used as a greeting or form of goodbye - the power of a simple hug is amazing.

It’s important to remember there are a few guidelines when it comes to hugging:

  • There is a difference between a romantic embrace and a friendly hug. And a friendly hug is different than the Heimlich maneuver!

  • Some people may view unexpected hugs as an invasion of their personal space. If in doubt, ask before you hug.

  • Some people may be uncomfortable showing public displays of affection (PDAs).

  • Make sure you can pass the “sniff “test before handing out free hugs.

Hugs in the News

  • World Record Hug - In 2012, folks in London, England, will try to break the Guinness World Records' title for the World’s Longest Marathon Hug. Huggers have to hug for longer than 24 hours and 34 minutes to win the title!

  • In 2011, a male teenager was given a one day, in-school suspension for hugging his best friend, a female, in between classes due to the school’s no hugging policy.

  • Be sure to read (and watch) the “touching “story of Juan Mann, the man who launched the controversial Free Hugs Campaign.

Hugging Quotes & Sayings

  • A hug is worth a thousand words. - Unknown

  • You can’t wrap a love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug. - Unknown

  • A hug is a handshake from the heart. - Unknown

  • A hug a day keeps the demons at bay. - Proverb

  • A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go. - Unknown

  • Hugs are the universal medicine. - Unknown

  • A hug is the perfect gift, one size fits all and nobody minds if you exchange it. - Unknown

  • Hug your friends tight but your enemies tighter – hug ‘em so tight they can’t wiggle. - President Lyndon B. Johnson

  • My old father used to have a saying: If you make a bad bargain, hug it all the tighter. - President Abraham Lincoln


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