Baby, it’s cold outside. We’re getting our first snow of the season today. Kids got a snow day. We’re working from home. What better reason do you need to grab a blanket and your best bud and cuddle in front of the fireplace?
As a laughing yoga instructor, I’ve posted several times about the benefits of developing a laughing practice, and cuddles, hugs and gentle touch have many of the same benefits for our holistic health. The role of touch in our formative years is so important that its lack can cause physical, emotional, mental and spiritual delays and trauma. Studies have shown that the simple act of holding hands for around 10 minutes or a 20-second hug can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, especially during stressful events. Cuddling offers many physical health benefits, but also boosts our mood. Cuddling, like laughing, releases oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone, which makes us feel good and actually warms us up.
Cuddles reduce our isolation and loneliness and help us build and strengthen relationships. In a committed relationship? One of the top 10 ways to improve your sex life and satisfaction is to cuddle, according to John Gottman, a relationship expert who researched relationships for 40 years.
Don’t have a significant other? Hug a friend. Build a blanket fort and snuggle with a favorite blanket or stuffy. Or shnoog up with your pet.
Don’t have easy access to another living, breathing creature at the moment? Schedule a massage. Have a manicure or pedicure that includes a hand or foot massage. Schedule an appointment to have your hair shampooed and fixed. It feels amazing to have someone touch you in a nurturing, caring way, and you can reap the many benefits that healthy touch provides.
And if you are a caretaker of someone who is ill or dying, Cuddle Up Day reminds us to take some time to cuddle with your loved one. If it isn’t painful or uncomfortable for them, snuggle in bed next to them and/or hold their hand. Or gently massage their hands, feet, legs or arms. Massage their scalp or rub their back. Release those endorphins and strengthen your relationship with your loved one. You’ll both feel better, and you’ll be creating a special bond and a memory.
Some ways to celebrate National Cuddle Day.
- Build a blanket bivouac
- Create a critter/kid/coffee clique
- Produce a pillow and puppy pile
- Construct a comfy quilt quonset
So, who are you going to cuddle with today? Does National Cuddle Day remind you of a hug or cuddle or touch you really miss?
Tell me your ideas and who you want to cuddle with in the comments. I may not be able to physically hug you from there, but I’ll remember you and try my best to send a mindful blessing your way the next time I meditate.
(((BIG WARM HUG)))