Let’s be honest, Mondays aren’t all that fun. Getting the kids out of bed and ready for a new week can be like pulling teeth. And in the northern hemisphere, the third Monday of January is considered one of the worst. Due to a combination of post-holiday blues, cold weather, and outstanding expenses, the most depressing day of the year is renowned as “Blue Monday.”
But despite its somber title, Blue Monday doesn’t have to be entirely blue! One easy action families can take to beat the Monday blues is to give their loved ones big warm hugs!
Hugging is a comforting, universal sign of love. But it goes beyond love. Hugging can actually make us a lot healthier and happier, making it the perfect remedy for Blue Monday!
What are 5 Benefits of Hugging on Blue Monday?
1. Hugs can make you happier
Hugging has been linked to a hormone in our body called oxytocin, commonly nicknamed the “cuddle hormone.” This hormone can have a huge effect on our mood and behavior. When we hug or cuddle someone, our oxytocin levels get a little boost, offsetting stress and leaving us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
This is especially true with mothers and their newborn babies. So the next time you embrace your child, notice how much happier it makes you feel, and know that they’re feeling the exact same way!
2. Hugs can reduce stress
According to one study, a good hug can continue to soothe you even after it’s over, helping you feel more relaxed throughout the day. The research proved that those who were hugged were less affected by interpersonal conflict than those who weren’t hugged.
This is because physical touch turns off the area of your brain that controls fear. This means fewer stress hormones are released and your body experiences less tension. And as we parents know, relaxation is hard to come by!
Feeling safe and cared for is extremely important, and leads to a more relaxed mindset. A win-win situation!
3. Hugs can keep you strong and healthy
In fact, hugs can also reduce our likelihood of catching germs. Hundreds of participants in a study were exposed to a common cold virus and the research found that those who felt socially supported and were hugged more showed fewer signs of illness.
This is because when we feel threatened and stressed—and we aren’t hugged—it can make our immune system overreact. But hugs make us feel safer and more cared for, calming our body down and protecting us from awful diseases.
On top of this, it has been recorded that parental affection does wonders for children’s health, not only in the short term but also for years to come. The research showed that the more warmth and affection a child received at a young age, the less likely they were to suffer from health risks decades later. Hugging really is a gift that keeps on giving!
4. Hugs can make you smarter
Young children need a lot of different sensory stimulation to aid in their growth and development. And physical contact, such as hugging, is one of the most important stimulations required for a healthy body and brain.
In addition, the research found that when babies received an extra 20 minutes of gentle and nurturing touch per day, over the course of ten weeks, they scored higher on developmental tests. Of course, we don’t recommend replacing school with hugging, but a combination of both is the golden ticket!
5. Hugs help you “spread the love”
Children like to imitate their parents’ behavior. So, if you shower them with hugs, they’re likely to “spread the love”, which in turn helps make the world a more caring place!
A Hug A Day Keeps Blue Monday Away
Kickstart Blue Monday by giving your children a big, loving hug! Hug out the dreariness associated with the grayest day of the year, and replace it with affection and care.
Hugging is truly magical—it can have a hugely positive effect on the brain and body. You can t the whole family involved and help your kids become healthier, happier, stronger, and more resilient.
How does your family tackle the Blue Monday blues? Let us know by tagging us on social media!