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Squeezing in as many hugs as we can for National Hug Day!

There’s nothing more reassuring than a comforting cuddle – especially if you’re feeling down, need a little bit of encouragement or just want to express how you feel about someone.

Today is National Hug Day, an annual event dedicated to hugging. It was created by Kevin Zaborney and was first celebrated on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA.  The idea of National Hug Day is to encourage everyone to hug friends and family more often.

It has now become a global event and every January 21 people across the world are urged to embrace hugging! That’s why this National Hug Day we’re all for promoting kindness to others.

At YMCA, we are celebrating in our nurseries and pre-schools by squeezing in as many hugs as we can!

As Maria Celeghin, our Early Years Operations Manager, points out “One of the 4 principles of the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) is ‘positive relationships’; children learn to be strong and independent from a base of a loving and secure relationship with parents and a key person”. So, whether you call it a hug, a cuddle, a cwtch, a squeeze or an embrace the feel-good factor is still the same and creates a warm, human connection.

Research has shown the importance of hugging:

  • It helps them feel safe.                               
  • It makes them smarter.
  • It’s a natural stress-buster.
  • It promotes a healthy self-esteem.
  • It helps in discipline.
  • It teaches them to develop empathy.
  • It promotes better health.
  • It keeps both of you happy !

( June 2018)

This isn’t to say that you should just run up and hug random people because that may be a bit awkward. But, on this National Hug Day, our YMCA family encourages you to hug someone you appreciate. You never know, it could make their day!

So why not give a loved one a hug today and support us in being kind to others?


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