If you really need a hug and you’re on your own, why not try giving yourself one

It is very apparent the effects isolation will have on many people; and especially those already struggling with feelings of loneliness. Sadly the winter is going to be a lot harder. Listening to the concerns and talking to people who use our services we decide to address the issue by providing an online support session for self-care for carers, to support their wellbeing #MakingCaringVisible.

We all understand the importance of caring for someone else, but what about ensuring you look after you. At first a self-care support session may sound a little unconventional, but talking to likeminded people who can relate to what you may be feeling and going through can be a very positive outlet. During the session we were able to discuss issues and chat over similar experiences carers were going through, helping identify that they were not alone. The session was completed by Beautiful You UK sharing their very own version of a self-care, self hug, for the carers to take away and use when needed.

At first you may think a self hug sounds a little silly or awkward, but a self hug is absolutely a real thing; and it has very real physical and emotional benefits. Hugging yourself sends a strong message to your body and your mind that you are ok, it is a quick and effective practice of self care. Showing yourself love and compassion is healing and self-care will build confidence to support you in feeling strong

A self hug can improve overall health and wellbeing thanks to all those feel good feelings our brain releases. A self hug is something ‘you can do for you’ and it is available at anytime and anywhere. Every 20 second self hug will have very positive physical and emotional benefits:

  • Reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
  • It can boost immune systems and lessen fatigue.
  • Increases levels of oxytocin, the love chemical which can help lift your mood and lessen depression.
  • Can reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety and help you feel safe.
  • A self hug is supportive; and who better than yourself, to do that for you.

Receiving a hug and giving a hug is a great feeling, and a self hug is the perfect way to remind yourself that you are loved. Take a moment to try a self hug today.

Beautiful You UK steps to our Self Hug!

  1. We want you to be present in that moment, so start by taking a few centred breaths, through the nose and out through the mouth.
  2. Ask yourself how you are feeling, physically and emotionally. Look for any obvious tension or stress you feel in the body; and ask yourself if you are aware of any triggers that maybe affecting you’re emotions, good or bad.
  3. Take a moment to relax your neck and shoulders, whilst continuing with your centred breath.
  4. Wrap your arms around where they feel most comfortable, this could be rested around your shoulders, arms or waist. Your hug should feel natural.
  5. Now hold and hug yourself deeply and meaningfully, it doesn’t have to be tight, and shouldn’t feel forced. Hug yourself as if you are hugging someone you deeply care for.
  6. During your hug your mind may rest and go quiet, or you may smile and even sway, try telling yourself you are ok, you are loved, you are doing the best you can do, tell yourself what you need to hear, and be kind to you.
  7. Allow the hug to last at least 20 seconds, or even better hold yourself for as long as needed. Sometimes a quick self hug is all you need, while other times you might want it to go on a little longer.
  8. After the hug take a moment and check in with yourself and how you may be feeling, do you have that warm fuzzy feeling ? do you feel relaxed ? do you feel safe and supported ? However you may be feeling take note you have created this feeling, you have done something for you.

Now more than ever we need to stay safe, and take care of ourselves and others. Working with many carers, who when asked how they are, tell others they are ok. Often pretending everything is ok because they don’t want to be seen as not coping. If you cant speak to family and friends there are many support services and help ready available, remember you don’t have to do this alone.

Please follow our social media page for our next SelfCare For Carers Cuppa Session, available to all.