The best way National Hugging Day is celebrated is by spreading the love and offering a hug to your friends and family. It’s amazing how much difference a simple hug can make. Spend your day letting your nearest and dearest know that you’re there for them by giving them hugs and lifting their spirits. But sadly due to the worlds pandemic hugging other people or loved ones have come to a complete stop. The Coronavirus Killed the Handshake and the Hug.

Handshakes are just one form of touch that has evaporated during the global coronavirus outbreak. So have hugs, high fives, fist bumps, back pats, shoulder squeezes and all of the little points of contact we make when we stand closer than six feet apart. And as South Africans emerge from their homes and inch closer together to rebuild their social lives, experts are betting that some degree of social touch will disappear permanently, even after the pandemic ends.

New rules for hugging

Hugs should be fully consensual. Don’t approach someone for a hug without discussing it first.

Generally, you can hug the people you’re quarantined with. The people you live with are safe to hug, unless they’re working outside the home in jobs that might expose them to the virus or to a lot of people.

Convey affection in different ways. Send emojis by text, throw kisses through video chat, read a book to grandchildren over FaceTime, express yourself through talking or writing letters.

Hug yourself

Getting a hug is a great feeling. It can instantly lift your mood, making you feel safe and appreciated. Sometimes, however, there isn’t anybody around to give you that hug you need. When you need it the most, wrap your hands around yourself and hug yourself tightly. You might think that’s weird, but hear us out. Friends are great, but you’re the star of your own life. And you should love yourself like a star! That means making lots of time for self-care and self-love. So self-hug away.