We're almost a year into the pandemic, and even though things are getting better, we're not quite there yet. If you're still missing out on hugs from family and friends, here are four things you can do in the meantime . . .
1. Get a weighted blanket or body pillow. A lot of people miss the warmth and pressure of a hug, but you can get a similar feeling with things like weighted blankets, stuffed animals, and body pillows.
2. Take a hot shower or drink a cup of tea. Hot showers, self-massages, and warm drinks like tea have a calming and comforting effect much like hugs.
3. Use games like"Minecraft"and"Animal Crossing"to express your love virtually. Games with virtual worlds have let us "hang out" with friends when we needed to stay at home. And it's totally possible to foster meaningful connections with the people behind the avatars.
4. Get a pet or a plant. If you're ready for a pet, animals can help us feel socially connected. And if a dog or a cat is too big of a commitment, tending to plants like a succulent garden is an option too. Any connection to a living creature where you are required to show up can have benefits.
(Photo: Getty Images, Sally Anscombe)