With almost all forms of physical human contact out the window for the foreseeable future, why not hug a tree instead?
In Iceland, the national Forestry Service is encouraging people to get outside and hug trees, in lieu of hugging their mates.
Icelandic Forest Ranger, Þór Þorfinnsson, reckons around five minutes of hugging a day will do the trick. ‘You can also do it many times a day – that wouldn’t hurt,’ he says.
Hugging trees strengthens our connection to nature, a feeling which, in turn, has been linked to greater life expectancy, a higher sense of meaningfulness, and even lower your anxiety (something we could all do with a bit of right now).
A bit lost for the best way to hug a tree? Þór’s got some tips for you.
‘It’s really nice to close your eyes while you’re hugging a tree… I lean my cheek up against the trunk and feel the warmth and the currents flowing from the tree and into me. You can really feel it.’
So what are you waiting for? Next time you’re out for your daily exercise, slow down, wander over to a nice, big tree and give it a cuddle. I’m sure it’ll appreciate it as much as you do.