Reaching Out in Hug-like Gestures

By Veronica J.

Not many people realize this, but sometimes all a human being needs is a physical hug. There are some people who feel they can’t be touched right now and that’s alright. Sometimes boundaries are good to maintain, especially if the other person is not comfortable with physical touches. However, just a simple gesture of care such as a hug will help even a slight fraction for someone in a personal crisis, especially mentally. There are plenty of times where I’m in my head, zoning out from whatever is going on inside my noggin’ with depression, and all I feel like doing is curling up in my bed. Whenever I feel alone in the world like this, I secretly wish for a hug. Sometimes I’m given that gift without needing to ask for it, and sometimes it never comes, even when I ask for it. (The latter happens more often than it should.) It may sound like I’m needy, but I think that’s because I tend to be transparent in what I want.

For those who feel this type of isolation even now more than ever, always find a way to reach out for that hug, whether it’s physical or metaphorical. In these current circumstances of a pandemic where all we can do for safe connections is to go online, the goal is to reach for that metaphorical support and affection that a physical hug normally brings. So how do we go about that?

As silly as this sounds, we live in an era where we can use hugging emojis, emoticons, pictures, memes, and gifs. Go on any social media platform that you have an account in and reach out to those who you love and vice versa, sharing as many virtual hugs as possible. Sometimes it’s always the thought that counts; the simple things in life always hold much more value than you think.If you’re able to, buy a delivery gift for someone through the internet. 

Last year on my parents’ 28th anniversary, I bought them each a pot of orchids after searching through the internet on what to give a couple who have been married for 28 years. (The answer, by the way, is orchids. If the couple aren’t into flowers, find orchid or lavender colored items, such as gemstone jewelry or tangible gifts that may mean something for them, whether it is useful or an inside joke.) Although the gift was delivered a day early, my mother texted me with attached pictures, telling me how much she and my father appreciated the delivery man’s specific instructions that I customized on Amazon, which was for him to approach carefully at the front porch and wait for one of them to notice him so he can greet them “Happy Anniversary!” with a happy cheer.

I’m aware that there are many people who simply can’t afford to buy many luxuries and need to save money during this pandemic, as we slowly do have to pay bills again in the United States. (I’m in the same boat, too.) To save money, try simple gestures like emailing friends and loved ones. If some of your friends or family are “technologically challenged”, try handwriting letters or typing one out to print and send via snail mail. As long as you have as many postage stamps on the letter or package to send and you’re near a blue collection box, you can slip your mail in there without having to sacrifice safety in going to a public post office, where there are often long lines despite pandemic rules of staying 6 feet away from each other. If you have the old school red flag mailbox at your home, you can flick the flag up after putting your mail in to send. The mail delivery person will see this and do their best to send it to the right channels. When receiving physical letters or packages through the mail, make sure to disinfect everything first before you read or look at what’s in it.

Remember that whatever you choose to do to connect, it’s always the thought that counts in attempted communication. You could even text or call if you still have your mobile plans as strong as ever during this pandemic. Simple sweet gestures such as checking in on the other person or sending them a poem will help give them the love and support that you would normally get from a simple hug. It’s always the thought of reaching out that counts.

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