When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.Jens Stoltenberg
There’s something amazing about a hug that just makes the day so much better. Maybe it’s the warmth of someone you care about being close to you, maybe it’s the feeling of security and solidarity that happens when you’re surrounded by the arms of others, maybe it’s the fact that you can’t give one without getting one back. Whatever it is, there’s never a bad time to share a hug with someone who’s willing to give or receive one. Share a Hug Day is your opportunity to politely offer someone else a hug when they look like they’re feeling down!
History of Share a Hug Day
Share a Hug Day was born out of tragedy one night when Mike Brundritt lost his wife and son in a terrible auto accident. With a dedication to turning anything negative into a positive Brundritt decided to share one of his families most important traditions with the world, that of giving and receiving hugs frequently and with abandon. He knew from personal experience just how life-changing a hug could be, and how a simple show of compassion like that in a hug can be exactly what someone needs in their life.
I am Mike Brundritt, I once lived a wonderful life. I was married to the woman of my dreams with plans to be married forever, and had spent 19yrs together. We both had successful jobs, were positive members of the community, and our church. We were raising two great sons; our oldest son was involved with every sport he could play, while our youngest enjoyed video games. As a family, friends and other family members have always surrounded us and have been a part of our lives. I would have said I was pretty fortunate.
On the afternoon of July 30, 2017, everything changed, we were returning home from a family vacation, camping. During our drive we were involved in a motor vehicle collision in which we were hit from behind by a transport truck. This collision, in the blink of an eye changed my whole world. My wife and oldest son passed away immediately. My youngest son and I both survived the accident but we both have mental issues since, and I am also recovering from back injuries. It has been a long road to make a recovery, and it still is.
Fast forward to the first anniversary of the accident. A few days before the anniversary I was thinking of ways that I could honour and remember my wife and son. I was remembering how much of a loving family we were, always sharing hugs, both as a greeting, or a goodbye. It was also a way to say I love you. A hug was also shared between many friends after the accident. A hug is a special connection between people that lets each other know they are cared about. The idea came to me that I could start a hug day to honour the lives of my family.
I woke up on July 30, 2018 with the idea that I wanted to start a special day, the problem was that I did not know how to start it. I started with a post on my facebook profile, and it was shared with friends. Friends and family then shared my message further, and the message magically took off. Within days it was shared across Canada, to various parts of the United States, to England, Lebanon, and Australia. I was contacted by the local news and my message was spread even more. I was amazed how fast and far my message has travelled.
Hugs have been shown to do incredible things for the human body, including releasing endorphins and easing stress and emotional distress. People who hug more frequently have been shown to have higher levels of compassion and to cope better with situations that may be incredibly stressful for someone else. Hugs have been shown to elevate moods, ease pain, and otherwise be hugely beneficial for everyone involved.
How to Celebrate Share A Hug Day
The best way to celebrate Share a Hug Day is by doing exactly what it says on the tin! Share a hug with someone who looks like they could definitely use one! If you’re feeling a need for a hug, or are just feeling down, then you can ask someone else to share a hug with you. Human touch is hugely important to our well-being, and hugs are one of the best ways to experience that touch platonically. Be sure to ask the person you want to hug or be hugged by if they’re ok with it, sharing hugs should always be consensual!