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Celebrate the return of the hug!

It’s official. Hugging is back!

May 17th heralded the next phase of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Indoor socialising can now take place in groups of six people or two households. Pubs and restaurants can serve customers inside, hotels are open again and foreign travel is permitted.

But, over and above all that, we are allowed to hug again.

There are many different types of hug, and we probably feel comfortable with different types of hug for different people, depending on our relationship with them. But we are no longer advised not to hug, so it is fine to go ahead and hug in whatever way works for you.

The benefits of hugging

Some people are more “touchy-feely” than others who may prefer to avoid hugging where possible. But whether or not you are a prolific hugger, there are thought to be many benefits of hugging.

A few of these are:

  • Hugging triggers the feel-good hormone oxytocin and brings an increased sense of well being.
  • Hugging can reduce stress and make us less reactive when faced with uncomfortable situations.
  • Hugging can boost your immune system, potentially making you more resistant to infection.
  • Hugging can lower blood pressure.
  • Hugging can increase self-esteem and bring a sense of belonging.

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How to hug safely

Despite all the above benefits, some of us may still feel a little uneasy about the risk of hugging others. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to rethink so many aspects of our daily lives that we had simply taken for granted up to that point. And now that things are easing, we can feel an understandable reluctance about going back too soon to the way things were.

So here are some tips about how to enjoy hugging but ensure that you are protecting yourself and others from any potential risk:

  • Keep it quick. A quick hug can feel less awkward for many people, and is an acceptable way to express affection and joy at being together whilst keeping physical contact to a minimum.
  • Don’t feel obliged to hug. It’s really only in recent years that hugging has become the norm in the UK. Previous generations were somewhat bemused by the European culture of hugs and air kisses, preferring to maintain the infamous British “stiff upper lip”. So, post-pandemic, perhaps it’s throwback time: just hug the people that you really want to.
  • Avoid facial contact. A hug is a hug, it need not involve any kind of kiss. A quick hug with faces turned away from each other is far less risky than the awkward full-on “which side do I put my face” manoeuvre.
  • Get plenty of air. There is more risk of spreading infection if you are inside, so either do the hugs outside in the fresh air, or ensure that the room you are in is extremely well-ventilated.
  • Normal Covid measures. When hugging people - particularly those you have not seen recently - it is important to stick to general Covid measures. Ensure your hands are clean and sanitised, and why not also keep your face covering on? Also remember that there are now free lateral flow tests available to all so you can check whether you’re Covid-free before meeting up.

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Time for a family portrait?

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate this new-found freedom with family and friends, then why not get them together for a Venture photoshoot? You can now come to us either as a group of six people or two households, and hopefully from the end of June there will no longer be any restrictions on numbers.

But whenever you do come and visit us at Venture Studios, rest assured that we will take extra special care of you and yours during your time with us. You can have fun together - and even hug - whilst one of our expert photographers creates some stunning family portraits that you will be proud to display in your homes for years to come.

So why not celebrate the return of the hug by booking your family portrait experience at your nearest Venture Studios today? You can book your photoshoot online. If you hurry and book by the end of May, we have some brilliant reopening offers available. You can check them out and book here.

We look forward to welcoming you to Venture studios very soon, and helping you celebrate the return of the hug and another significant step towards normality again.

Remember to check back here regularly for the latest news and offers from Venture Studios.

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