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December 16, 2021 - A Simple Hug

No gifts will mean as much as acts of pure love you offer to the lonely, the worn down and the weary. These are gifts that remind us and them of the true reason for the season — the gift of God’s Son Jesus Christ, who was born to cast out all fear and bring everlasting light and joy to all who follow Him.

President Russell M. Nelson, video message, December 16, 2021

I would venture to say that everyone we know is either lonely, worn down, or weary. It's just not always visible. People can be pretty good at hiding their struggles. People can be good at remembering positive amidst a lot of negativity.

So, remember that. This is a time of Christlike love and compassion. We don't need to give gifts of materialistic value to show that love and support. Maybe someone just needs a hug or help removing a task from their to-do list.

When you give someone a hug for at least 20 seconds, their brain, and yours, releases a chemical called Oxytocin. Oxytocin floods the brain signaling a sense of security, a sense of safety, a sense of belonging. Oxytocin helps someone to trust you a bit more.

While I'm not advocating that you go around hugging everybody you see, especially in this virus stricken climate, I am suggesting that you pay close attention to others and look for signs of fear, worry, stress, etc. Maybe that person just needs a hug.

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