Paloma Alonso-Stuyck: “Hugs are essential in order to maintain emotional balance”

On International Hug Day, our Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology lecturer recommends that we engage in this type of demonstrative affection within our household bubbles during the Covid-19 pandemic

Psychologist Paloma Alonso-Stuyck notes that hugging is beneficial in many ways, and can lead to improved self-esteem, reduced stress levels, a stronger immune system, decreased pain and improved mood. Although hugs are irreplaceable, “especially in this time of social distancing when we feel strange and seem to lack energy, it is possible to feel close to people in other ways. For example, by expressing your love for them or making the situation feel less dramatic by using your sense of humour,” explains Alonso-Stuyck.

She also highlights the importance of embracing children, since at the beginning of life we learn to know and understand the world through feelings and movement. Therefore, both hugging and expressing affection, according to this psychologist, are key aspects of personality development in children.