In case you didn’t already know, it is International Hug day today so make sure you give your loved ones a massive hug if you haven’t already done so. Originating from Michigan US in 1986, this great day celebrates the embrace of two people who care for each other, be it your mum, your closest friend or the family dog (not quite a person we know, but family all the same).

When you’re feeling low or upset, there is simply nothing better than a big hug, and research proves that hugging really does make you feel better. Studies have shown that the act of hugging releases a boost of two types of hormones into our bodies. The first is Oxytocin, a hormone more commonly associated with mother and child during child birth – it helps alleviate stress by reducing our heart rate and lowering our blood pressure. The second is Dopamine which is, quite simply, the hormone that makes us feel pleasure. Geeky stuff eh?

When you have had a bad day or you are not feeling that great, sometimes grabbing a quick hug off someone just isn’t possible…without pouncing on an unexpecting stranger of course, which we highly recommend you resist. So, what do you do when there is no one around? We have made a few suggestions that you could try to make yourself feel more relaxed and cosy after a long, stressful day.

Heatable Companions

A much cuter alternative to a water bottle, you’ll find that heatable plush toys are becoming increasingly popular. A must have for the coming winter months; these adorable soft toys would make great gifts for women and children. They can soothe away the stresses of the day with cuddly warmth and lavendar aromas. Below are just some of our favourites here at IWOOT.

Hooty Snowy Heatable Owl
hootysnowy

Socky Dolls Heatable Bunty the Bunny
sockydolls

Cosy Plush Heatable Sheep
sheep

Creating an Ambience

One of the more classic ways to unwind is by indulging in a big bubble bath, and what better way to set the scene then with some added candlelight. Whether you are picking something up for yourself to help you relax, or you want to ensure the mood is right this Valentine’s Day, then candles and candle holders are a must. We have picked a couple of our favourite quirky items here at IWOOT to give you some ideas.

Efeet Candle Holder
efeet

Magic Love Candle
10308296-1295524561-433000

Sweet Cravings

So, hugging release Oxytocin and Dopamine…but perhaps more speculated is the release of Endorphins we get when we feast on delicious chocolate. This sweet tooth craving is thought to be more common for women, so if you are struggling for Valentine’s gift ideas for her this year, then chocolate is by no means a cop out gift. Here are a couple of suggestions from our Sweets and Chocolate gifts range here at IWOOT.

Rococo IWOOT Hamper

rococo

Smart Chocolate Fondue Set
smart

However your day panned out today, we hope you all managed to enjoy a hug from someone you love and care about. Happy International Hug Day from us all here at IWOOT.

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Team IWOOT

Team IWOOT

Writer and expert

A hub for gifting and homeware ideas, committed to bringing you the quirkiest trends on the market.