National Cuddle Up Day is the perfect antidote to this bitterly cold weather

January may be the worst month ever. Smushed between December’s heartwarming holiday season and February’s Valentine’s Day lovefest, January can’t help but be a letdown. Couple the first month of the year’s empty social calendar with its frigid weather conditions and fondness for flu-spreading, and OH MY GOD, WILL JANUARY NEVER END?! Relax, friends, and take comfort in this: Today is National Cuddle Up Day, and it’s the perfect solution to this month’s intensely cold weather.

Celebrated annually on January 6th, National Cuddle Up Day invites observers to spend the day cozied up in their finest Lisa Frank (or any other kind of) pajamas, warm in their beds, snuggled up next to the ones they love.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But National Cuddle Up Day is a real day. And while the origins of the holiday remain wrapped in mystery, the health benefits of hugs and daylong snuggle parties are supported by science. You see, when we cuddle, our bodies release a warm-and-fuzzies-inducing hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin acts as a pain-relieving miracle drug, reducing joint and muscle aches common during the cold winter months.

But that’s not all. The cuddle-triggered hormone also helps to reduce heart disease, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety and stress.

Time to break out the Snuggie!

Cuddling can improve communication between friends and lovers, too. Physical touch can convey trust, commitment, safety, and reassurance. So, whether you’re snuggling up with your romantic partner, your best bud, or your fur baby (or all three!), cuddling can establish and strengthen the emotional bonds between you and the ones you hold near and dear.

Don’t have anyone to cuddle? You can still embrace the day and reap the health benefits. Just put on your fancy PJs, brew a cup of hot cocoa, and curl up with a good book. Give your favorite teddy bear a good squeeze, too.

Happy #NationalCuddleUpDay!

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