National Cuddle Up Day falls on 6th January annually. January has some of the coldest temperatures of the year, it is a great excuse to warm up with those closest to you. The Collins Dictionary says, “If you cuddle someone, you put your arms around them and hold them close as a way of showing your affection.”
The origins of the word are unknown, but some believe that the word ‘hug, first used in the 1560’s, comes from the Old Norse word for ‘hugga’ which mean to comfort. It could also be related to the German word ‘hegen’ which means to cherish.
The cosy health benefits of Cuddle Up Day
Can this free activity really make a difference to your wellbeing?
Cuddling releases oxytocin, a hormone that has huge health benefits. It helps reduce blood pressure, stress levels and anxiety. It is also said that it can help reduce aches and pains. Physical touch can also communicate trust, commitment, safety and reassurance. This does not always have to be done with a friend or family member, pets are also included in this too – and they make excellent cuddle buddies.
Hugging your partner can also boost sexual desire. The hormone dopamine stimulates the brain to seek pleasure, it can also help improve memory and focus as well. If you do not have someone to cuddle up with, studies have shown that a massage has similar benefits as well as a long relaxing bath.
Anyone can cuddle, but only the Welsh can cwtch!
The word cwtch is the closest thing to the English equivalents’ ‘cuddle’, ‘snuggle’ and ‘hug’. However, it has a deeper meaning for the Welsh. Pronounced ‘cutch’, like clutch without the ‘l’.
Traditionally the cwtch was a cupboard or cubbyhole where the coal was stored. It was a private, concealed, safe place – which could also be a respected connection or in two people’s hearts. It is one of the nations favourite words and symbolises that warm feeling that only closeness can create.
The first recorded use of cwtch in English was during the 1920’s. Even Elizabeth Taylor was noted saying, “I just want to go and cwtch him.” about Richard Burton.
How are you going to celebrate Cuddle Up Day?
Whether it is a day in your PJ’s snuggled up on the sofa, socialising with friends, in front of the fire with your significant other, or after lunch with the family, take the time to put your feet up and have some me-time.