Happy National Hug Your Boss Day!

Yes, that’s right, according to this obscure UK website – and also one of the big morning shows this morning (was it The Today Show?? It was definitely announced somewhere!) – today is the day you are supposed to pause your work, saunter into your boss’s office, push all of your problems/pride aside, and give him or her a big, smiley bear squeeze.

Well, this morning we got some mixed feedback on whether or not you’ll be part-taking in this “holiday”, but who am I to “dare you” to do it without going through with it myself?

So, just a few minutes ago I stepped into our CEO Cheryl Reid’s office and said, “Cheryl, I have something for you.” My coworker Erin was standing by with a camera. Cheryl looked absolutely petrified as I approached her from behind and began to lean in with outstretch arms. Right before the embrace occurred, I paused and said super fast: “It’s National Hug Your Boss Day! And I want to hug you for the blog!” Not so fast. Well, she said she would have no problem hugging it out, but if she was going to agree to put this epic moment in our lives onto the very public territory of Spa Week Daily, I’d need to send her some good reasons for it. And so I sent her this:

5 Reasons Hugging is Healthy

1. REDUCED BLOOD PRESSURE AND RISK OF HEART DISEASE It’s proven that hugs lead to less stress; after hugging, there is a reduction in your body’s cortisol level. Cortisol is the hormone associated with stress. Less stress equals lower blood pressure, which significantly reduces your risk of heart disease.

2. OXYTOCIN INCREASE Hugs increase oxytocin – the “bonding” hormone. In a study, when couples hugged for 20 seconds, their levels of oxytocin increased. Those in loving relationships had the highest increases..

3. STRENGTHENS SOCIAL BONDS Hugs symbolize trust and compassion. Giving someone a hug has the potential to make them feel more comfortable around you in the future, to trust you more, and to make them feel that you are truly on their side.

4. IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH Hugging, like therapy or yoga, can help clear your mind and make you happier. But, what’s more, is it can even strengthen your mind long-term. Hugging  and touch has been shown to reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as restlessness, pacing, vocalization, searching and tapping.

5. HUMAN TOUCH IS IRREPLACEABLE In the same way a massage can deliver the healing, happy benefits of  human touch, a hug can really do a body good.

And… it worked! Well, she really didn’t want a photo of the occasion (wimper), but I did get a big bear hug and a “You know I love ya” out of her. AND, I got a huge smile that had nothing to do with business triumphs. Yay, hugs!


Did you – or will you – hug your boss today? What about on Monday? Here’s a little quiz from the “Hug Your Boss Day” website – decide how desperately in need your career is of a hug.

  1. Does your boss trust you?
  2. Do you trust your boss?
  3. Do you share personal stories and weekend activities?
  4. Do you work well with your boss? Are you productive?
  5. Do you know where you stand with your boss?
  6. Do you work towards the same goals?
  7. Do you socialize together?
  8. Can you speak to your boss openly about problems you have at work?
  9. Can you tell your boss a joke or funny story?
  10. Do you feel like you are both on the same side?

Add up your score – test your relationship here:

1-2 “no” answers: You have a really good and solid relationship with your boss and you are likely to be able to give them a hug.

3-7 “no” answers: There are things you could probably work on to make your working relationship better with your boss. Understand the differences between you and work on various ways to improve the relationship between you. Why is your relationship not great? How can you work on these areas?

8-10 “no” answers: You really need to work on the relationship between you and your boss. It may be a good idea to try to speak to your boss about some of the problems between you and ask them about working on ways to improve it. It will make you much happier at work.

Sources: 1, 2