The Future of Free Hugs During The COVID-19 Pandemic

free hugs

Anyone who’s been a part of the Swift Kick family over the past 14 years knows that introducing the Free Hugs campaign to new people is a core part of our training. It’s how we teach people to build a Culture of Connection™ where everyone feels welcomed, connected, and engaged.

free hugsBut what about now, in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic? In short, stop hugging. Don’t even give high-fives. In fact, just stay home, away from as many people as you can.

But that doesn’t mean we stop connecting. Humans are hardwired for social bonds. It’s in our DNA. When humans don’t have social connections, there are many negative side effects.

In this time of social isolation, let’s not lose our human connections.

Our collective anxiety and uncertainty have spiked around the world. People are worried. Now is the time for the leaders to step up and create that Culture of Connection for those around them.

Our Free Hugs Campaign was never about the physical act of hugging, but rather the feeling one has after participating. After a campaign, most people would talk about how they felt so welcomed, connected, and engaged. They felt closer to everyone around them.

Your challenge now is to create that same feeling of connection without the physical connection part

All over the world, people are finding ways to connect without physically being together.

– A trainer hosts a rooftop workout for his community
– People sing together from balconies
– People thank medical staff from balconies
– Music teachers are hosting lessons via Skype
– I hosted a video call with fellow speakers to share ideas
– Students hosted their own graduation via MineCraft
– Corner store gives away $6k in toiletries to seniors

The COVID-19 Pandemic will eventually go away, and we’ll get back to our in-person physical connections. But for now, take this time to find different ways to reach out to those around you. Together we are better. Humans do need humans… but for now, that need will be from a distance.

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