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  • Writer's pictureImeldaRose

Do hugs make you happy?

I was listening to my usual morning radio –Breakfast with Stephen and Kate on Thursday while driving along in the car. My ears pricked up when they played a clip something along the lines of ‘I was lying on the sofa and next she was beside my rubbing my ears and playing with my hair. This woman wasn’t a lover or relative, in fact I had met her a mere 5 minutes earlier. She was a complete stranger’.

My mind is automatically going ‘Whaaaaat’?? - obviously I knew there had to be an innocent enough explanation given that it was probably around 9.15am on Thursday morning!

As it turns out, they were discussing a new business adventure they had come across – Cuddle Therapy. Yes that’s right. You read that correctly. Cuddle Therapy.

We all have those friends and relatives that love a good hug don’t we? And we all know that family that are really tactile with each other and hug on a regular basis? Friends that hug when they meet each other for coffee/night out/gym? Even men do the bro hug. Yea, not me. None of the above.

And as if by coincidence I bought the Irish Independent on the weekend and wasn’t there an article in it that stated if you want to see a decrease in anxiety and depression we need to depend more on hugs. That in my opinion is just b-shit! The thought of forced hugs make me anxious!

Not judging, if hugging and physical contact is your thing and you’re comfortable with it, cool. But hugs, unless from my sister or a best mate are something that make me so uncomfortable. You’re invading my space and breaking all of the barriers. So the mere thought of going into a room with a stranger and just hugging?! Blows my mind. Makes all my cringe glands explode.

So it got me to thinking – what makes me happy? Not hugs that’s for sure! And when I ask myself this question, it’s always the same.Good food and being outdoors! Such a simple creature really! Leave me in my man cave with food!

I went on a jolly with one of my besties a few weeks ago, who incidentally isn’t a ‘huggy’ person either (maybe that’s why we get on so well!) - if you’re ever down by Leitrim or Sligo, chances are you will have heard of the Glencar Waterfall. It’s a great wee spot for the family, nice easy accessible trail, good car parking, toilets, and a great wee coffee shop. All the things a day out for the intrepid explorer require…

However, if you drive past the Glencar Waterfall car park there will be a small layby on the right hand side, probably big enough to fit 4 or 5 cars. This is the inconspicuous start to the ‘Devil’s Chimney Walk’. The lesser promoted waterfall walk - 5 minutes from Glencar Waterfall but I can assure you it is much more impressive!

The trail is all gravel and signposted well with commanding view points over Glencar Lake. As you’re walking the route, the waterfall is always within your sights and technically, if you continue to follow the trail you will never reach the base of it. Alas, if you have an adventurer within you, when you reach the viewing point for the waterfall you can see where people have scrambled up over the rocks to get to the base. I’m not endorsing this behaviour of course!#justsaying

So close to Sligo it would’ve been rude not to stop for some food. Normally we visit Knox in Sligo town but this time, crazy creatures we are we decided to change it up and visited Hooked.

From the name I was expecting more of a fishy theme on the menu alas, there was only the standard battered fish. When I was in there, it became apparent their name was derived from ‘hooked on food’. The menu was great…just not fishy!

The décor was quirky with funky lighting and smaller funky details only appreciated once your eyes focused away from the more showy pieces. The jury is out on their toilet doors but I’ll let you make your own mind up on that one…!

You can see from their menu that all the ingredients are locally sourced and so you expect the food is going to be of a higher quality and to be fair it doesn’t disappoint. I was most disheartened when I realised my plate was cleared!

So the moral of the story...did I feel happier after a walk and some good food? And without a hug insight? Yea, I’d say so. It’s the endorphins they say…

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