Dear Claire,

I listened to an interesting podcast the other day on NPR, our national public radio station here in the US. It was an interview with twin sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski, whose new book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle (or in the UK, Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle) is all about the effects of stress on our bodies and ways to overcome it in order to live a happier life. I’ll let you listen to it here, but three things that struck me were:

1.  Wellbeing is not a state of being or state of mind, but a state of action.
2.  The cure for burnout is not caring for ourselves so much as caring for each other.
3.  One way to do this is to give someone a hug for twenty seconds.

Twenty seconds is about as long as it takes for the body to respond to hugging by releasing the hormone oxytocin – which communicates love, trust and belonging, and helps complete the biological stress-response cycle.

It’s Mother’s Day here in the US on Sunday, and if there’s one group of people I know who could use a little stress relief from time to time – it’s mothers! So, it’s a simple thing, but if you have a chance, consider giving a mother-friend a twenty-second hug this Sunday…. and of course, any day 😊

Happy Mother’s Day and a big hug to you, Claire!

Much love,

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