In these strange times, many people are turning to the natural world for comfort – whether that’s photographing pretty trees, stargazing or sharing stories of animals taking back human spaces. But in Iceland, feeling a connection to the the natural world has been made practically compulsory.
The country’s forestry service has recommended Icelanders hug a tree once a day during lockdown, to aid relaxation and boost their sense of wellbeing. Rangers in the Hallormsstaður National Forest say a daily, five-minute hug should do the trick, according to RUV.
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We all know that spending time in nature is good for us, and while we still can’t hug our fellow human beings, this does seem like a tempting alternative.
Mindful of potential transmission via tree trunk, the service have warned not to hug a tree that anyone else might have touched. If you’re deep in an Icelandic forest, that’s probably quite easy – but if you’re in a city, it might be best to swerve the actual physical contact and just give your local trees an appreciative gaze.
And if you don’t have any trees within ogling distance? Well, you could always flirt with your houseplants instead.
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