Iceland’s Government Is Telling Its Lonely Citizens To Hug Trees

Researchers say it's actually good advice!

For many people, loneliness is the toughest part of self-quarantine. For those living alone, going without company and physical contact for a long period of time can take a serious toll on their mental health. Phone calls and video chats help, of course, but sometimes nothing beats a big hug.

But people are coming up with some creative solutions to stave off loneliness, such as the Icelandic Forest Service. That organization suggests that wrapping your arms around a tree is the next best thing to a human-to-human embrace.

It has even plowed paths through the snow in remote parts of eastern Iceland to make it easier for residents to reach trees, and trails have been widened so hikers can explore the outdoors while observing social distancing.


The IFS website is full of photos of people cuddling trees of all shapes and sizes. It’s nice to see people with genuine smiles on their faces at this point in history!

One person taking the group’s advice is the woman below, who showed that hugging with your legs is even an option. The shot was shared by the IFS’s official Instagram, @skograektin.