With coronavirus (COVID-19) taking over your news, you’ve probably heard the best ways to avoid catching COVID-19 are to wash your hands thoroughly, avoid touching your face and practice social distancing. Washing your hands seems to be the easy part. The CDC guidelines state you should frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating or after you cough or sneeze. Easy, right? But what about touching your face? Have you noticed since the news came out how much you touch your face absentmindedly? It is reported that people touch there face on average 23 times per hour. So, how do we stop touching it or at least reduce the number of times? Here are six tips:
- Find the root of the cause – Are you constantly rubbing your eyes or maybe your lips? It might be because you have dry eyes or chapped lips. Try using other remedies, such as eye drops or lip balm, to help alleviate those other symptoms.
- Understand your triggers – If you are a nail bitter, try to figure out what your trigger to biting your nails is. Maybe it is related to anxiety? If it is because of anxiety, try breathing exercises or meditation to calm your mind. The CDC has a comprehensive list on managing stress and anxiety during this stressful time.
- Keep your hands busy – If you notice you are touching your face a lot, try and keep your hands busy with an object, such as a stress ball or pen. Be sure to disinfect these objects regularly if you are frequently touching them. Also, try activities that require hand use such as knitting or folding laundry.
- Put daily reminders up – Put a sticky note on your computer or mirror or set a reminder on your phone throughout the day. While these reminders won’t completely stop you from touching your face, they will offer a frequent reminder that will make you more aware.
- Have a buddy – Ask someone to help monitor you. It can be a co-worker, roommate or partner. Hold each other accountable for not touching your face.
- Limit the use of contact lenses – Touching your eyes can lead to the spread of germs. If you have eyeglasses on hand, reach for them instead of your contact lenses. If contact lenses are necessary, just make sure your probably wash your hands before you put them in and take them out.
The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.