On average, we touch our face more than twenty times per hour according to a study by the University of New Southern Wales. The reason behind this is; we touch our faces as an automatic reflex without thinking when we feel itchy and other times its just habit developed over time through repetitive action.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advised not to touch the face because this aids in spreading the bacteria, According to Dr. Dawn Becker “Viruses that affect the respiratory system enter the body through mucosal membranes which are found in the nose, eyes oral cavity, and lips. With poor hand hygiene, it’s easy to acquire a viral infection this way,” The virus is believed to spread through respiratory droplets from someone coughing or sneezing and face masks help with this. Also, if you come into contact with a COVID-19 infected surface, and fail to properly wash or sanitize your hands, then touch your unwashed hands to any of these areas on your face, you run the risk of infecting yourself.
We are currently living in very strange times, it’s tough on many fronts but we have to adapt to survive. Not touching one’s face may be an uphill task especially breaking the habit, and the paradox of it all where when told not to touch the face, you touch it even more. This is not to say it cannot be done. Below are some tips on how to stop touching your face.
How to stop touching your face.
When you are present, you are aware of your environment, actions, and thoughts. This can better help direct your thoughts and instead of focusing on not touching your face, you can set triggers that will remind you why you should not touch your face for example; every time you are washing your hands or sanitizing them, you can relate the action to not touch your face hence creating new programs that will overwrite the old habits of frequent face touching.
2. Distract your hands
The urge of touching your face may come more often than expected, it is good that when the urges come, they find your hands busy such as having a small toy to fidget with or a stress ball to squeeze. These items should be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Clenching your fists may also help in resisting the urge of touching your face.
3. Use accessories strategically
Some people who have long hair might feel extra tempted to touch their faces to move stray hairs. Securing your hair in a bun to prevent yourself from playing with it.
It also might be useful to wear your glasses to dissuade yourself from touching your eyes. Similarly, wearing any kind of gloves can keep you from touching your face. We touch a lot of surfaces and items that may not be clean throughout the day from our phones to doorknobs and other surfaces. It is good to clean and sanitize most of these items and surfaces if possible, and while being at it employ the few methods above to help in not touching the face. May you be safe during this period and have a great week ahead.