How to stop touching your face – experts advice and tips
How to stop touching your face? With the coronavirus pandemic, experts and health officials all over the world recommend two simple things which will help to avoid contracting COVID-19 – wash your hands with soap and water and do not touch your face. Keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth will help protect you from the coronavirus and other infections. As simple as it may sound, not touching your face is way more difficult to do than say. It is harder because it is just subconscious behavior, and all of us do it without even realizing.
Why you need to stop touching your face? Touching the face is a common habit and a person may touch their face up to 23 times per hour. Why is this dangerous and why experts from World Health Organization are pleading with people to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands? The reason is very simple. When you touch your face after touching contaminated surfaces or sick people is one of the ways the coronavirus can be transmitted. It is a fact that most of the face touches are on the mouth, nose and eyes and those are pathways for bacteria and viruses to enter the body and your hands can be contaminated without you knowing it.
How to stop touching your face and avoid getting ill?
It sounds like something impossible, doesn’t it? However, one must be realistic and try his best to touch his eyes, mouth and nose as less as possible.
Do not get obsessed
You should not get obsessed with this and have additional stress. There is no need to be hard on yourself and feel guilt is you touched your face during the day. Try to realize that we do that unconsciously and that it takes time to create a new habit.
Try to monitor yourself
Changing your face-touching habits requires time and effort. Try to be careful and monitor yourself but don’t panic if you touched your face five or six times an hour. With time you will be able to reduce that to two or three times a day. In the meantime focus on prevention – wash your hands and disinfect the surfaces in your home or work place. If your hands are clean, then touching your face is not an immediate danger.
Keep your hands busy and try touching something else instead of your face
This is a sure way to fight the urge to touch your face as you physically touch something else. When you have something to do with your hands and they are occupied, your mind is distracted. Some people choose a stress ball, spinners, gadgets, small plush toys, and other “squeezy” objects, others sit on their hands or fiddle with string of beads – everything is individual. Whatever object works for you do not forget to sanitize it often.
Identify your triggers
People touch their face for many reasons. Nail biting, for example, besides being a bad habit, may get you infected with germs and bacteria. You need to be aware and identify what triggers you. It could be stress, anxiety, excitement, anger, etc. Once you realize and identify the reasons, you can control the face-touching more effectively.
Create a barrier
Try to create a barrier between your hands and your face. Keep a box of tissues and hand and grab one whenever you feel like touching your face. If you need to rub your nose, or you have to sneeze, use a tissue. On one hand it creates a barrier between your face and fingers and in addition, you will not pass germs on to other people or objects around you. Wear a scarf over your face – this may help you control the urge to rub your eyes, adjust your glasses, lean on your palm, smooth out your eyebrows, etc.
Ask someone to help you
If you are at home or in the office, you can ask a family member or a colleague to help you by pointing out when you’re touching your face
Create visual reminders
Place stick it notes saying “DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE” on the computer screen, on the mirror, on kitchen cabinets, on the smartphone, etc. They will remind you that you must avoid face-touching.