The recommendations in the face of this virus are to apply social distancing, which therefore involves not kissing and not having physical contact with others while maintaining a distance of at least one meter between yourself and others. It is also essential to wash your hands very regularly. But above all, it is also strongly advised not to touch your face with your hands. However, how do you succeed in abandoning a gesture that you almost always do unconsciously?
Why should you avoid touching your face?
First of all, you have to understand why it is not recommended to touch your face with your hands. They are what connect us to the external elements because it is with these that we touch objects, doorknobs, telephones, various products, but also other people. They, therefore, constitute an important microbial reservoir and are thus vectors of external diseases. As a result, by wearing them to our face, we will develop these microbes on more sensitive areas, namely the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), which constitute entry points for the virus, as explained in an article. by Futura Santé. Faced with this information, it is, therefore, essential to avoid touching your face as much as possible and to remember to wash your hands very regularly.
Also, touching your face can cause oily skin, pimples, itching or sometimes irritation. In times of health crisis, you need to be extra careful to have all of this information in mind.
Habits to change
According to a 2015 American Journal of Infection Control study in the United States, medical students touch their faces an average of 23 times per hour (and in 44% of cases in an area of mucosa). Of course, reducing these actions will not happen instantly, but with willpower, a little time and practice you will get there! An article from the University of Texas indicates as a first step that we must be aware of our actions in order to better understand and avoid them. Often, it is when we are stressed, concerned, empathetic or tired that we tend to touch our face (rub our eyes, touch our forehead, put our head on our hands, etc.). So start by resting, relaxing and then applying these different gestures:
1. At rest: keep your hands busy! When you’re not calling them, watching a movie, for example, feel free to use a stress ball, get into knitting, or occupy them differently. You can also put gloves or a mark on your hands at the start so that you don’t touch your face.
2. Do not hesitate to tie your hair up if it tends to get in the way, but also avoid biting your nails. Cut them or file them!
3. If someone else is with you, you can ask them for help to get them back every time you put your hand to your face. Not being alone also helps you strengthen your will and be encouraged.
4. If you have the usual itching or irritation, do not hesitate to use a suitable cream, but then occupy your mind so that you do not think about this area. To do this, read, do crossword puzzles, cooking, tidying up or even manual activities …
5. Finally, if you really can’t hold back from touching yourself or the itch is excruciating, you can always use an accessory like a new handkerchief so that you don’t have direct contact with your hand and face.
The desire to reduce them and the understanding of these parasitic acts constitute the first step in order to attenuate them and protect oneself from various viruses in times of health crisis. Do not give up and you will see that you will gradually reduce these gestures.