How to avoid touching your face: Avoiding putting your hands to your mouth, eyes, and nose is one of the first recommendations made by public health officials to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, this virus can live on metals and plastic for days, so just by moving or touching glasses with your hands and bringing them close to your face, you can get it. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have told people to stop touching their faces.
People often touch their faces, dry their eyes, scratch their noses, bite their nails, or touch their beards and mustaches. Touching the face is a natural and absolutely human habit, with which, without thinking, we communicate to others the awareness of our body and our expressions, when we find ourselves in a social context.
Research shows that students, employees, medical staff, and people on trains touch their faces nine to 23 times a day on average.
Why is it so difficult to quit?
Contact with the face relieves temporary discomfort such as itching and muscle tension. These discomforts usually last in a minute, but contact with the face provides immediate relief that, over time, makes it a habitual response that resists change.
What is there to do then? Try to change your habits
Habit reversal training is an established behavior modification technique that helps people stop a variety of seemingly automatic behaviors, such as nervous tics, nail biting, and stuttering.
Today, many people may have already changed some habits, such as coughing with the elbow instead of the hands or greeting others without a handshake. But unlike coughing and handshaking, people often inadvertently touch their faces. So the first step to reduce contact with the face is to become aware of it.
Every time you touch your face, try to understand why you were touching your face, the impulse or feeling that preceded it, and the situation you were in, what you were doing, where you were physically, or what you felt emotionally. If you don’t usually notice when you touch your face, you can ask someone else to tell you.
Try to respond to your behavior
Now that you are aware of the behavior you want to change; you can replace it with a response that opposes the muscle movements necessary to touch your face. When you feel the need to touch your face, you can clench your fists, sit on your hands, press your palms to your upper thighs, or stretch your arms out to the sides. Use the answer as long as the need to touch your face persists.
How to Avoid Touching Your Face: Using Distractors
When we feel an unstoppable itch in the nose or we have to fix the glasses on the nose, we can do that gesture with the help of a handkerchief that must then be thrown away. The throw-away bandana rule also applies to sneezing; If you do not have one, remember to sneeze in the elbow hole, so as not to dirty your hands, which will then be applied to all surfaces.
It can also be helpful to have a stress ball (which needs to be disinfected often) or another object on the desk to keep your hands busy and remind us not to bring them to our faces. Using a very fragrant or fragrant antibacterial gel can also work: by bringing your hands close to your face we will smell it and we will be able to stop in time.