Don’t Touch Your Face: Tips
The message is everywhere. From the CDC and public health officials to memes on social media, we’ve all heard it: Don’t touch your face. It’s one supposedly simple step you can take towards “flattening the curve,” (not overwhelming the health care system), but it’s not the only step. By taking preventative measures like social distancing and appropriate hand washing, we can work to slow the spread of Covid19 and not overwhelm our health system. Dr. Sinclair, a clinical psychologist, offers some tips to reverse our face/head touching habits.
- If you notice that you tend to touch your face when scrolling through your phone on the couch, make sure you have a fidget toy to play with in your free hand.
- If you notice that you tend to touch your face when zoning out to a movie, set regular reminders throughout to notice the location of your hands.
- If you find you rest your face on your hands in a certain chair, actively try to adjust to a new position where you don’t rest your face on your hands.
- For individuals with longer hair, you may notice that you have the urge to touch your face when adjusting your hair. Putting your hair back or up can help decrease this frequency.
You can play “Catch the Urge” game to increase self-awareness of touching your face. To start the game, begin a conversation about any topic. If you notice the other person’s hands go up to their face put a finger up and you get a point. If the other person notices themselves starting to touch their face, they put their finger up and get a point. To start the game, talk about something unrelated for a few minutes. Why do we do this silly game? To practice the habit of noticing and to become more observant of our behavior and urges.
So why is our face a conduit for viruses?
From picking up objects to turning doorknobs, we’re constantly touching surfaces contaminated with pathogens. These pathogens can be picked up by our hands and get into the body through mucous membranes on the face — eyes, nose, and mouth — that act as pathways to the throat and lungs.