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10 tips on how not to touch your face

 10 ways to stop touching your face

All day long, we touch surfaces where the Covid-19 virus still potentially lives. Then we bring our hands to our faces. And we do it very frequently: an average of 23 times per hour, according to a 2015 study conducted during a conference of 26 medical students.

Even if we wanted to remove these contacts to avoid infection with the new coronavirus, "it would be very difficult because we all do it and most of the time we're not even aware of it," Dr. Vanessa Raabe, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health, told the New York Times. But here are some tips on how to keep them to a minimum.

10 tips on how not to touch your face

1. count touches

Since facial touches are usually not consciously perceived, it can help to count them with a tally sheet (if they are noticed). For example, keep this list for one day and the topic will be much more present in your mind.

2. recognize the triggers

We touch our faces for a variety of reasons, whether it's to adjust our glasses, push our hair aside or because it itches. Recognize your personal triggers to reduce touching and find ways to avoid it: For example, tie your hair together or touch the glasses only at the temple.

3. redirect the movement

Whenever you feel the pressure to touch your face, touch another part of your body. This could be the upper arm or even the knee.

4. point out to others

If you don't want to constantly put yourself in the face, you can involve others in this project. For example, if they see a family member or a colleague touching their face, inform them immediately. The other way around works, of course. The best thing is to think of a keyword that everyone knows immediately, for example, "face" or "touch".

5. remember yourself

Remind yourself not to touch your face. You could, for example, stick colorful notes with a reminder on your PC or set up recurring reminders on your smartphone.

6. have handkerchiefs ready

If touching the face cannot be prevented and there is no possibility of hand disinfection at the moment, use pocket or hygiene issues. In this way, you create a barrier between hands and face. It is best to always have some ready.

7. wear glasses instead of contact lenses

Especially contact lens wearers find it difficult not to rub their eyes from time to time. Here it can help to switch to glasses for a while.

8. distract hands

Give your hands something else to do. Distract them with crumple balls or other gadgets so that they don't touch your face all the time.

9. fold your hands together

Whenever you are not using your hands, folding them together to keep them out of the face area can help.

10. do not force yourself not to touch your face

You probably know the situation: You decide not to do something anymore and then feel the pressure to do it. If you want to force yourself not to touch your face at all, it will itch all the more and scream for touch. It is, therefore, better to do it yourself: "I must realize that it can protect me from flu and coronaviruses if I don't touch my face all the time.


    *Use a clean handkerchief

      The Covid-19 coronavirus is still unknown, but according to a very recent study, the virus could live 24 hours on cardboard and up to several days on iron or plastic. Thus, everything we touch is likely to contaminate us. In order to avoid direct contact between even clean hands and the face, especially mucous membranes, doctors recommend using a disposable tissue to scratch the face. 
        *Identifying triggers
          Fighting a bad habit means addressing the root cause. For example, when we rub our eyes, it may be because they are dry. Then you just have to find a solution, such as using saline drops.
            In the New York Times, Dr. Justin Ko, an associate professor of clinical dermatology at Stanford Health Hospital, recommends wearing glasses rather than contact lenses during this epidemic to discourage rubbing your eyes. "As well, he says, while masks are not very effective in preventing transmission of the virus, they can be very useful in providing a physical barrier against touching the nose or mouth," he adds. 
              In order to become aware of these contacts, "it is essential to note, over the course of a day, when and where you touch your face," says American clinician and founder of the Southern California Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Paul DePompo at HuffPost.
                *Keeping your hands busy
                  Doctors agree that occupying your hands with an object is a good way to reduce contact with the face, as long as you regularly disinfect these objects. When asked by the HuffPost, Paul dePompo advises leaving small objects, such as stress balls or hand spinners, near places where there has been an increase in contacts, such as toilets or the car.