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4 Tips for NOT Touching Your Face

ElderPride's Gwen Valentine offers some great suggestions for not touching our faces in times like these!

Gwen writes:

1. Be mindful of just how much you touch your face throughout the day.

Face-touching is often subconscious behavior, which means people do it without even being aware of it. If you want a number, you probably touch your face around 23 times an hour, according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

2. Identify your own personal face-touching triggers.

People touch their faces for lots of different reasons, says Dr. Saltz—and the first step to reducing your face-touching is identifying what part of your face you touch the most and why.A lot of face-touching habits can be the result of triggers—like brushing your hair out of your face, picking at a pimple on your forehead, scratching an itch on your nose—but stress and boredom can exacerbate the urge to touch your face too. If you find yourself biting your nails more often when scrolling through coronavirus news on Twitter, or watching back-to-back COVID-19 coverage on TV, it may be time to cut back.

3. Find other behaviors to do when you want to touch your face.

Like any habit that is difficult to stop, Saltz suggests performing a “competing behavior.” This means when you have the urge to touch your face, you touch another part of your body instead, such as your arm. Another way to redirect? Make it almost impossible for you touch your face: Sit on your hands (really). Carry tissues at all times so you can wipe away tears or catch a sneeze or cough. Use your knuckles to touch an elevator button instead of your finger, and a paper towel to open a door instead of your hand," says Dr. Saltz.

4. Keep in mind that not touching your face is only one way to protect yourself.

Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) are actions, apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine, that people and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like pandemic influenza (flu). NPIs are among the best ways of controlling pandemic flu when vaccines are not yet available. nothing—even taking all of the CDC-recommended precautions—completely guarantees protection, says Dr. Cutler. But "utilizing as many as possible is your best assurance of avoiding coronavirus and other viral infections," he says.

Gwen Valentine is a Prac-Intern with ElderPride. To reach Gwen, write her in care of The suggestions offered above have been condensed from Healthy Living Newsletter

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