The coronavirus known as COVID-19 can easily spread from surfaces to your hands to inside your body, so the CDC recommends every take precautions by avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
That’s easier said than done. Many of us touch our faces for a variety of reasons many times over a given day.
Here’s how to stop this common practice and protect yourself from the virus.
A clean tissue can do a lot that your dirty hands shouldn’t. If you feel the urge to scratch your face or wipe your nose, reach for a tissue instead and use it to create a clean barrier as you touch your face.
Use eye drops
Many people rub their eyes when they feel dry and itchy, so nip the itch in the bud by regularly using eye drops. Be sure to pack a bottle wherever you go so you don’t run into an itchy situation on the road.
Find something else to do with your hands
Face-touching is a natural human reaction to many symptoms, but it could even be a side-effect of stress, since one 2014 study found the action may reduce anxiety. Find other ways to destress and occupy your hands like with a stress ball.
Teach yourself not to touch your face
If you find it hard to notice when you touch your face, there’s a website designed to teach you to stop. It uses your webcam and alerts you whenever your hands touch your face, helping you quit. If that sounds too invasive, consider teaming up with a coworker or loved one to notify each other whenever you notice the other touching their face.
Wash your hands
No one is perfectly in control of their subconscious actions, so it’s to be expected you’ll touch your face at some point. Be sure to wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water to ensure that when you do touch your face, it’s less likely you will transfer any virus from surfaces you’ve touched.