How to Stop Touching Your Face

girl touching her faceIf there’s one thing we’ve all learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that washing our hands is of critical importance. But, between hand washings, the second thing we can do to reduce our risk of infection is to stop touching our faces. This might sound simple, but if you pay attention, you’re likely to find yourself touching your own face as often as 20 to 25 times every hour!

So, how do we break this habit when we didn’t even realize we had it?

Be mindful of your triggers

Spend one day making note of all the times you touch your face and what triggered the touching. Consider using scented lotion on your hands so you’re more likely to notice when they’re near your face. Then, make a plan to address each trigger. For example:

  • If you wear contacts and tend to rub your eyes when they’re irritated, consider switching to glasses.
  • If your hair regularly falls in your face, wear it combed back (or in a ponytail, if it’s long).
  • If your face gets itchy, use your arm to “scratch” it.
  • If you bite your nails, put bandages on each finger to cover them.

Keep your hands busy

Many of us touch our faces during stressful times without even realizing it, as it can be a source of comfort. Keeping your hands busy can break this habit. Try these tips:

  • Sort mail or fold laundry while watching TV.
  • Handle a fidget cube or a stress ball while working or talking on the phone (just be sure to disinfect these items regularly).
  • If all else fails, sit on your hands. You’ll be less likely to pull them out from under you when you feel the urge to touch your face.

When you have to touch your face
Let’s face it—sometimes you just have to touch your face. The key is to be intentional about it. So, when you need to put in contacts, shave or floss, create a new habit of washing your hands first.