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9 Ways To Get Yourself To Stop Touching Your Face

The CDC recommends people avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent spreading germs. But it's so dang hard.

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In the wake of the recent community spread of the novel coronavirus in areas of the US, the CDC has issued prevention recommendations — including for people to stop touching their faces.

In particular, the CDC emphasizes to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, three of the most common gateways for viruses to spread.

Problem is...it's really, REALLY difficult to not touch your face.

If you're looking for a few ways to stop touching your face — both to prevent the spread of coronavirus and the transmission of germs in general — here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Wear a scarf that puts a barrier in front of your mouth.

2. Put bitter-tasting, clear nail polish on your nails.

3. Put something else on your hands that will serve as a cue.

4. Keep your hands occupied at work with something subtle and nondisruptive.

5. Keep your hands occupied in your downtime too.

6. Remind yourself — and others — about not touching your face as often as possible.

7. Make a competition out of it.

8. Tweet! Make memes! Joke about your face!

Realizing basically all I do is touch my face.

The coronavirus is a serious matter, but that doesn't mean we should leave the memes out of it. All that grim humor millennials and Gen Z'ers are known for started out and continues to be a way for us to commiserate and relate — which in this case comes in handy both because it's a calming reminder that we're all experiencing the same anxiety right now and a more practical reminder to, y'know, stop touching your face. As the saying goes, "Retweet to save a life."

9. Continue to practice handwashing and other CDC guidelines.

Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. What you need to know about handwashing: https://t.co/UyYggQjM9T

The more conscientious you stay about the guidelines in general, the more aware you'll be at modifying little behaviors like touching your face. Other guidelines from the CDC include frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds at a time (here are some songs to sing to yourself while washing your hands to jazz things up!), staying at home when you're sick, covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately disposing of it, and disinfecting frequently touched objects like doorknobs, cellphones, and kitchen appliances. You can read more about prevention measures you can take in your community on the CDC's website here.

But most importantly, take care of yourself.

Make sure you're getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and taking care of your body — both for the sake of strengthening your immune system and for the sake of your health in general.

And while it's important to stay up to date with what's happening in regard to the coronavirus, make sure you're staying up to date in a way that protects your mental health — rather than checking for updates all the time, it may mean checking updates on it once per day at a regular time, or asking someone you trust to let you know when important updates come through. Establish your boundaries and do what feels best for you.