Because of the recent pandemic, we now know how important personal hygiene is. Washing your hands with soap does the job of keeping the virus from spreading and infecting you. But keeping your hands clean is not all there is to it when it comes to personal hygiene.
It also involves doing activities that keep your body clean and healthy. Even without a pandemic, harmful bacteria, germs, and viruses attack your body. And when they enter your body, they can cause different kinds of diseases. Through good personal hygiene habits, you reduce your risk of contracting these.
So what is good personal hygiene? In this article, we will outline the best practices you can do to keep your body as well as your mind healthy.
Good Personal Hygiene Habits to Keep You Clean and Healthy
There are more ways to keep your body clean and healthy. Aside from your hands and torso, it also includes your nails, teeth, feet, hair, and genital area. Neglecting one of these areas means you’re risking health concerns in the area. For example, poor genital hygiene increases your chance of getting a yeast infection.
In this section, we will list down the ways you can take care of every part of your body.
Take a Shower Regularly
Your body has a lot of sweat glands. Bad body odor is produced when perspiration and external germs combine. Washing your body will help you get rid of the contaminants on your skin as well as battle the odor.
Taking a shower regularly will keep your skin free of external microorganisms. Additionally, you can avoid skin inflammation. Exfoliating your body parts also helps remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and radiant.
Take Care of Your Genital Area
Your genitals also need special care since they are delicate and get infected easily. Poor hygiene can cause serious problems like yeast infections or genital herpes.
You need to wash your genitals with water or emollient to keep them clean. Make sure you don’t use soap or overwash. These cause dryness, soreness, and irritation, and can damage your genitals.
It’s also part of good genital hygiene to consult your doctor once in a while. This is to make sure your genital area is healthy. If your vagina is unusually itchy, you may have contracted a vaginal yeast infection or herpes. Your gynecologist will identify which of these infections you have so that you can get the right medication.
Buying medication to relieve uncomfortable itching also keeps your genitals healthy. Try to find the best relief for vaginal itching over the counter which will help you soothe these symptoms. Plus, you don’t need a doctor’s prescription for these medications.
Wash Your Hands With Every Chance You Get
You can’t avoid touching bacteria and germ-filled surfaces with your hands. Going out of your bedroom means you will be touching the doorknob, which is a hotspot for bacteria. That’s why you should wash your hands every chance you get.
But overwashing your hands also has its disadvantages. Here is a breakdown of when you should clean your hands with water and soap:
- After using the toilet
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after taking care of a relative who is sick
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling animals and their feces
- After going outside
- After throwing out or handling garbage
The problem now is that you don’t always have access to soap and water. For this reason, consider carrying hand sanitizers with you all the time.
Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
One of the fastest ways for bacteria and germs to enter your body is through your hands. You use them to touch objects that have bacteria on them. And even after washing, chances are your hands come into contact with surfaces filled with bacteria. Touching your face means you’re giving them easy access to your body.
On average, people touch their faces 50 times every hour. We get that it’s unintentional. Without thinking twice, we touch our noses when they itch. We listen or ponder while resting our heads on our hands. Whether it’s on our heads or faces, we sometimes play with our hair.
But face touching is gross, considering the risk that germs will land on your face. Furthermore, it’s not just the cheeks and forehead that people touch. When your fingertips come into contact with your mouth or nose, there is a whole new degree of contamination.
Though becoming aware of the issue is the first step, breaking the habit is difficult. Try scratching your nose with a handkerchief or the back of your arm the next time it itches. A stress ball, a fidget, or even sitting on your hands can keep your hands occupied. By doing so, you can lessen the chances of touching your face.
Keep Your Clothes Clean
Our clothes do not only make us look good. They also serve as protection for our bodies from environmental pollutants and microorganisms.
But as a result, they gather all types of muck, so you should clean them. The same is true for your towels and bed linens. You should always wash any clothing that comes into contact with your body.
Most of your clothing has labels with instructions on how you can take care of them. Follow these instructions so that you won’t only clean them but also avoid damaging your clothes. Additionally, don’t forget to clean and disinfect your hampers and washing machine.
Get Enough Sleep
You can regulate your immune system by getting enough sleep. This will keep your immune system in good working condition. And with a healthy immune system, your body can fight off illnesses. Sleep is a component of personal hygiene since it involves taking care of your body.
To begin with, create a sleep routine and follow it religiously. Additionally, avoid staring at your phone for an hour before you go to bed. Research suggests that using your phone 30 minutes before sleeping reduces your sleep quality. Instead, unwind your body and mind by engaging in less stimulating activities, such as relaxing music.
How your bedroom looks also affects your sleeping habits. Make sure you’re sleeping in a dark and cool bedroom in addition to having a comfy bed and blankets.
Keep Your Teeth Clean and Healthy
Keeping your teeth clean and healthy prevents you from having decay-related problems. Aside from this, they have an impact on your nervous system and several other sensory organs. It’s not enough to brush them twice a day.
Brushing your teeth may seem easy. We’ve done it a lot since we were kids and it only takes a toothbrush and some toothpaste to do it. How hard can it be?
Unfortunately, even with the guidance of our parents, we still make mistakes while brushing our teeth. Avoiding these mistakes will help you get proper dental hygiene for a healthy mind and body.
Don’t Forget About Food Hygiene
The majority of your food is uncooked and imported. Because of that, there is a chance that it got cross-contaminated with deadly bacteria, resulting in serious illnesses.
Food hygiene primarily refers to how you handle, prepare, and store food properly. This is so you can avoid contamination and contracting food-related illnesses. Listed below are some things you can do when handling food:
- Use separate, temperature-appropriate storage containers for liquid and solid foods
- Thoroughly clean the fruits and vegetables before eating and storing
- Make sure your cooking equipment and utensils are clean and sterile
- Cook raw food at the right temperature
- Always keep your hands clean before you handle food
- Keep your kitchen spotless, and prevent pests and insects from getting to your food
What Happens If You Have Poor Personal Hygiene?
Your overall health will improve if you practice proper personal hygiene. Otherwise, you may experience mild to serious health issues. If you’re lucky, you will only experience body odor, foul breath, and dull skin. If not, these major health problems may endanger your life.
Having filthy hands can also lead to serious stomach aches, pink eye, and other medical issues. Lack of dental hygiene will cause plaque to build up on your teeth. This will then lead to several health problems, including heart diseases. Other health issues linked to bad hygiene include:
- Athlete’s foot
- Rashes on the skin
- Genital yeast infection
- Hair and body lice
- Persistent diarrhea
- Teeth decay
Your body is your first defense against viral and bacterial infections. Taking good care of your body will help you keep germs, bacteria, and viruses away. Good personal hygiene will also make you feel better about yourself. How you look also affects your personality, social life, and mental health.
The activities we listed above are easy if you transform them into a habit. It doesn’t take that much effort to take care of your body. Remember that a healthy body will result in a healthy mind.