- November 6, 2020
- Posted by: Healthy Young NV
- Category: Tween
Making time for self-care routines and establishing good hygiene habits now are important for your future to improve your overall health and wellbeing as you become an adult. Practicing good, personal hygiene can help lower the risk for infections, disease, and various other medical conditions that may be caused by poor hygiene. It may seem like there are a lot of steps that you have to do or keep up with. With busy schedules and the extra stress that being in a pandemic adds, it can be easy to not put the same amount of time and energy into taking care of yourself. Below is a quick guide to help you get started and maintain these healthy habits!
What is Personal Hygiene?
Before we get started, what exactly is personal hygiene? Personal hygiene is all about how you care for your body. There are so many different microscopic germs and things that you can come into contact with every day. Having good personal hygiene means that you keep a certain level of cleanliness by reducing the amount of germs and dirt so you can prevent illness and feel good about how you look.
Your hands are one of the easiest ways you can spread germs to others or let them enter your body by touching your mouth, nose, eyes, and/or ears. Here is an overview of when to wash your hands:
Every time you use the bathroom, make sure to wash your hands! If you have soap and water available, make sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds (sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice) cleaning both the front and backs of your hands, under your nails, and between your fingers. Dry your hands thoroughly. If you do not happen to have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Everybody has different preferences for how often they shower, but generally people bathe every day or every other day. When washing your body, make sure to clean all of the surfaces of your skin with soap. Here are some surfaces to pay special attention to:
This can help get rid of oils, germs, and dead skin cells. When washing your hair, cleaning your scalp helps reduce an oily appearance. Some people only need to wash their hair twice a week; some people may need to wash their hair more. Decide what’s best for you based on how much buildup happens on your scalp, and be careful not to dry your scalp out with too much shampooing! When you get out of the shower, make sure to dry off thoroughly and apply lotion, deodorant, or whatever other products you choose to use.
Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. You should brush in the morning and at night, and even after you eat a meal. Get a new toothbrush every three to four months. Finally, floss your teeth every night. Taking proper care of your teeth will help prevent cavities and keep your gums healthy.
Keep your nails short and clean by trimming them regularly. If you have dirt underneath them, you can try scratching them into your palms after lathering with soap, using a nail brush, and/or using a washcloth. Also, make sure to never bite your nails! Biting your nails can introduce germs into your body.
If you are not feeling well, make sure to stay at home. Cover your coughs and sneezes, do not share personal items, and properly throw away any tissues you use. Wash your hands frequently and for a minimum of 20 seconds!
Ultimately, poor personal hygiene can be really harmful. Here are some minor side effects:
Here are some major side effects:
Creating your Routine
Now that you know what personal hygiene is and how important it is, you can now be committed to creating and maintaining your personal routine! If you find yourself forgetting to do certain steps, work with your parent(s) or a mentor to write out a checklist. You can tape this checklist on your mirror to practice over and over again until your habits are formed. These habits not only help your physical health, but can hugely improve your mental health too in terms of how you feel about yourself. Stay healthy!
This blog post was written for Healthy Young NV by Lauren, a High Sierra AHEC Student Ambassador. Lauren is currently studying Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Nevada, Reno; she will also graduate with a minor in Philosophy.