As readers of my blog know by now, I have anxiety. Anxiety manifests itself in a lot of fun ways (panic attacks, insomnia, vomit, you name it!), but one really fun way my anxiety manifests is in an all-encompassing fear of germs. I think a lot about how to prevent getting sick!
The spread of Coronavirus, or COVID-19 has obviously been anxiety-inducing, but it’s also been slightly validating for me to see everyone panicking about germs the way I already do. I feel like I’m welcoming new members to the germaphobe club and this is my time to shine.
If I wrote this post about how to prevent getting sick a month ago, I would sound crazy for everything I do to avoid germs. Now I just sound prepared! I have tons of tips about avoiding germs and staying healthy that I’m ready to share.
How to prevent getting sick: avoiding germs at all costs**
Wash your hands for the duration of a snippet of your favorite song
We all know you’re supposed to wash your hands for 20 seconds. But just how long is 20 seconds? Here are a few examples of song snippets you can sing to yourself (or out loud) while you scrub away:
- The chorus of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”
- The first verse of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade”
- The chorus of “Africa” by Toto
- The “Happy Birthday song,” sung twice
- The chorus of “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo
- The chorus of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”
- These additional songs!
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Don’t let the germs of the world entire your personal living space! Wash your hands as soon as you walk in the door, before you do anything else. This way you’re not carrying germs directly into your home.
Protect your entryway
Use a disinfecting wipe to periodically clean off light switches and doorknobs in your home – especially the ones around your front door, which get touched before you clean your hands. Cleaning these will prevent germs from journeying deeper inside your home!
Use a utensil rest
My mom got me these utensil rests from Amazon for Christmas, and I take one everywhere. Manners say you’re supposed to put your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down at a restaurant, but my germaphobe eyes say, “And put my utensils on the germed-up table???” Bringing a utensil rest to restaurants keeps your utensils elevated and germ-free.
Don’t touch your face
Did you know you touch your face an average of 25 times an hour? Germs enter your body through your nose/eyes/mouth, so be very very careful not to touch your face without clean hands! I have a nervous habit where I rub my nose when I’m anxious, so I definitely know I’m susceptible to this.
Sanitize every time you sit at your desk
Make your work desk your safe zone – don’t let any germs enter this space. At the beginning and end of the day, wipe down your keyboard and mouse with a disinfecting wipe. If you leave your desk, use hand sanitizer as soon as you return -before any germs you picked up from a conference room or water fountain can reach your keyboard.
Do whatever you can to avoid touching public doorkobs. I have twisted my body into crazy contortions to avoid doorknobs. I’ve used my feet, sweater sleeves, paper towels, toilet paper, lanyards, and anything else I can find to put a barrier between myself and a door. Especially in the bathroom, where germs love to hang out.
Sanitize your phone
You do not want to know how many germs live on your phone. (But if you do want to know, click here). Since none of us can go more than a few minutes without checking our phones, make sure you sanitize yours! Obviously don’t kill your phone by dropping it into a bucket of soapy water. Simply use a disinfecting wipe to wipe it down all over!
Eat with a knife and fork
I know it’s a social faux pas to eat pizza with a knife and fork, but you know what else is a social faux pas? Getting sick and infecting people. Most foods can be eaten with a knife and fork – even burgers and sandwiches. Keep germs from hopping from your hands to your mouth by opting for utensils instead of hands whenever you can. Use chopsticks to eat potato chips! Eat m&ms with a spoon! Okay, maybe don’t go that far…
Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few new trick for how to prevent getting sick. Or, you just think I’m a total nutcase. Don’t worry, my therapist and I will be discussing this. But until then, I’ll be over here clutching my Purell bottle.
Stay healthy and don’t forget! Germs are everywhere.
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**Please note I am not a doctor and any advice I give is purely my own opinion.