You probably do not place much importance on your everyday hygienic practices, instead preferring to brush it off as something not too important.
But do you know that the best way to protect yourself against diseases is to have proper personal hygiene?
This can include something as simple as washing your hands, taking a shower, and so on. It can also include covering your mouth when you feel like sneezing and properly disposing of waste.
Good hygiene can even extend to wiping down things that you touched when you are feeling unwell so as to minimize the chance of infecting others.
In a sense, personal hygiene takes into account not only your own well-being but others’ as well.
Why Should You Care About Your Personal Hygiene?
1. It Saves Lives
Subpar sanitation and lack of hygiene standards are responsible for a plethora of preventable deaths. Hygiene is also a factor when it comes to food and drinks preparation as they can be easily tainted if those handling them ignore basic hygiene practices.
Note: this can extend to mass-produced food items as well, including those made in a factory.
2. It Makes You More Appealing
Having good hygiene can give others a good first impression of you.
This includes not only how clean the clothes that you wear look but also your body odor, nails, and breath.
It’s also generally more pleasant to be around people who maintain a high hygiene standard than those who don’t.
3. Cleanliness is Directly Correlated with Health
There appears to be some correlation between one’s health and hygiene level since people who live in dirty places tend to have poorer health than those who live in cleaner environments.
It, therefore, pays to be hygienic by scheduling frequent cleaning of objects and places that you normally come into contact with.
Tip: some oft missed objects/areas during a clean-up are your computer’s keyboard, your phone, your car seats, and various nooks and crevices around your home.
How to Maintain Your Personal Hygiene
Having great personal hygiene doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming. All you need is to follow some basic hygiene practices, and you’re all set.
1. Always Wash Your Hands Properly
Washing your hands should always be a priority since it can prevent the spread of microbes and infections. This includes before touching or eating food, after using the restroom, sneezing/coughing, or handling trash.
The proper way to wash your hands is with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. Remember to also wash the gap between your fingers and the dirt caught underneath your nails.
It also helps to keep a disinfectant i.e. hand sanitizer around since there may be times when you won’t have access to clean water and/or soap.
2. Trim Your Nails and Keep Them Clean
People don’t usually pay much attention to another person’s nails, but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore them altogether. The longer your nails, the easier it becomes to have germs, dust, and dirt stuck underneath. Those who use nail polish should take extra care since the nail polish blocks out the nails’ visibility.
It is as such a good practice to trim your nails at least once a week so that they will look neat and tidy. This goes for your toenails.
Tip: it is rarely, if ever, admirable to have dirty fingernails when shaking hands with others.
3. Floss and Brush Your Teeth with Intention
It is recommended that you brush your teeth after each meal, but many people don’t. In any case, brushing your teeth twice per day should be the minimum.
Brushing reduces the microbes in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum diseases. You should also floss at least once a day, preferably after your last meal of the day, to get rid of food remains that are stuck between your teeth.
We also recommend visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
Bonus: oral health is a reflection of and can impact your physical health.
4. Proper Hair Care
Not everyone’s hair is the same. Some people have oily hair, some have dry hair, and so on. The best way to take care of your hair is to understand your hair type and adjust accordingly.
Your hair’s length also matters. It is generally more difficult to properly maintain long hair compared to shorter hair. This is because long hair tends to trap more dust and dirt particles compared to shorter hairs. It also makes it difficult to scrub dirt from your scalp.
How often to wash your hair will depend on your hair type in addition to other factors such as how dirty is it.
Keep in mind that some hair products can contain harsh ingredients that may not be suitable for you, so read the labels carefully and stop using if you experience any irritation or discomfort.
It’s natural for dirt to accumulate on your body after some time which is why you shower to get rid of them.
For most people, showering once a day should suffice as long as you wash yourself down properly. Some people – depending on the circumstances – may need to shower a few times a day. Showering too often can lead to dry skin, so it is a good idea to use a moisturizer if you belong to this group.