If you’re like me, you’re following the headlines closely for updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19). I’m educating myself as much as possible in an effort to protect my family, friends and community. Life right now can feel overwhelming and scary, so I decided to share some things that are helping me stay calm and collected.
First, know that what I'm sharing is my personal approach to self care and should not be considered medical advice. I’m not an expert on the coronavirus by any means. I simply believe that knowledge is power. With reliable information from sources such as the CDC and the WHO, I can make informed decisions for me and my family. Before I dive in, I’d like to start with three things:
- Protective measures by practicing good hygiene has been my top priority.
- Secondly, I try to do it in a way that doesn’t result in too much waste. But I won’t compromise our health.
- And finally, it’s been important for me to remember that self care plays an important part in reducing stress and worry.
With that, here are the 6 ways I’m practicing good hygiene and self care:
1. Changing it up
I’m trying to make hand washing fun and interesting for our children. I decided to give them options by having both solid soap bars and liquid soap in our bathroom and kitchen. The variety keeps it interesting for them, and we even added some essential oils to our liquid soap! They love smelling the scents they created.
We also sing songs while we wash our hands, which lifts everyone’s mood. The CDC recommends singing “Happy Birthday” twice (20 seconds). If you’re sick of the birthday song, try these pop songs instead!
3. Bar soap is easy
I usually opt for bar soap to reduce plastic waste as part of our zero waste lifestyle. I also refill at my local bulk shop or grocery store when I do decide to use liquid soap. As mentioned, I indulge in adding essential oils if I’m using an unscented liquid soap or castile soap. My favorite essential oils for hand soap include tea tree and lavender.
I decided to buy hand sanitizer, which we almost never do. But with two small kids, it’s a good second option if we are out and about and can’t wash our hands. However, with the stores around my home and office being out of stock, and my online order being delayed. I started to consider the next item on my list…
Update: Just want to emphasize that hand washing is my top good hygiene practice. Here’s a CNN article that reports on the FDA’s concerns about Purell’s claims!
4. DIY hand sanitizer
I’m aware there are important precautions required when making your own effective and safe hand sanitizer. After researching various sources online, I found this recipe on how to make homemade hand sanitizer. The writer has a PhD in biomedical sciences and the recipe has been vetted by a doctor. I should be receiving the ingredients this week, and I’ll update this blog to share my results.
Update: Also, be sure to regularly check the FDA's hand sanitizer recall list. It includes brands that have inaccurately labeled their hand sanitizers to contain (ethyl alcohol) but have tested positive for methanol instead, which is toxic when absorbed through the skin.
5. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize.
With all the extra hand washing and hand sanitizer use, our skin has been drier than usual. I want to avoid chapped or cracked skin, so we try to use my Head to Toe Beauty Butter or hand lotion after each wash and the Mini Head To Toe when we’re on the go.
6. Keep calm and carry on
We’ve been honest with our children and explained that there’s a strong germ that can make us sick. But we’re also trying to avoid unnecessary anxiety. My daughter’s school recommended this article on how we can help kids increase their sense of control as the coronavirus approaches and thought it had some great tips.
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