Ask Jonathan: How Can I Maintain Good Hygiene Throughout the Winter?
Now that we’ve kicked off the new year, it feels like spring is right around the corner. I get excited thinking about warm weather and seeing my family and friends again, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. What are some tips to maintain good hygiene throughout the rest of winter?
To kick off the first “Ask Jonathan” column of 2021, I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year! I’m also looking forward to a year of (hopefully) visiting with friends and family.
Like you said, though, it’s important we don’t get too ahead of ourselves. The halfway point of winter (February 3rd) is just around the corner, and it’s important that we continue to prioritize our health so we can all enjoy 2021.
Here are a few easy and effective tips to maintain good hygiene, no matter the time of year:
Regularly wash your hands.
This is a reminder we have all heard over and over for the past 12 months, but the importance of regular hand washing cannot be overstated. When we
, we ensure that germs we have touched throughout the day don’t transfer to our eyes, mouth, or nose, greatly reducing the chance of infection. As a reminder, it’s important to wash your hands after going out in public, going to the bathroom, or touching surfaces that are frequently touched by others.
Keep your fingernails trimmed.
Another way to maintain good hygiene is by keeping your fingernails trimmed. When nails are long, they hold more bacteria and dirt than
, leading to a greater risk of infection. This is an especially important tip to remember if you regularly provide care to loved ones.
Air your rooms out.
Throughout the winter, it’s tempting to keep windows and doors closed, with the heat cranked up. But by keeping everything shut, our homes trap and circulate toxins, emissions, dust, and other germs. Not to mention the fact that poorly ventilated buildings can pose a greater risk for disease transmission. In order to combat winter hibernation, open all your windows for a few minutes each second or third day to increase
Get some sun.
During the winter, it’s important to get outside for some sunlight—even when it’s cold. It’s well-known that basking in the sun (with sunscreen, of course) keeps our vitamin D levels up, helps us build strong bones,
, and regulates the calcium and phosphate in our body. Beyond that, it just feels nice to get some sunlight and fresh air on our faces after being cooped up! Take a walk once or twice a week, or try to eat meals with your loved one in a well-lit room or underneath a skylight.
Have a routine.
The four tips for good hygiene above are nothing without a solid routine. In order to truly practice healthy hygiene throughout the winter (and the rest of the year), it’s important to integrate these simple steps into your everyday routine.
or write them down—whether it’s making time to shower, take a walk, or open your windows. We know that a routine can be challenging to maintain when you’re caring for others, but thankfully all of the actions we recommend can be done from the comfort of your home.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: In order to be the best caregiver, you have to take care of yourself. I hope you find that these hygiene tips are simple and easy to weave into your busy day, and that you stay healthy as we wait for warmer weather.
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