A healthy lifestyle includes the habits of a good hygiene regime. There is very little worse than being too close to a person who smells. The axiom that cleanliness is next to godliness has great wisdom in it. Do we really want other people to feel disgusted when they are in our presence?
A good hygiene regime keeps us healthy because it kills off viruses and bacteria on the body. This, obviously, prevents the spread of disease. It also stops offensive body odour, making us more socially acceptable. Moreover, a clean person looks better – and feels better.
In many social settings, it is considered good manners to be clean and looking one’s best. All this means good hygiene also has positive repercussions on our mental health, and on that of those around us.
I’ve found for myself that the best start to my day, having risen from a good night’s sleep and then completed my exercise routine, is to have my morning shower.
Just before getting into the shower, though, I attend to my teeth, flossing and brushing them, and then using a mouthwash. I weigh myself to see if I need to cut back on my food intake that day. I also have a routine for inspecting and grooming my nails.
If I can feel my allergies are playing up, I use a Neti pot and a saline nasal irrigation liquid to rinse out my nose. After applying a face exfoliator or cleanser, I step into the shower.
I shampoo and condition my hair, and I exfoliate all body skin by using a plastic shower sponge and shower detergent. After the shower, I apply face toner and conditioner and then blow-dry my hair. I take my vitamins, then apply body conditioner. By the time I’m ready to get dressed, I’m already feeling great!
The appearance I present to the world is important to me. If I look my best, and have a pleasant expression, people will react to me positively. This will make them – and me – feel better. The older we are, the more important this becomes. Nothing is more off-putting than an old person who is dirty, unkempt, out of shape and, because they haven’t showered, musty and malodorous.
It’s a mistake to wear out-of-date clothes. No matter how expensive they were, or how attractive they were in their time, they give the wearer an air of ungraceful aging. They root you in a bygone era; they tell the world, “I’m irrelevant to the present.”
I like to think of dressing as preparing for the battle that is everyday life. My version of applying warpaint is brushing my hair carefully into a style and painting on my lipstick.
Then I “gird my loins” by putting on clean underpanties. My chain mail is my bra. My shin guards are my shoes and stockings, and my armour is my outer garments.
Washed, groomed and decked out in battle dress, now I’m ready to look in my long mirror and check the result. This is the time to make positive affirmations. Do I like what I see? If so, I tell myself that.
Our subconscious believes literally whatever we tell it, and it’s better that we give it a good opinion. If we don’t like what we see, how can we improve it? Everyone can look beautiful and stylish if they want to take the time and trouble to do so. It takes a little effort, but a routine like the one I’ve described here results in a good foundation for any day.
Having begun the day well, we can attend to our personal hygiene by washing our hands often throughout the day. We can be careful about what we touch and try not to touch our face with unwashed fingers. After using the bathroom, we wash our hands, and we do likewise before going into the kitchen to cook, and before sitting down to eat.
When we return home, we can immediately go to the bathroom and, again, wash our hands thoroughly. If we’ve been in contact with someone with a cold or influenza, we can wash out our nose with a Neti pot and saline lotion. Perhaps it is a good idea to do this anyway. You may be able to think of other times when it is advisable.
As part of our bedtime-routine wind-down, we can wash our hands, remove makeup if we’ve been wearing any, cleanse our face, and apply any skin moisturiser we may use. Then we can brush our teeth and hair.
As we slip between our clean sheets, we can enjoy the feeling of having taken care of our personal hygiene and done what we can to keep viruses and bacteria at bay.
A good book on this subject is Beyond Personal Hygiene by Yusuf Chiroma. Going beyond the basic question of taking good care of your body, it’s also a guide to maintaining good health and wellness.
Are you keeping viruses and bacteria out of your life? Do you like what you see in the mirror? Do you have a cleanliness routine?
Tags Healthy Aging