How Can I Avoid Poor Personal Hygiene?
Personal hygiene is extremely important for health and for social grace, as poor personal hygiene can be detrimental to both. The first and foremost part of avoiding poor personal hygiene is to identify and correct any existing hygiene problems. Upon doing so, it is important to develop and to stick to a rigid personal hygiene regimen that includes a variety of daily practices as well as some practices to be conducted regularly but less frequently. It may be difficult to successfully improve one's hygiene without external input, so seeking advice from friends and family can be very helpful. Asking for hygiene advice can be very difficult and uncomfortable, but friends and family can offer valuable aid and will certainly appreciate one's attempts to improve hygiene.
Admitting that one has poor personal hygiene and making the effort to correct specific hygiene problems is the first and most important step to cultivating good hygiene. Some issues may be readily apparent and easily correctable, such as infrequent bathing or poor personal dental care. Others may be less apparent, particularly if one has become accustomed to them. As such, one may need to conduct some research by reading books, searching online, or asking friends and family in order to determine the best ways to improve one's poor personal hygiene.
Correcting the most fundamental problems will not have a lasting effect on poor personal hygiene unless one develops and adheres to a strict hygiene regimen. A basic regimen might include daily bathing, brushing, and deodorant application as well as flossing one's teeth, which can be performed several times each day. Further regular aspects of preventing poor personal hygiene may involve keeping one's hair a manageable length, seeing a dental hygienist a couple of times each year, and confronting specific issues such as bad breath or body odor. Again, regularly asking friends and family to point out any hygiene issues can greatly help one to prevent bad hygiene.
Though not a direct aspect of personal hygiene, working to maintain clean and orderly living conditions can greatly aid in one's attempt to prevent poor personal hygiene. Personal cleanliness issues become more apparent when contrasted with a clean and orderly environment. Also, unclean surroundings, particularly one's bed sheets, shower, and other often-used household fixtures can dramatically affect hygiene. Preventing poor personal hygiene often involves a drastic change in lifestyle, and altering one's surroundings to reflect that change can greatly help to ensure that the changes are not temporary.
@KoiwiGal - It can be so difficult to approach someone about this though, or to hear it from a friend (or a stranger for that matter). I also think people have to beware that what they think is very important might not be important to others, or that an issue might not have a solution.
When I was a child one of my best friends had a problem with her kidneys (I don't know exactly what it was) and she often smelled a little bit of urine, but there was nothing she could do about it. That is an extremely tough position for a kid and people telling her about it, even if they were trying to be helpful, only made it worse.
The same goes for people with problems like acne. Sometimes it's just a medical condition and there's no solution. So commenting on it is only going to be rude and hurtful and it's better to just ignore it. It's not that difficult to be kind or considerate and give people the benefit of the doubt.
@Fa5t3r - A lot of people think they do have good personal hygiene and don't realize that they are annoying others because no one ever tells them.
When I was traveling with a friend of mine she plainly told me that I needed to wash my socks more often because it was starting to bug her. And I'm glad she did because I honestly had not even noticed there was a problem.
To me, personal hygiene is a matter of being considerate to other people. I don't want to have to smell bad odors or look at unpleasant things every time I leave my house and I imagine other people don't want that either.
Odor is the big one, because you can't really shut off or redirect your nose the way you can with your eyes. And it is a big deal. I remember when I was in high school I had a math teacher who was a smoker and didn't have great dental hygiene. I basically failed math that year because I was always unwilling to call her over to help me. Really, that should not have been an issue.
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