H is for Hygiene #AtoZChallenge

April 10, 2020

Like almost everybody, I have upped my handwashing game. I make sure to wash my hands when I come into my home from outside. I wipe down my door handles and phones and then wash my hands again. I try not to touch my face. I usually fail at not touching my face (though I am more cognizant of the fact that I’m touching my face and therefore try not to use my hands to touch my face).

Like most other people, I also enjoy all of the handwashing guides set to different songs. I’ve seen a lot I like, but my favorite so far may be the “Thong Song” one because that song is a bop that slaps. (Did I use those terms right?)


(Also, today I learned that the Q in SisQó is capitalized. Which honestly makes me feel better that I always overemphasize the Q when I pronounce it. I usually say Sis-QUO and the QUO is very aggressive. I do not often talk about SisQó but, you know, sometimes “Thong Song” and, more importantly, Dru Hill still come up, so these opportunities do appear.)

I am also a fan of Gloria Gaynor turning pandemic handwashing into a whole challenge with “I Will Survive,” which is so positive and beautiful.


It only takes :20 seconds to “SURVIVE!”👏💕🎶 #iWillSurviveChallenge #fyp #coronavirus #handwashing

♬ I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

The lyrics just take on a new meaning in light of the pandemic, don’t they? Like, sure, you could think about kicking your scrub boyfriend to the curb OR you could think about how you’re going to make it through this very difficult time. Bless.

The other hygiene I practice is taking a shower every day, still.

zestfully clean

I’m not THIS excited when I get out of the shower, though I am quite pleased.

I am a morning showerer, so every morning, I get up and take a shower to start my day. This has many benefits for me.
  1. I know when my day starts, so even though time feels like it has no meaning, I also have a clear sense that I’m in a new and different day.
  2. I always feel better when I shower–always. When I’m sick and shower, I feel better. When I’m crabby and shower, I feel better. So while it’s easy to get caught up in the ennui of the pandemic, taking a shower makes me better able to face all of it.
  3. I also think better when/after a shower. Often, I think one way–usually some crabby way–and then it’s like the shower clears my brain so that I can see what’s actually going on and in front of me. I have learned not to respond to Facebook or Twitter posts before I’ve actually washed up because, whew, my outlook is usually so different after I shower than before.

I do sometimes shower at night, though that is rare, so if I choose to go that route, when I get up in the morning, I make sure to wash my face before I do anything.

I have learned that if I don’t shower and/or wash my face, I often can’t concentrate. It’s like my brain is in a fog that needs to be cleared up by soap on skin.

I know some people relax their shower/bathing habits when they don’t leave their houses, but that has never really worked for me. I’m rarely fully present or even awake if I haven’t had my daily shower. And while this pandemic means I’m often not interacting with others face to face, I still have to show up for myself.


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have decided that I’m going to focus on my survival/coping strategies while practicing social distancing. What are the things that make it bearable? What helps alleviate my stress and fear–or at least what distracts me from both? Tune in tomorrow to see what I have chosen for I!

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  1. K E Garland

    First of all, LOL. Next, I’m with you on showering. I keep seeing people say something along the lines of they took a shower today, and I’m over here side-eyeing like, huh? What ever do you mean? I can’t not take a shower.

    • Akilah

      I have a lot to say about this. I’ll message you.


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