I have been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. It’s a terrible habit, but one that I could never quite seem to kick. I have quit many things in my lifetime, including smoking cigarettes, but biting my nails has without a doubt been the most difficult. If I’m trying to stop doing something, my favourite method is to go “cold-turkey” and completely remove the temptation—but for obvious reasons, completely removing the temptation of my nails is tricky. To make matters worse, most of the time I don’t even notice that I’m doing it until the damage has already been done. I tend to bite my nails subconsciously while I’m reading or studying, especially if I’m feeling stressed out.
Maybe you’re a chronic nail-biter since childhood, or maybe it’s a new habit you’ve picked up during the boredom and uncertainty of the pandemic, but if you’re anything like me, you’re desperate to stop. Here are some tips that worked for me.
Invest in an Anti-Bite Nail Polish
I used Vitry Anti-Bite Nail Varnish that I got from Shoppers Drug Mart. It tastes so bad, but for our purposes that is a very good thing. Using the nail polish made it impossible to bite my nails subconsciously. The polish also gives your nails a glossy finish and helps to repair them.
Ask Someone to Keep You Accountable
I asked a few people (including my kids) to say something if they noticed me biting my nails. Feeling like I had no sneak around if I wanted to bite my nails forced me to think about if I really needed to do it. I was also motived by the desire to show my kids that we can do anything we set our minds to.
One of the most difficult aspects for me was feeling like I had nothing to do with my hands or mouth while completing idle tasks, like studying or watching a movie. I found myself wanting to snack a lot more than normal just to keep myself busy. Chewing gum, playing with my hair, squeezing a stress ball, or simply keeping my hands clasped together were helpful for me.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love bougie self-care. I love taking luxurious bubble baths, my multi-step skin care routine, face masks, giving myself pedicures, etc., so I decided to extend this to my fingernails. I bought these pretty glass nail files from Amazon, cuticle oil, and hand cream. Now every night I have made it part of my routine to file my nails, apply cuticle oil, and massage in cream. I also take this time to admire my new nails and acknowledge all the hard work I have put into breaking this habit.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Most importantly—don’t get discouraged! It’s okay to mess up. In fact, you should probably accept that it’s going to happen at least once. Quitting a bad habit is hard, so you need to give yourself some credit. Just keep trying until you succeed. You got this!