As far as I could remember, I’ve had this bad habit of biting my nails. It mostly happens when I’m either nervous or stressed out. So imagine when I was still studying and when I started working—yeah, my nails took a beating every time.
Recently, I’ve been trying my best to channel my stress somewhere else and not mind my nails. If you have the same problem, let me share some personal tips, as well as methods I read that might also work for you.
For me, it helps to get a manicure done every week, or whenever I have time. The nail polish somehow serves as a barrier for me to stop picking at my nails so much, especially if I like the color I picked out. It can get pricey sometimes but you can also paint your nails at home. For an extra deterrent, you can also use a top coat with a bitter or spicy formula like this anti-nail biting polish from Essence.
I’ve never tried nail art, but Buzzfeed noted that this greatly helped women to stop nail-biting. One said that watching nail art videos on YouTube inspired her to grow her nails out so she can try them out. You can start out with small details with items found at home. Or follow Ellen Adarna’s lead and get gems and appliques.
As much as it is annoying for many to see fidget spinners everywhere, owning one for a short while did work for me. Aside from being a toy, fidget spinners are originally made to supposedly ease stress, ADHD, PTSD, and anxiety. This method is not for everyone but it’s worth a try if you often take out your stress on your nails. (Additional: Stress balls work too!)
Nail artist Miss Pop told Refinery29 that she used to bite her nails “to even them out.” So it’s recommended to keep a nail file in your bag to smoothen the uneven edges. “[Move] the file from the edge towards the middle of the nail in one fluid motion to smooth over the snag so you have a harder point of entry,” Refinery29 wrote.
This is obviously easier said than done, especially if you’ve had this habit since you were younger. But if you have the strong will to tell yourself “Stop,” then you’ll have no problem doing this tip. XO Jane said that it helps to really commit to the goal and put your mind to it. This will also teach you to be more mindful of your nails’ condition and to let the skin around them heal.
Art by Lara Intong
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