Good News for Nail Biters: Yes, You CAN Quit!
As any nail biter can attest, kicking the habit is not easy! You can stop buying cigarettes and get a patch for a nicotine fix, but your hands are always with you! I was a nail biter for over 30 years. I noticed I had quit without really trying after about two weeks on a new anti-depressant. If you think depression and/or anxiety may be a leading cause of your nail biting habit, consider talking to your doctor. There is no shame in getting help. Your family just might thank you for it!
In the absence of medication, though, there are other things nail biters can do to help kick the habit. The keyword is habit. Psychologists seem to agree it takes, on average, 21 days to change a habit. Here is a 21 day plan to help you kick the nail biting habit.
Day one: Pay attention to yourself. Notice what times of day you find yourself chewing on your nails. If you need help, ask those closest to you to point it out. This could be your significant other, best friend, or co-workers. Ask the people you spend the most time with. Jot it down in a journal.
Day two: Keep paying attention to when you do the most biting and picking. Give yourself a mini-manicure. Remove any existing traces of nail polish, if any. Use a salt scrub to exfoliate your cuticles and nourish your nails with beneficial oils. Rinse the scrub product off your hands. Apply a cuticle remover/softener and gently push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher. Healthy cuticles lead to healthy finger nails! Do not apply polish at this time. Use the scrub twice a day for two weeks.
Day 3-16: Keep doing the scrub twice/day. Now that you are aware of the times you are most likely to bite your nails, find something to do as a replacement. Chew gum while driving to work. Knit or doodle during boring conference calls at work. Rub cuticle cream on your nails and massage it vigorously while watching TV. These are just some suggestions. Find something that fits your lifestyle and the situation you find yourself most likely to nibble.
Day 17: You should be noticing stronger nails that have a little bit of ‘white’ on them. Hold off on the salt scrub for now. Apply a quality nail strengthener as directed, usually once/day for 10 days. Apply cuticle cream at opposite times of the day from when you apply the nail strengthener, Wash hands thoroughly, paying special attention to the cuticles and nail beds, before applying the strengthener.
Day 19-21: Keep applying your nail strengthener, as directed. Add a pretty polish of your choice and enjoy your pretty new nails! KEEP GOING!