How I Quit Biting My Nails
They say it takes approximately 21 days (of deliberate effort) to make a habit, and far longer to break one.
It took approximately 21 years for me to break the habit of biting my nails.
One of my classmates in primary school bit her nails and taught me how. I never stopped. It became a nervous habit. When I was stressed or feeling anxious, I bit them. When my parents nagged me to stop, I bit them more. So short you couldn’t tell if it was still nail or cuticle; it’s a wonder there was anything to bite. I tried every trick in the book to quit, but there was no trick or reason why better than how good it felt to just bite my nails.
Then I met my students, and watched as they anxiously bit their nails, and found my ‘why.’ And my students watched me, too.
If you still need a why, here are three: your hands are unsightly, it damages your teeth, and the germs go to your mouth and gut.
Once my mind was set, I had artificial nails applied routinely until my natural nails grew to a length where I could switch to gel manicures. The artificial nails were the only barrier that could physically prevent me from biting my nails, and the process took enough time that I no longer had the inclination to bite them.
Although I don’t ‘need’ them now, I still treat myself to gel manicures as they’re a time for stress management—to be pampered and practice Korean with my nail artist. (And how can you resist when the designs are as pretty as they are in Korea?) I’m on my way to my next appointment on our day off tomorrow!
It seemed impossible, but was quite simple, and if I could do it, you can do anything. So here’s a bit of Monday motivation. x