Anxious Habits: Revisited

In September I posted about a couple of anxious habits that I did daily, most of the time, every few minutes. And I was sick of them. So I thought it’s about time I revisited and updated the post.

Nail biting

This is something probably been the most loyal, reliable habit ever. The activity that got me through plenty of thrillers, horror films and crime documentaries. For as long as I can remember I have been a nail biter. I have tried to quit a few times but nothing has ever stuck.

That was all true until 11th September 2020. I am no longer a nail biter!

*a round of applause please*

I must say I am so proud of myself. This is something I never really thought I’d ever be able to overcome; especially in 2020! Of all the years to kick a stress induced habit, 2020 seemed to be the year for me! I can’t just leave it there, I feel like I need to share my newly (self) appointed wisdom on any nail biters reading that fancy kicking the habit.

Tips to quitting nail biting:

1. Write a blog post about quitting. Honestly, it worked for me! If that is not your jam, then tell everyone that you’re giving it up. This provides a sense of pressure which sometimes can work well for not failing a task. The more people are aware that it’s something you’re doing, the more you’ll feel like it’s something you need to achieve. But I’ll let you into a secret…no one cares. People have enough shit going on in their lives, to worry about whether you bite or don’t bite your nails. But don’t tell yourself this. It ruins the illusion, shhh.

2. Be aware of yourself and the triggers. My triggers were thrillers or the feeling for panic. For a week or so I stopped myself watching this genre of show or film. But I’m pretty obsessed so I started watching them again. But instead of just switching off and engaging fully in the film I would be more aware of myself. So if I felt like I was going to bite my nails I would just check in with myself and say no. And this wasn’t easy because a lot of the time I wasn’t even aware I was biting my nails, so I’d switch the awareness to my lips and mouth. I started to purse my lips shut, this worked well as I was more focused on keeping my mouth shut than the act of biting my nails.

3. Vitamin E oil. I watched a YouTube video of tips and someone suggested this oil for strengthening nails. And I swear by it now. I’ve encouraged friends and family members to get some if they bite their nails or have weakened nails. I drop some on a piece of kitchen roll and rub and massage it into my nails and nail beds. I do this when I’m watching tv which is another way to distract the mind from biting.

4. If you’re able to paint your nails, this can also encourage you to stop. I can’t paint my nails with my job so if I can quit anyone can!

5. Tract your progress. Be proud of where you’ve got. Show off your hands! I was always ashamed and embarrassed of my hands because of my bitten down nails but now I have the white bits at the ends I feel much more secure with myself!

Checking my phone

I’m not fully over this. It’s still a bad habit I want to reduce. I try not to go on my phone much when it gets to 9pm but I do still notice myself picking it up if that’s an advert on the tv or if my boyfriend is on his.

I hate it though. I hate that my phone gets more attention than myself. Sometimes I spend more time checking Twitter or Instagram than I do talking to my boyfriend or reading or doing exercise.

However I am able to speak to friends and family on my phone, to communicate with people I can’t see right now thanks to the lockdown. I do online shopping and write these posts on my phone and sometimes it is glued to my hand. I do feel like through this lockdown phones and technology have been a bit of a saving grace. A chance to be connected with loved ones we don’t live with.

A way of disconnecting from the real world almost.

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