Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at

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How to Stop Nail Biting: Healthy Hands for Nail Polish Series

Well, DANG.

I wrote part of a post about Miley Cyrus’s disgusting tongue and how terrible it is that Syria is killing its own people with chemicals, and then I got sidetracked and did some research about my nail biting.  Because, you know, Miley Cyrus’s tongue and dead innocent people make me anxious and I was biting my nails.

It turns out I might have a form of OCD.

What the?  Come again?

Healthy Hands for Nail Polish series

I bite my nails A LOT and I know it’s terrible and germy and not attractive and my kids are likely to take up the habit much like second-hand-nail biters.  It’s a good thing I never got into a smoking habit because adding a drug to a physical habit? Holy cow.  It makes me empathetic for people who are quitting smoking.  But back to me. I didn’t think I was cra cra.

My church has a recovery group for just about everything so maybe I’ll ask them to start one for over-groomers anonymous.  Just because there isn’t one doesn’t mean there can’t be.  I mean, I’m a German-Puerto Rican and that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be an ethnicity checkbox for that on our census.

In the past I’ve looked up nail biting information and got the same hotsauce, bitter nail polish rubbish.  Most sources didn’t believe hypnosis would work. I’ve tried New Year’s Resolutions and stopped for maybe 5 months at a time.  There was the summer when I worked at a garden center and had my hands in so much dirt and mouse poo that I didn’t dare bite my nails.  I had beautiful nails when college started up in the fall, and made it to my algebra midterm.  Then I mowed those suckers down.  Parts of pregnancy were the same way, until I had a baby and no sleep and again, bit my nails to pieces.

So now, to read that nail biting could go beyond habit and into a deeper psychological territory…kind of makes me want to watch a movie and bite my nails.

Erin had so much success with her Healthy Living for Mom series and a healthier lifestyle, so I decided to do a Healthy Hands for Nail Polish series.  Once a month I’ll post an update–or more often if I need the Internet to be my moral compass on a more frequent basis.

Will you cheer me on?  Is there anyone else who wants to do this with me?


Nubbin nails.

Step One:

Paint nails & apply snappy rubber band to my wrist.  Flick at every thought or movement toward nail biting.

This is, of course, no true reaction to the horror of Syria, and I could care less about Miley except that my heart hates a downward spiral.  It’s ok to use a bunch of bad stuff to fuel the world to a better self, and that’s what I’m doing.

High fives!


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Comments (6)

  1. Pingback: Nail Biting (A Disgusting Reality) | Up In The Ear

  2. Anna Shirley 09/03/2013 at 4:08 pm

    Oh, how I understand this! Work does it to me. I can’t stop! My son tries to help me. I’ve done my very best and stopped a hundred times but never completely kicked the habit.

  3. Shelagh P 08/27/2013 at 12:29 pm

    I just stopped biting mine again. It’s been 5 weeks! I’m in my 40’s and have been biting them since I was a kid. I’ve stopped once or twice before for specific reasons (eg. Engagement ring didn’t look good on hands with bitten nails). This time I was driving home from vacation and for no particular reason I decided I’m stopping right now. I haven’t bitten them since and I’m looking forward to getting a manicure which I haven’t had in 5 years or more! Good luck! If I can do it, you can,too.

    • Erica Fehrman 08/27/2013 at 7:45 pm

      I’m going to a wedding in 5 weeks so that’s a good mini goal. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Anita @ Losing Austin 08/27/2013 at 11:31 am

    I’m okay with my nails- just bite the heck out of my cuticles. And yeah, I’m OCD. As in, actually had a psychologist tell me and my PCP be surprised I didn’t already know.

    I think you’re on the right track though!

    • Erica Fehrman 08/27/2013 at 7:44 pm

      Everyone always knows before we know ourselves, right? LOL!