When Bad Habits & Anxiety Collide

bad habits anxiety biting nails

I have dealt with anxiety since I was a teenager, I can have issues even getting ready to go out and meet friends.  I know it is completely unfounded the majority of the time but it causes me stress, insomnia and encourages my nervous bad habits.

We have an important event at work today.  I was scheduled to attend as a guest of my boss, just enjoy lunch and chat with some clients.  I have met the clients before and know two of them very well so while I would probably have some nervousness before hand, but I would be ok.   Last week something came up, my boss can’t make it.  He arranged for another employee to speak at the event knowing I would hate it – only I just found out they had to leave on a family matter so it is down to me.

Bad Habits: Pulling Your Hair Out

This is not just a euphemism, I will literally pull my hair out when stressed. I start behind the ears because I know it is less noticeable but often pull out eyebrow hairs too.  Pulling your hair out is called Trichotillomania – try saying that ten times fast!  I have got much better about this using an elastic on my wrist to snap when nervous so my hands are doing something else and partly because I like to tie my hair up and bald spots behind the ears is not attractive.  Still I keep finding my hands wandering today so my hair is tied up in a bun so its harder to get a strand to pull.  That also means I will have nasty hairpin and elastic marks in my hair when I take it down for the event.

Bad Habits: Nail Biting

Despite loving painting my nails, I am bad for biting them when stressed.  Even that nasty tasting stuff that your parents used when you were a kid can’t stop me.  Again, snapping an elastic keeps both of my hands busy so I am a bit better about it but I broke a nail on the way to work and bit away to get rid of the edges.  I know it is a nasty habit and your hands are a germ bath but I just can’t help it.

Snapping elastics has been amazing for me.  I use a hair elastic usually, something covered with fabric so it doesn’t hurt so much while still snapping me out of the anxiety thoughts.  I also have some semi-silicone/elastic and bound ones from the doctor but I always have hair elastics and they are less obvious around your wrist.

What bad habits do you fall into when nervous or anxious?

Anyway, off to practice my speech!

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3 Replies to “When Bad Habits & Anxiety Collide”

  1. How did it end up going? I’m terrible with biting my nails when I’m anxious but nail polish does help me a lot. I end up picking at the skin on my lips instead which also looks pretty awful.

    1. Tea & Nail Polish says: Reply

      It was ok. I had a glass of wine before I went up haha

  2. that nail stuff never stopped me either lol … if it’s any consolation! 😉

    they suggest trying to write with your opposite hand, to keep your hands and especially your brain distracted when anxious.

    if i’m getting very anxious about something beforehand i try to blast music i love and force myself to sing and dance and be silly – it gets the worms out 😉

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