Mod S2S Mentor

Replacing Bad Habits

I have a few bad habits (biting my nails, playing with my hair etc) and I’m trying to break them. Do you have any tips on things I can do to replace my bad habits?-Anonymous


Hi. First of all, I can understand having bad habits around things like fidgeting because I fidget a lot too and not all my fidgets/stims are good for me. But I do have tips on how to change your habits. 

Biting your nails is not something that can really be done in a way that's harmless so it's a habit that really should be broken. You are not alone in struggling with it so they're a lot of known ways to help. If being anxious is why you bite your nails then you can take steps to reduce the anxiety in your life and that should help. Keeping your nails trimmed short will make them a lot harder to bite. They also make bitter nail polish for people who bite your nails, it'll make biting your nails very unpleasant which can help you break the habit. If you bite your nails because you feel the need to chew something you should still do all these things. You can replace biting your nails with an alternative like chewing gum if you like it. If you don't like chewing gum you could consider getting a chew necklace. Chew necklaces are necklaces made of food-grade silicone so they're very safe to chew. They also come in a lot of fun colors and shapes.

Playing with your hair seems pretty harmless to me. If it is damaging your hair then you should stop but if it's not I wouldn't worry about it. In case it is I will give you suggestions for other hand fidgets. Things like playdough and clay are fun to play around with. There are also a lot of diffrent fidget toys that you can buy or make. I play with my hair too and since it's not hurting my hair, I don't stop because nothing is wrong with it. 

Fidgeting is very normal and fidgets that don't you or anyone else are not a bad habit. If you feel the need to fidget don't stop yourself. Personally, it helps me with focus and coping with difficult situations. That's why I really believe that if you have fidgets that are harmful that you shouldn't stop fidgeting entirely. You should find something that isn't harmful but fulfills the need that fidget serves.

(A good website for fidget/stim toys is Stimtastic, their products are meant for autistic adults but they're good for anyone who might need them) 

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