Adjusting to the “new normal” has been far from easy. And a big part of that is because we’re no longer able to enjoy the simple things we used to before COVID-19 banished us all to our living rooms. We can’t enjoy a few drinks at the bar, can’t go to the theater to catch the latest summer blockbuster and worst of all, we’re not allowed to chomp down on our fingernails when we get nervous. Now that our hands have become chemical weapons designed to murder our grandmothers, we need safe alternatives to fingernail biting. So here are a few creative “hacks” that will help you keep a healthy social distance between your mouth and your hands, while giving you somewhere to put all that anxiety you’ve been storing up these last few weeks.
Fingernails no. Toenails yes.
Last time I checked, we don’t do any of the weird stuff we do with our hands with our feet. No handshakes. No touching germy stuff. So whip those socks off and get ready to mangia. Biting your toenails is a great substitute for biting your fingernails but it doesn’t come without a few challenges. For maximum nail to bite ratio, you’re going to want to start seated on the floor in a cross legged position. Reach for the foot and deploy a simultaneous pull and push motion with your hands and your face. It’s a little tough, but it’ll be worth it once you chomp off that first slice of toenail.
Make your own fingernail substitutes.
Carrots. Pretty boring, right? But if you take a small paring knife and spend a couple of minutes carving that carrot into the shape of a finger (with a fingernail, obviously!), you’ve got yourself a healthy nail to chew on. It’s like the old saying goes, teach a man to fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to make fake fingers out of carrots and he’ll be set for life…or something like that.
Fantasize about fingernails while you’re eating food.
When it’s time to consume food, don’t think about the food you’re eating. Think about fingernails. Whether you’re eating a chicken parmigiana with extra parmigiana or a plate of grapes, you can harness the power of your imagination to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating delicious fingernails.
Bite a doctor’s fingernails for them.
If you know a doctor or healthcare professional, you should feel good about chewing their nails. Reason #1, doctors are all about cleanliness and personal hygiene. Their nails are for sure going to be the safest. Reason #2, they’re working overwhelming hours right now. The least you could do to say thanks for all their hard work is to trim their fingies for them. Just be sure to ask permission first. Can’t go putting people’s hands in your mouth without their blessing!
Bite non finger-related nails.
It may hurt at first, but you’ll eventually learn to really enjoy the firm and gristly texture of actual nails. It goes without saying here, but make sure your nails are thoroughly disinfected before biting. If done correctly, you’ll have a safe and fun substitute for fingernails and you’ll get the added bonus of looking super tough!