How HabitAware’s Pause ⏸ Pouch empowers control over hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting.

How HabitAware’s Pause ⏸ Pouch empowers control over hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting.

December 09, 2020

To take control of hair pulling (trichotillomania) I needed to develop my:

Awareness.  You can’t change what you don’t know is happening. Hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting are your brain on autopilot. Keen's gentle vibration made me aware of my restless hands. Awareness empowers choice.  

Keen's subtle vibration lets you know where your hands are.

Mindset.  Instead of feeling upset with myself when Keen vibrated and thinking “What’s wrong with you, why can’t you stop, Ellen?,” I made up my mind that every vibration was a "hug" on my wrist. The hug cheered me on, telling me: “Ellen, you're fantastic, you're a rockstar, YOU are strengthening your awareness muscles!” 

Ability to Pause & Replace. I also associated Keen’s vibration with being my “self care” alarm. When Keen reminds me where my hands are, it’s also my reminder to take a “moment of me.” It is within those moments I found myself taking stock of what I was feeling, doing and thinking and then grabbing the right tool for the moment to occupy my restless hands. The HabitAware PAUSE ⏸  POUCH is your "pack of joy" allowing you to keep all of these tools in one easily, accessible pouch.

You see, hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting serve a purpose. BUT they don’t serve us well. These are self soothing behaviors meant to bring your mind and body back to balance and relief. The goal of the PAUSE ⏸  POUCH is to help you find healthier ways and tools to calm your restless hands and mind.  

To fill your PAUSE ⏸  POUCH with the RIGHT things for you, you need to use the clues.

When Keen2 creates awareness and vibrates, PAUSE and ask yourself:

How am I feeling? What am I doing? Where am I? What time is it?

The answers to these questions hold the clues to your best strategies.

In the example above, you could fill your PAUSE ⏸  POUCH with fidgets that release stress, or creams to nourish your hands. The goal is to experiment and fill your PAUSE ⏸  POUCH with items that provide a similar self-soothing relief that hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting do. These items could be lotions, fidgets, smooth stones, jagged rocks, squishy balls, ribbons, hair ties & love notes to yourself. 

To help you get started we’ve included HabitAware's Emoji Moments of Pause card deck (insert pic) & a special offer from our friends at the PickingMe Foundation. We've left the rest for you to customize to YOU! 

Here's my PAUSE ⏸  POUCH & Please share yours by tagging @habitaware on instagram - so we can get better together!  


Keep your PAUSE ⏸  POUCH in places where you tend to skin pick, hair pull, or nail bite. This could be near your couch, in your bedroom, in a backpack, at your desk, or in your car. When you become aware of your restless hands take your moment of me, grab your PAUSE POUCH, ask yourself “What is the right tool or emoji message to soothe me right now?” The more you practice awareness and responding with healthier strategies, the more your brain will seek out these new self-soothing methods and over time, you can reduce your hair pulling, skin picking or nail biting behavior. 

Taking control of hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting is hard work. But with the right mindset and preparation, WE CAN DO HARD WORK!

If you bring the willingness to change, and we bring you “Keen” awareness, strategies to reset your mindset, and your very own HabitAware Pause ⏸  Pouch, then, the hard work of taking control is no match. All of this together creates a system to help you get your life back!

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