Ellen Crupi can easily recall when she first pulled out a strand of her long dark hair in the same way some people might remember their first kiss or losing their first tooth. She was 12 years old and in gym class at her suburban Rhode Island middle school, waiting for teams to be chosen.
“I was probably just playing with my hair to calm myself down, and I pulled a piece out. I don’t know why,” says the 54-year-old Crupi, who lives in Bethesda. “Ever since that moment, I was hooked. I just felt a zing.”
Pulling out her hair became a coping mechanism for Crupi, a way to tackle anxiety or even boredom, and nothing she was too concerned about at first.
Dealing with the stress of everyday life can be rough, and that’s outside of the added pressure of a global pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our sense of daily normalcy, countless Minnesotans are facing uncertainty, isolation, and fear.
Have you heard of trichotillomania? How about dermatillomania? Both are known as “body-part repetitive behaviors”—in this case, hair pulling and skin pulling. To help break habits like these, Minneapolis-based HabitAwaredeveloped a smart bracelet called Keen that detects repeated motions and issues a vibration to alert users to their actions.
Now, in the age of coronavirus, the Keen bracelet has found a new way to help.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order: