5 Things I've Learned from My Nails During Quarantine

100 years ago, at the beginning of this quarantine, I was dead set on not letting my appearance slip, and in fact was determined to come out on the other side of this looking healthier, fit and even more refreshed. As the weeks went on, I settled on a different goal altogether - keep my mind healthy and that's all that matters. My emphasis on daily marathons through the city and maintaining an acceptable hair length became less important as short meditations, letting go of what is out of my control, and accepting that some days might be less productive than others rose to the top of my priority list. 

Here are 5 things that I've learned from my struggling nails during 8 weeks in quarantine:

  1. Hydration is key! Our hands and nails are suffering more than usual during this time because of the non-stop washing. My nail beds feel dry and brittle and my cuticles are in shock after not being cared for since my last mani at Archer. I've been doing my best to apply liberal amounts of cuticle oil to my nails and reminding myself to drink enough water (if I don't have energy for an extended skin care routine, the least I can do is make sure I'm keeping my skin clear by chugging some H2O.)
  2. Embrace imperfections. Before making manicures a part of my weekly routine, I haphazardly trimmed my nails with the same pair of clippers that called my medicine cabinet "Home" for more than 5 years. Now, it gives me so much pleasure to look down at my fingers and see a perfectly manicured hand painted with my favorite, OPI's "Put It In Neutral." That's not so much the case while sheltering in place, however. My nails have been bare and cut short for the majority of this time at home, showing off the peeling edges and dry cuticles. It's fine for now, but damn, I can't wait to get my nails done soon! 
  3. Everyone's different. Am I the only one who has a favorite fingernail? Currently, it's the nail on my left ring finger (I'm being 100% serious!) It's fine to have favorites and gain some confidence from that one nail, but it's also been freeing to accept that some nails just don't grow like the others.
  4. Sometimes we just need to reset. While it's fun to dress up and show off, it's just as important to strip down and relax. I've placed such an importance on having my nails done but it's been great to give my nails a break and let them breathe. After all, nobody is seeing them except for me, my fiancé and the food-delivery person...
  5. This too shall pass. The tips of my nails that are weaker from previous gel removals and are peeling from dish-duty after every meal are finally growing out (actually, they're overdue to get the chop!) It may be rough or uncomfortable in the moment, but just like everything, they will soon be gone and better days will come.