9 Ways To Improve Your Nails At Work Like The Multitasking Boss You Are

Multitasking isn't just for office tasks and texting while you're in line at Starbucks. It’s also a way to improve your nails at work. You spend a third of your life (and probably more) either at work or traveling to and from the job, so naturally some personal care time (like a few minutes to slap on some lotion) while at the office is a given. Because let's face it; you probably also do most of your nail damage at work, anyway. I mean, who hasn't used their nails to pry out a staple?

And because work is so much more important than nails (well, most of the time), it's easy to make poor nail care decisions in the moment. It's also not that big of a deal. Once you start being more mindful about how you use and care for your hands and nails, these habits will become second nature and you’ll see let breaks and more growth. As a nail polish/art/care enthusiast, I've tried all of these methods and tips out myself and can speak from experience that they will change your life. None of the steps to improve your nails at work require big changes or time-consuming activities. They're also easy to incorporate into most work settings. Unless you're a construction worker or something. In which case, I don't know what to tell you, except that you're awesome and maybe wear gloves?

1. Never Go Naked

Naked nails break easily, according to Prevention, but nail hardeners might make the problem worse. There are two basic kinds of nail hardeners, ones that coat your nails to reinforce them and ones that penetrate your nails to rebuild the proteins. You'll have to decide which one works best for you because, in my experience, some people find one or both kinds make their nails so stiff that they become brittle and more prone to breakage. If you type all day, you might not want to use either and opt for a nail hydrating base coat instead. This requires trial and error on your part.

2. Moisturize Inside And Out

Use time at your desk as an opportunity to hydrate. You need to keep your nails and cuticles well-moisturized in in order to keep them flexible and healthy. Moisturize several times per day and after every hand-washing. You also need to drink plenty of water (for the same reasons).

3. Nip Problems In The Bud

If you are a cuticle biter or picker, the only solution is to stop. Get a cuticle nipper to remove hangnails so you'll be less tempted to pull or bite them off. Don't cut your actual cuticles, because that can lead to infection, according to the Huffington Post. Don't go overboard with the nipper, either, because that's just as bad. You're just pulling weeds, not digging up the lawn.

4. Use Actual Tools

Your nails aren't staple removers, can openers, sticker peelers or paper cutters. Don't use them as tools! I repeat, don't use your nails as tools. In my experience, this is the hardest habit to break as well as the most important part of taking care of your nails at work.

5. File But Don't Go Wild

You should file your nails often — a few times per week at least. You're not filing to reduce length or change the shape. You're just filing away the tiny cracks that cause your nails to peel and split.

6. Pick A Shape That Suits You

If you insist on sharp edges or excessive length but you can't seem to keep your nails from breaking, you might need something a bit shorter and rounder. I love squared off nails, but once I went just a little bit more squoval, I had half as many side breaks.

7. Get A Desktop Humidifier

This one sounds a little weird, I know. But if you constantly struggle with dry, cracked hands and cuticles and all the moisturizing and water drinking in the world doesn't solve it, then you probably work in an office with really dry air. A small humidifier can put some moisture back in the air so it doesn't get sucked out of your skin, hair and nails.

8. Get A Stress Ball

Your nails and cuticles aren't therapists. They're also not your enemies. They don't deserve being bitten and picked at whenever you get stressed. We all need an outlet, but our nails don't need to be it.

9. Keep Nail Tools Handy

When you break your nail, don't bite it off. When you snag a cuticle, don't pick at it. Keep tools handy so you're not tempted to make problems worse.

Work can be a bummer, but so can a ruined manicure. Keep your nail health and manicure on point at work and it just might make the day go by with a little less stress.

Images: Giphy (9)