Please Help Give My Hands Something to Do Other Than Touching My Face
March 3, 2020 7:59 PM   Subscribe

In the interests of keeping myself and others healthy, I can wash my hands for twenty seconds, no problem, but stop touching my face??? Unpossible. At least, not without something to redirect my hands to. Do you have any recommendations for specific necklaces or kinds of necklaces that are good for fidgeting with?

I own some necklaces already, but they are either a) not appropriate for everyday wear (too heavy, too nice, etc), b) I worry about damaging the pendant or the chain with my frequent fidgeting, or c) they don't match particularly well with my usual business casual office wear. I'm specifically looking for any recommendations for necklaces that are neither too cheap nor too expensive, say, in the $20-$50 range so that I can be reasonably certain they're well-made enough that they won't immediately break, but that I won't be too heartbroken over if I lose them, and that aren't big statement necklaces. I just need something to occupy my fingers with that is not my face parts. Currently I keep redirecting my hand to rub at my collarbone or neck and it irritates my skin.

A nice but not necessary bonus is if the necklace is plant-themed, i.e., leaves, flowers, trees, etc.

posted by yasaman to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
As an alternative, could you fidget with rings? I twist mine around constantly and it seems a little easier to do without breaking something (even with delicate rings).
posted by pinochiette at 8:09 PM on March 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

What parts of your face do you usually touch a lot, and why? Maybe you can address the reason.
Itchy eyes - carry saline eye drops
Itchy nose - shave your nose hairs so they don't tickle
Itchy cheeks and forehead - control flyaway hairs better so they don't tickle - barrettes, hairspray?
Face feels greasy - blot face at specific times

For jewellery I just go to the Teen Jewellery or Fast Fashion Shop in the mall (in Canada this is Ardene, Claire's, Aldo, Le Chateau, also check H&M, Urban Planet, etc). Any clothing shop made for teens to blow money in will have a jewellery section with several choices of $20 necklaces.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 8:11 PM on March 3, 2020

Response by poster: I hate rings, sorry! I've never managed to keep one on for longer than an hour. Earrings are out too, I find them too uncomfortable for all-day wear.

There's no particular reason I touch my face, it's literally just something to do with my hands, especially my non-dominant hand when I'm writing or reading on a laptop or phone or whatever. I do a lot of the resting hand on chin and over mouth, thinker-type pose.
posted by yasaman at 8:21 PM on March 3, 2020

One option is to train yourself out of it by cutting some habanero peppers. That stuff doesn't wash off with soap and will physically remind you if you rub your eyes, nose or lips.
posted by dum spiro spero at 8:30 PM on March 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Lots of “fidget necklace” options on Etsy... how about this one?
posted by jenquat at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm a fidgeter/face toucher and I also love necklaces to keep my hands busy. It was extremely necessary when I worked in an office and was trying to seem normal. I prefer simple geometric pendants on long chains. The closer it already is to your hands, the less weird it'll seem when you touch it. Fiddling with a choker looks somewhat strange, I think.

My solution is to hit up places like H&M / Old Navy / Topshop and buy a bunch of really cheap ones. Usually $10 ish but you'll often find sales for $2. I know you said you want something more expensive in case they break, but I've never had one break on me. Topshop was a goldmine (well, brass), their style tends to be more bold and less generic and they had a ridiculous number of options to choose from. I used to get so many compliments on $2 stuff. Unfortunately they don't have much on the website so you have to go to a store. But here's some random stuff from Nordstrom if you want to shop at home: this or this or this.

Another option I love is wearing a dressy scarf with fringe.
posted by 100kb at 9:22 PM on March 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

You could try the stop nail biting stuff. I used to paint my finger tips with it (just the nails wasn't enough) and the taste went a long way to stopping me randomly putting my fingers in or near my mouth.

Might not work entirely since you're doing chin resting etc but might be worth a try.
posted by kitten magic at 9:44 PM on March 3, 2020

I rub my knees or calves. At home, I will end up rubbing my feet. I got out of the habit mostly of touching my face but I still scrub at my eyes. I'm trying to use a t-shirt or sleeve instead to smush at my eyes when irritated. (I just scratched my face without thinking (!) but mostly, rubbing my hands over my legs helps a lot.

It is a pink elephant sort of thing, so you need a replacement activity. If you have long hair, you can twirl hair instead.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:31 PM on March 3, 2020

Bangle Leaf & Silver spinner stained glass necklace, delicate branch, olive leaf silver necklace, delicate leaf, ginkgo leaf, all Etsy. Or a pocket watch locket necklace. Feather necklace, pressed flower necklace, square bead sliders (these last three are at Target).

A tough lanyard/keychain, 1, 2, 3, might come in handy with a work ID/keycard. Pen necklace example. Reading glasses you only use occasionally can hang out on a chain or cord.

If you've accumulated rings along the way though you're not overly fond of them, you could try stringing one on a sturdy chain (long, as per 100kb's advice), cord, or ribbon. Or you might deconstruct earrings taking up real estate in your jewelry box and try them on a necklace (beware of earring elements with sharp edges). I think a combo like that would tolerate some absent-minded fiddling and tugging, while you're finding out if you can retrain/redirect the face-touching habit. (See also: touching the buttons on a shirt or a cardigan, & sweater chains.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:54 PM on March 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've got a couple of long fake pearl necklaces and wore one yesterday and found myself doing this exactly - rather than usual face touching I'd be fidgeting with the pearls instead. It's nice and tactile, makes a soothing little clicky noise and also looks stylish with my workwear.
posted by london explorer girl at 2:12 AM on March 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Choose a selection of beads meant to go on a pandora bracelet, and put them on a necklace instead. You can roll and fidget with the beads. Some of them have dangly things that might do, as well.
posted by theora55 at 6:48 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I struggle with this too, but one strategy I've found to be helpful is cultivating an interest in make-up. I find it very enjoyable, and I touch my face far less when I know I might mess up my carefully done eyeliner or whatever! I redirect my fidgeting to my hair and do lots of ear-tucking, twiddling etc.
posted by unicorn chaser at 8:46 AM on March 4, 2020

Some of Stimtastic's fidget jewelry might be what you're looking for.
posted by Lexica at 10:52 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Any of these?
posted by WCityMike at 12:23 PM on March 4, 2020

Teething necklaces are designed to be fidgeted with. (They're sometimes advertised as "something mom can wear that babies can chew on.") They're inexpensive, durable, and pleasant to touch. I have the one with numberless d20s and regularly wear it at the office.

Alternately, stone bead necklaces like this one (colorful) or this one (tiger's eye) work as fidget necklaces or bracelets, and having a necklace that loops around more than once means you kind of have to fidget with it all day to keep adjusting the length.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:11 PM on March 4, 2020

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