Although wearing a face mask is part of our ‘new normal’ it can leave many feeling anxious. If wearing a face mask leaves you feeling anxious, you’re not alone. Below are nine tips to help you cope with the anxiety you face around wearing a mask.
1. Practice wearing your face mask – If you’re anxious about wearing a face mask then you can try wearing it at home to get used to it. Start small by trying it for 5-10 minutes and work your way up to your comfortable limit.
2. Do something to relax before and after wearing a mask – Try some short breathing exercises to help you relax.
3. Distract yourself. You can do this by listening to music/podcasts or by calling someone that you enjoy talking to whilst wearing your mask.
4. Reduce the time you have to wear your mask – You can remove your mask whilst walking between shops but it’s important to remember not to touch the front of your mask ,use the ear loops/fastenings to remove your mask and sanitise your hands before and after taking your mask off.
5. Add a comforting scent to your face mask – This could include your perfume/aftershave, a calming scent such as lavender oil or a smell that reminds you of someone else.
6. Experiment with different fabric types – If you find face masks physically uncomfortable you could make one from some fabric or an old t-shirt that you find comfortable. YouTube has plenty of tutorials on how to make face masks with and without sewing machines.
7. Think of your mask as a fashion accessory – Buy or make a mask with a design/pattern that expresses who you are or that’ll match your outfits.
8. Choose a transparent mask – Words can be hard to distinguish whilst wearing a face mask, making it harder for you to understand what people are saying, especially if you’re deaf/hearing impaired. If you’re around someone who relies on facial cues and lip reading then a transparent mask will help them to distinguish what you’re saying.
9. Prevent your glasses from steaming up – There are a number of tricks to stop your glasses from steaming up. Try pulling the top of your mask slightly higher up your nose and sitting your glasses on top of the fabric;line the top of your mask with tissue; or use medical/skin tape to stick the top the mask down.