Living through Covid with a mask.....

Wearing a mask is uncomfortable, right? But it's something that we do have to get used to. I believe downplaying the impact on people’s lives from wearing a mask is not something that we should be doing as public health professionals.

None of us like to feel inhibited and for some wearing a mask feels like you're suffocating. It can be hot or stuffy, it steams up your glasses and worst of all you can smell your own breath!

Below is a quote from Mind re wearing masks:

Why masks can cause difficult feelings

"We all want to help stop the spread of coronavirus. And we know it isn't easy. It means making big changes in our lives, like following social distancing guidelines, and now wearing masks.

But masks are not straightforward for everyone. Some of us may find covering our face very hard, or even impossible to cope with. And for those of us with existing mental health problems, masks may pose extra challenges.

For example:

  • Covering your mouth and nose might affect the air you breathe, which might make you feel anxious or panicky. This can then cause other symptoms as well, like feeling dizzy or sick, which you might associate with the mask.

  • You might feel trapped or claustrophobic.

  • Covering your face changes the way you look, which may cause negative feelings around your identity or body image.

  • Having certain materials touching your skin might feel very hard to cope with (sensory overload).

  • If you wear glasses, they might get steamed up so you can't see clearly. This might add to feelings of being overwhelmed.

  • Masks are a visual reminder of the virus, so seeing masks might make you feel on edge or unable to relax. It might seem like danger is everywhere.

  • Seeing people covering their faces might make you feel uneasy or scared of others. They might seem threatening, sinister, or dehumanised.

  • On the other hand, you might feel very anxious or upset around people who are not wearing masks in public. (Although many people are exempt from wearing them, and you won't always know their reasons.)

  • If you are exempt from wearing a mask, you still might feel very anxious about being judged, shamed or stigmatised in public. Or about the possibility of being asked to pay a fine. This may feel especially hard to cope with if the reason you can't wear a mask is also to do with your mental health".

If you're feeling anxious about mask wearing then perhaps consider some help. Hypnotherapy can help with the feelings explained above.

You can find relaxation video's on YouTube which are very helpful. I particularly like this one by Fable Goodman:

Deep Relaxation Exercise

Keep Safe,

Lynne x

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