Let's talk face mask anxiety
Today the government have enforced a policy where we must all wear face masks when we enter a supermarket. If we don’t we could be fined up to £100.
For some this is a mere inconvenience, but for others, this can be the cause of anxious feelings and in some cases, even panic attacks.
So what can you do to help yourself?
Get to know the facts.
When we increase our knowledge about something, less anxiety can be created because we are not using our imagination to fill in the gaps. Look at the facts about why we should be wearing them and how they can protect us and others.
Getting to know about your feelings is also important. Make a note of how you are feeling and if in a particular situation those feelings were worse or lessened. Plan your next action according to these feelings.
What is really important to know if that the more you do go out with your mask on, the easier it should get. You could begin by having a walk around your house wearing the mask and then move outside into your garden. Pushing yourself to go further each time.
I often talk about how breathing techniques can help and this is no different in face mask anxiety. Focus in on your breathing, taking an inward breath through the nose and then out of the mouth. This tricks the brain into thinking you are in a relaxed state and so the brain will respond with feelings of relaxation.
You could use an affirmation at the same time. ‘I breath in relaxation on the inward breath and I am calm on the outward breath.
Talk it through with someone.
You may decide to talk to a loved one about how you are feeling or a professional therapist. Voicing how you feel can help to change your mindset and allow you to feel more relaxed about the situation.
Hypnotherapy can be a helpful tool because it works with changing the mindset, using the subconscious. You may just need one or two sessions to help you feel more in control with your anxiety.
Like everything new, wearing a mask out in public will be strange at first. However, the good news is, the more that you wear it as allow it to become a part of your daily outfit, the more you will become used to it.
If you are struggling with your child wearing a mask (11 years and older), offer them an incentive. For example, more screen time to encourage them to get used to the idea as well.
Always remember that if you tune into your anxiety and the ways you are feeling, it is easier to take steps to improve those feelings. At these unusual times it’s best to look out for yourself and takes things at your own pace.