Whether you’re in the salon doing treatments or doing your weekly shop, wearing a face mask is now required by law.
Whether you agree with them or not, they’re probably going to be around for a while, but let’s face it, they aren’t always practical, they can be uncomfortable, and they can provoke anxiety in a lot of people.
How do you feel about wearing a face mask; hot? Sweaty? Panicky? All of these are quite common. But even if you struggle with wearing your face mask, here’s how to cope with face mask anxiety.
Why can wearing a face mask make you feel anxious?
They can feel claustrophobic
Even though you aren’t in a closed space, a face mask can feel restrictive so it might seem that way which can trigger feelings of anxiety, especially as your nose and mouth are covered too.
They can produce sensations that feel like anxiety
Wearing a face mask can make you feel hot and like you can’t breathe, which the body might interpret as anxiety. You’ll notice that if your mask has a filter, it can feel like it’s more difficult to breathe because the filter resists the air flow.
They are uncomfortable
Face masks can be very uncomfortable to wear in hot weather, and if you wear glasses, they can steam up. The same goes for some face shields and visors which when combined with a mask can make it very difficult for us therapists to see what we’re doing during intricate treatments.
How to cope with face mask anxiety
Check your thoughts
Notice what you’re telling yourself about wearing a face mask. Is it something along the lines of ‘I can’t stand wearing this, I can’t wait to take it off!’? This is a normal thought to have, but instead try telling yourself that you might be uncomfortable right now, but you’re keeping yourself and your clients safe, and you can take it off between treatments.
If you’re feeling tense and anxious, you’ll probably be taking shallow breaths under your mask, which really won’t help. Shallow breathing creates an anxiety response in the body, so when you’re feeling anxious, take some deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Make the exhale longer than the inhale, and try to breathe in for a count of four, then out for a count of 6.
Try different styles of mask
Everyone is different, so finding the right mask for you might be a case of trial and error. If you feel anxious wearing a face mask, masks made from thicker material might not be the right choice for you, so try a lighter one. Try a few different ones until you find one that you feel comfortable with.
My top tip to reduce face mask anxiety
Try a little aromatherapy inside of your mask. Some essential oils are known to reduce anxiety, so what I like to do is to use my Helenergy Pulse Point Roller Ball inside of my mask. It’s full of essential oils which help to promote inner calm. Get in touch if you’d like to buy one and try it for yourself.
It’s a good idea to have regular breaks from your mask and visor too.
I hope these tips have helped. Let me know what helps keep your face mask anxiety in check.