Helping to stop the spread of coronavirus is essential and in ensuring we do this we are required to wear masks / face covering when going about our daily activities.
Masks are not easy for everyone with many find it very hard, or even impossible to cope with. Others may find it hard to interact with people wearing masks, or not wearing them. And for those with existing mental health problems, masks may pose extra challenges such as increased anxiety, a panic / claustrophobic / trapped feeling.
Even those who are exempt from wearing a mask, challenges are still faced such as anxiety from possibly being stopped, challenged, and judged by others in public, as people may not be aware as to the reason you are exempt from wearing a mask.
You may never feel totally comfortable with masks, however there are coping techniques that you can use to help make your experience easier.
Tips for coping with masks and face coverings:
- Get some fresh air where it is safe to do so – try breathing in fresh air outside before and after you need to wear your mask.
- Choose a face covering that is comfortable for you – try different materials, sizes and styles to help you feel comfier when wearing a mask
- If it makes your glasses fog up – make sure your mask fits well. A loose-fitting mask lets more of your warmed breath escape from the top of the mask. For a tighter fit try a mask that ties in the back, has adjustable ear loops or has a bendable nose piece.
For more tips MIND.org includes information on why masks can cause difficult feelings, provides practical tips on how to cope and also includes information on exemptions for mental health reasons.