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Dealing with Mask Anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic

Man wearing Centerstone face mask giving thumbs up

One of the biggest adjustments we have all made during the COVID-19 pandemic is the incorporation of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) into our daily lives.

Hospitals, businesses, and several entire cities require people to wear masks, and those that don’t strongly encourage it. No matter where you are, if you leave your home you will likely need a mask.

These new safety procedures, along with fears of contracting the virus and the overall uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, can trigger anxiety. Some have noted their faces feeling hot and feelings of claustrophobia as their mouths are closed off.

Some things you can do to ease your anxiety about wearing masks include:

  1. Regulate your breathing. Regulating your breathing has been proven to ease feelings of anxiety. Try breathing into the count of four, holding to the count of four and then releasing to the county of four. Keep that same number in mind for inhaling, holding, and exhaling, and you will be able to easily regulate your breathing.
  2. Think positive. Maintaining a positive mindset about wearing a mask can also help ease anxieties toward it. When two people are near each other, both of them wearing masks results in the lowest possible chance of the virus spreading if one were to have it. Remind yourself that wearing a mask is keeping everyone, including you, as safe as possible from the virus.
  3. Personalize your mask. Personalizing your mask is a fun way to ease mask anxiety. When you personalize your mask, it becomes an accessory rather than just PPE. Wearing a personalized mask boosts your confidence and allows you to express yourself.

To hear Dr. Jodie Robison, Executive Director of Centerstone’s Military Services, talk about mask anxiety watch her interview with WSIL.

Through this crisis, Centerstone remains fully operational and continuing to serve our clients and communities. As always, the health and well-being of our clients, staff, and community stakeholders is our main priority. We have implemented system-wide strategies that reduce the risk of exposure while preparing us to respond effectively in the event the current threat level escalates. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure at this time, almost all appointments are being conducted via telephone or telehealth (video). For more information, please click here.

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