Mask Anxiety

Brittney GiacchettaPsychotherapyLeave a Comment

With the Covid-19 pandemic still in action, most of us are familiar with wearing masks (as recommended by many local, provincial, and federal governments, as well as the World Health Organization). For some, wearing a mask can cause difficult feelings or experiences such as anxiety:

  • Physiologically, our face can be sensitive to changes in temperature. Wearing a mask can increase the heat felt around face, causing people to become flushed or sweaty. For some, these physical sensations can create anxiety in the body or anxious feelings.
  • For those who experience claustrophobia, wearing a mask can simulate the feeling of being trapped.
  • Wearing a mask simply reminds us of what is going on in the world around us – a virus that has never been seen before!
  • For those who wear glasses, masks might steam up your glasses making it hard to see. This can be frustrating and even scary at times! Troubles with vision can also lead to feelings of dizziness.
  • Wearing has a tendency to cause ‘mouth-breathing.’ Mouth breathing are shallow breaths that originate from the top of our chest and can be associated with hyperventilation.

The good news is that despite these uncomfortable feelings, there are steps you can take.

What you can do:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing – slowly breathe in through your nose, feeling your abdomen expand. Breathe out through your mouth contracting your abdomen inwards.
  2. Repeat a helpful mantra to yourself. A mantras might be “I am safe” or “I have worn masks before. I can do this.”
  3. Consider incorporating essential oils into your mask-wearing routine. You can run a diffuser while getting ready or place essential oils on your temples.
  4. Experiment with various fabrics to see if one material works better for you.

If you have found the Covid-19 pandemic to be  overwhelming, please reach out to Serenity Now Wellness Centre for support (403-454-7600) or visit our booking page to schedule a complimentary consult.

Additional resources:

https://www.providence.org/news/uf/624326018

https://www.verywellhealth.com/face-mask-skin-irritation-4843754

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