Try to approach putting on a mask with a mindfulness exercise.
Masks have become part of everyday life, but sometimes it can be a little uncomfortable wearing them. Mrs. Lara Feldman, School Counselor at the Junior School, suggests trying to approach putting on a mask with a mindfulness exercise.
“As you put the mask on, try to make an effort to close your mouth so that you focus on breathing through your nose, and you want to start with just a slow inhale through your nose so you calm your nervous system,” she explained.
For some people, covering their face can trigger a stress response. Everyone has different experiences and different actions can trigger stress responses, but a focus on breathing through your nose can be beneficial.
“If we focus on breathing through our nose and doing a slow inhale and a slow exhale, that helps to calm the nervous system down,” said Mrs. Feldman. “It’s good in these times to practice being calmer, more mindful and paying attention to what is going on in your body so that we are not getting ourselves stressed out unnecessarily.
Mrs. Feldman says the simplest way to practice mindfulness is to connect with your breath, and doing that while wearing a mask is ideal.
“If you want to do more mindfulness, start with your breathing,” she said. “If you happen to focus on your breathing because you’re wearing a mask then you are being mindful in that moment, even if it’s a bit of a panic response.
Closing your eyes and reducing visual stimulation is also a way to help focus on breathing and reduce stress.
“Close your eyes, close your mouth and breathe through your nose,” said Mrs. Feldman. Breathing and mindfulness go hand-in-hand.
Some other things to remember when wearing a mask is to not touch your face or your mask. As well, Mrs. Feldman suggests finding a mask that fits correctly, and to adjust the straps (if possible) to make sure it fits your chin and nose. She also suggests that you practice wearing the mask while talking, to ensure it’s the correct fit. And remember to wash or change your mask daily.