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2 min read

Welcome to the weird world of COVID-19, where the new normal means keeping our distance from others and wearing a mask to cover your face.

It shouldn't bother us so much, but it does. Why?

The answer may be both psychological (feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty, fear) and physiological (rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, breaking out in sweats).

It's an added stressor of the pandemic and a physical reminder of how much our lives have changed and become socially detached from each other. For healthcare providers, it's a daily reminder of the fine line between life and death.

Physiologically, the area of the face that is covered by protective face masks happens to be very thermosensitive. An increase in temperature of the facial skin covered by fabric face masks significantly influences the whole body's thermal sensations, making that person feel hot.

People with underlying anxiety disorders or claustrophobia can be significantly affected by the emotional discomfort of wearing protective face masks. However, for most people, the discomfort is subjective and tends to diminish as one gets used to wearing the mask.

Coping mechanisms

Since we'll be a mask-wearing society for a while yet, the CDC and mental health experts recommend the following strategies:

  • Try breathing through your nose from the diaphragm. It helps to imagine that you have a balloon in your stomach. Take longer to exhale than inhale, perhaps inhaling for three seconds and exhaling for four.
  • Repeat a mantra, word, phrase, or even a sound that helps with focus. The mantra can take the form of reassurance. Focusing on gently repeating a mantra can help slow physical responses and regulate breathing.
  • Practice mindfulness and pay attention to what is occurring in the present moment instead of becoming immersed in self-created thoughts and worries.
  • Try aromatherapy—inhaling essential oils such as lavender have long been used to relieve anxiousness and bring about a sense of calm relaxation. Alternatively, orange essential oil can help uplift spirits.

We also recommend you consider your mask this year's hottest new accessory and have some fun with it by making it your own. As private citizens, our protective face masks don't need to be medical-grade.

As quarantine life drags on and protective face masks are part of everyday life for a while, choose a mask that makes you happy and fits your personality.Shop our selection of protective face masks to find the perfect option for you.