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5 tips for feeling calmer in your face covering 

By UALHalls 24 Jul 2020

Wearing a face covering out and about is new for all of us and it’s going to take some time getting used to.  

Now that it is compulsory in shops and on public transport, you may find these tips helpful to embrace the mask and feel calmer while doing so.  

1. Take some time to get used to it 

If you are not used to wearing a face covering, it’s understandable that you’ll feel uncomfortable at first. You may want to try wearing your mask around the house to practice. At home, you can take mask-breaks whenever you need to 

2. Breathe slowly 

It may feel as though you’re breathing is being restricted, but rest assured that the World Health Organisation says face masks do not lead to CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency 

Practising some breathing exercises before putting your mask on and while wearing it can help you to feel more relaxed. Try this simple exercise: 

- Breathe in slowly for 4 seconds with your hand on your belly. Feel your stomach rise. 

- Hold for 1-2 seconds 

- Now breath our for 4 seconds. You’ll feel your stomach drop. 

3. Find the perfect face covering for you 

Every face is different so it’s unlikely one mask will suit everyone. Finding the right for you will help to ease your discomfort. Your mask does not need to be really tight, but you want to make sure that there and no gaps between your face and the mask.  

If you are finding your mask too hot, try picking one that is made of a lighter fabric. For example, masks made from 100% cotton can be more breathable. 

If you can’t find the perfect mask, why not get creative and make your own? You can even recycle old material and make a couple to match your outfit. 

4. Not everyone can wear a mask  

The government says you don't have to wear a covering if you have "any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability", and would experience "severe distress" from doing so.  

You do not need to show written evidence for not wearing a mask but if you feel more comfortable, you can download a mobile exemption template from the UK government website.  

Remember, some disabilities are invisible, and you may not be able to see why someone is excused from wearing a mask.  

5. We are all in this together  

The final thing to remember is that we are all in this together. Having the constant visual reminder of the pandemic and not being about to see people facial cues can be unsettling for everyone. However, we need to remember that this won’t be forever, and by wearing our mask we can slow the spread of the virus.  

If you are moving to halls in October, we are going to be actively encouraging face covering around communal areas. Don’t worry though, there will clear signage and we will be even providing a couple of re-usable masks in every student room. 

It may take a few attempts to feel comfortable in your mask but after practicing, you’ll soon get used to it.   

For more information on how to wear your mask correctly and tips on washing it visit the World Health Organisation website.