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As lock-down continues to ease, measures will be put in place from 24th July 2020, making the wearing of face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets and on public transport. These steps are now being taken as a way to rein in the reach of covid-19 and will prove to be a significant change to our normal behaviour in these familiar settings.

It may fill some people with a sense of apprehension, because they think wearing a face covering could feel uncomfortable or strange. There was a protest in London by ‘anti-mask’ activists, who seem determined not to do their bit for wider society, but thankfully, this seems to be a relatively small percentage of people, and in a recent poll carried out by Opinium, 70% were in favour of wearing face coverings.

Human beings are highly adaptable and over the last few months, many of us have adapted to new ways of doing all sorts of things with the advent of lock-down.I have been blown away by the ingenuity and resolve that so many of us have employed in order to forge a way through these most uncertain times. And what we may forget, is that there have been many experiences through-out all of our lives when things have changed and we are faced with something that we may not be used to.

Such as Learning to walk! For the vast majority of us, this is something we do now, quite naturally, never giving the process of learning to walk another thought. But there was a time, when we couldn’t walk, and we invested the effort it took to persevere, hone and develop the technique and eventually it happened, and our ‘normal’ changed.

Another example could be when we faced moving from the safe, nurturing feel of primary school to the unnerving concept of secondary school. Vast numbers of pupils towering above us, navigating the seemingly endless miles of unfamiliar corridors and maybe having to travel independently on the bus. All of these new things were challenges at the start, and it may have made you feel nervous in the lead up, but after a few days, things began to slot in to place and to feel not so bad. It became the ‘new normal’, that is until you left secondary school to face the next challenge! So, when we put our mind to it, we can do all sorts things.

It may be good to remember that there is a vast number of occupations where workers already have to take protective measures and it becomes a normal part of what they do, in fact, I’m sure that quite often, those in those occupations get so used to their work apparel that they tune out any discomfort. Professions such as those in the construction industry, laboratory technicians, divers, chefs, firemen, astronauts or, going back a little further here, knights in shining armour! Each needing special, protective clothing or apparatus to keep themselves safe.

The Government’s general guidance for putting the face coverings on is as follows:

· wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on

· avoid wearing on your neck or forehead

· avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus

· change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it

When removing a face covering:

· wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing

· only handle the straps, ties or clips

· do not share with someone else to use

· if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle

· if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric

· wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

I have heard some people comment that they think that they will feel claustrophobic wearing a face mask or that they won’t be able to breathe properly and to help those and others who may be feeling a little uneasy or self-conscious about wearing a face covering, I thought I would lend a helping hand. I have recorded a FREE audio download designed to help you feel calm, comfortable and confident wearing a face covering.

The FREE Feel Comfortable & Calm Wearing a Face Covering hypnosis audio is available here

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