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Could I have some advice about face masks?

Sunspots

★☆ Comfortably Sunny☆★
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#1
So, I have a selection of fabric washable face masks (I went a bit mad on Etsy) but I haven't actually worn any of them yet. I've tried them on at home but immediately felt like I was being suffocated and panicked.

Today they've announced it's becoming law to wear one in shops next week. I think it's a good thing despite my struggles with them and I'm surprised they didn't enforce it earlier. had to do some grocery shopping today so thought I'd wear one as I'm going to have to get used to it.

I got to the supermarket, put on my mask and went in. I managed two aisles before I was dripping in sweat, shaking and wanting to scream. I ended up leaving the trolley and it's contents and running out of the shop.

Has anyone got any tips on how I can learn to cope with this?
 

Lekatt

Love Cats Love All
SF Supporter
#2
Unless you have some serious respiratory problems the cause has to be fear. Fear of confinement or one of many others. Fear is handled by acknowledging it and forgiving it through practice. Understanding is knowing you have this fear and it is an unneccessary part of your life that you can do without. Practice saying and believing that the fear is diminishing and leaving you. Practice wearing mask and saying you are not fearful. Forgive yourself for the fear and claim victory over it. It may take a while, in the mean find a paper mask that can be pushed away from the mouth to create a pocket of air or space between you and mask. Get a large mask so it can be worn loose. Love.
 

Lux

local yahoo
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#3
What kind of masks are they? I find some on Etsy that I got are a bit thicker in material than others and have me feeling out of breath and sweaty, the medical single use ones are a bit more loose I find so they have a few "breathing" gaps, but of course that then will give you concern for safety etc.

My other half had this though, she's been trying to wear them in stores from day 1 regardless of law, but just wasn't able to do it at first - she's been wearing them at home for short bursts, generally the time she thinks it would take her to shop to get used to the feeling of it - she still hates them, but now it's just "another thing we have to do" and no longer causes her to sweat and panic. She also will just put it on when she goes to enter the store and then take it off after leaving - I've read that they're no good after a certain amount of time anyway. For sure treat your face to a face mask or a moisturising session after also, something to look forward to after wearing it definitely helped!
 

Sunspots

★☆ Comfortably Sunny☆★
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#4
What kind of masks are they? I find some on Etsy that I got are a bit thicker in material
Yeah, they're all from Etsy. I got a bit carried away by all the patterns.
I've been trying to stay away from the disposable ones for environmental reasons but if they help I'll give them a go. I'm going to see my daughter tomorrow and she said she'll give me a load as she has to use them for work.

I'll keep trying at home and see if I can build up the time.
 

Lux

local yahoo
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#5
Yeah, they're all from Etsy. I got a bit carried away by all the patterns.
I've been trying to stay away from the disposable ones for environmental reasons but if they help I'll give them a go. I'm going to see my daughter tomorrow and she said she'll give me a load as she has to use them for work.

I'll keep trying at home and see if I can build up the time.
Yeah I'm the same with the disposable ones. Also, try putting them in with a hair grip on the elastic rather than the elastic around your ears if you can - that way can choose how tight etc so might feel so suffocated. Gain some of that control back
 

foreverforgotten

Quiet Observer
SF Supporter
#7
I know what you mean. It takes some getting used to. Its uncomfortable breathing but you will be okay if it stays on. Even if it feels suffocating. Have you tried the disposable lightweight paper material masks? They sell packages of them at pharmacies. I feel like those are more breathable...
A bandana might be an alternative option... As for breathing and being, sweaty miserable.. no way around it really.. *hug i find bandanas more comfortable..
 
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Ash600

✮☆Meetup star ☆✮
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#8
I know how you feel regarding the discomfort caused by those masks. I wore one for the first time today when I went for the grocery shop. That can be a tumultous affair at the best of times. But having a mask on causing my face to overheat and my glasses to steam up with every exhalation made me nearly want to go into full blown trolley rage. Although part of my ire could've been due to some fucker nabbing the last multipack of Dark Chocolate Kit Kat in aisle number 3.
 

Walker

Admin-a-monkey
ADMIN
SF Social Media
SF Author
SF Supporter
#12
You don't have to throw out your disposable mask every time you use it - you can put it in a bag a use it again next time you go out. I realize that only helps your environmental issue, not the panic issue.

Only other thing I can say is that I also strongly prefer what @Lekatt is saying - this bit about not having it close to my face really helps. I don't like having it *touching me* that much and being able to breathe into that 3D pocket helps. (For me and I've spent more than is reasonable on many different masks now)

To create a bit of fresh air you can also create an X by putting the mask on but flipping the ear loops upside down, if that makes sense. They'll now form an X at your jaw line instead of being straight across and it makes a tiny place where air can get inside. (I could try to explain this better)
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#13
I just bought a pack of disposable for my daughter if and when the children go back to school. It's such a weird way if life now.

I purchased a couple from a connection at work that went go a charity and now even I see OLd Navy (I dont know if you guys have that store in England) has packets that's are actually really cute styles and designs.

It's sad that people are marketing these things. I hope it gets easier for you to wear @Sunspots. I think that it's sad because you cant see people's expressions but maybe good when you dont feel like smiling too. Ha
 

DrownedFishOnFire

Back into the wild where I belong. Out of your way
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#14
Work is requiring us to wear same disposable masks for several shifts.... hospitals were doing same. Nursing home CNAs locally doing 3 day rule on their disposables. Been wearing it for 7.5-14 hour shifts straight you get used to it fast. Been since March when my work required it.

Really as a person who has asthma. Cloth is more obstructive in my breathing than a disposable. I have different cloth masks too. The disposable masks have more room and leeway. Air conditioning.... if its humid its gonna sweat. Use air conditioning /fans to your advantage to air it out to dry it better. I also do this super cheat... make a dent on both sides of your masks where cheeks lie have top and bottom lie taut not your sides. Its much more air that way. . Let the air flow in and out there. Thats how I get away with it allowing it to "tent" When it gets too damp i switch it out with a dry disposable mask and rotate it in and out throughout my shift. Damp its gonna be harder to breathe in and out.

Wear your mask at home to get used to the feel of it. Wearing it for first time in the public when already stressed isnt helpful. Trust me try it out for 20 min here or there at home and play around with it and how you place it if difference in how easier or harder it is to breathe in and out.

At the end of this ill pick disposable over any cloth masks i hve right now. Hope you were able to shop @Sunspots
 

RCee

Well-Known Member
#15
i have to wear a face mask from 9 am to 6pm every day except for weekends and thats when i only leave the house do i have to alwasy wear one ill send you a link, to wgat my employer wears ,they are very loose but covers ill ask her when i get into work and send you the link. i see all kinds of masks the kids wear as well, we have had many problems with not being able to breathe or too hot with certain types of material cloth masks
ill get back to you by end of day (hug) hope you did find something tho
 

RCee

Well-Known Member
#16
I just bought a pack of disposable for my daughter if and when the children go back to school. It's such a weird way if life now.

I purchased a couple from a connection at work that went go a charity and now even I see OLd Navy (I dont know if you guys have that store in England) has packets that's are actually really cute styles and designs.

It's sad that people are marketing these things. I hope it gets easier for you to wear @Sunspots. I think that it's sad because you cant see people's expressions but maybe good when you dont feel like smiling too. Ha
one of our parents makes thface shields, he has a 2 year old and a 6 year old. it's really convienient because the kids keep them on. it's b a learning curve, also for the upper elementry to keep thier masks on. we have noticed that if the parents enforce PPE outside of the home the kids have a better understanding of why to keep it on and social distance
 

Rockclimbinggirl

SF climber
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#17
What are your masks made of @Sunspots
I recently got one that is a mix of bamboo and cotton. Its super soft. I have some cheap polyester ones too. Polyester is great a drying quickly after being washed but is probably not something I would wear on a hot day.
 

Trixie

Well-Known Member
#18
I'm having the same problem with anxiety/suffocating/panic feelings while wearing masks in addition to a foggy glasses issue. It has taken me all of these past 4 months to finally work up to actually wearing a mask out in public. After trying a variety of methods to help with the glasses issue, I finally decided to just remove my glasses (started carrying my glasses case with me everywhere) while I'm wearing the mask which oddly enough helps some with the anxiety issue as well because everyone else in the store is nothing more than a fuzzy blob. A lot of my issues stem from a social phobia, and my panic attacks mostly manifest as hyperventilation.

While you're in the store, every time you feel that suffocating feeling, try focusing on your breathing and count. Gently remind yourself: deep breath in, long, slow breath out. I like the box method: breath in 1, 2, 3, 4; hold 1, 2, 3, 4; breath out 1, 2, 3, 4; hold 1, 2, 3, 4; repeat. I plan grocery trips like a marathon run. I basically turn it into a game of how fast can I get in, get out, and get back home. You could also try listening to a podcast or music with headphones to distract yourself from the panic. I do that a lot during the Christmas holidays, but that's also because Christmas music just depresses me, lol.

I'm really not getting out much these days, not for these last 4 months, maybe twice per month, 3 tops. I've worn a mask the last 2 times I left the house. It's still uncomfortable as heck. I still feel quite a bit of anxiety. But I can at least wear it for the short time I'm in the store without a major full blown panic attack now. Oh, and I settled on the Old Navy 5 pack of cloth masks because they fit comfortably and feel light-weight. Took way longer than the projected 3 to 5 business days to get to me, though.
 

Winslow

Antiquitie's Friend
SF Supporter
#19
So, I have a selection of fabric washable face masks (I went a bit mad on Etsy) but I haven't actually worn any of them yet. I've tried them on at home but immediately felt like I was being suffocated and panicked.

Today they've announced it's becoming law to wear one in shops next week. I think it's a good thing despite my struggles with them and I'm surprised they didn't enforce it earlier. had to do some grocery shopping today so thought I'd wear one as I'm going to have to get used to it.

I got to the supermarket, put on my mask and went in. I managed two aisles before I was dripping in sweat, shaking and wanting to scream. I ended up leaving the trolley and it's contents and running out of the shop.

Has anyone got any tips on how I can learn to cope with this?
Are homeless people exempt from mask-wearing? Because every time I go downtown for my groceries I see all the homeless people maskless. Are they exempt because they don't have a home? Are they exempt because they sit on the sidewalks 24/7? Masks are mandatory here not only at grocery stores but also at outdoor places such as bus-stops where people are close together. Why exactly should the homeless be exempt?
 

Sunspots

★☆ Comfortably Sunny☆★
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#20
Are homeless people exempt from mask-wearing? Because every time I go downtown for my groceries I see all the homeless people maskless. Are they exempt because they don't have a home? Are they exempt because they sit on the sidewalks 24/7? Masks are mandatory here not only at grocery stores but also at outdoor places such as bus-stops where people are close together. Why exactly should the homeless be exempt?
I'd imagine they can't afford them. To be honest if you're unfortunate enough to have to live on the streets, covid is probably pretty far down their list of worries.
 

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