For those that know me well, they know how much I despise masks, or “cloth face coverings.” Most of this comes from the start of my time in Korea in 2009 when they believed I had H1N1 Swine Flu and I was forced to quarantine in an unknown land where I did not speak their language. That was a very scary time for me. Masks trigger memories of that scary time.
Well, the USA has reversed its (completely inappropriate) stance on masks from telling us “You don’t need one!” to “Wear a cloth face covering any time you are out in public.“
Still, the best thing you can do is STAY HOME.
These cloth face coverings do not magically make you immune to COVID-19. Rather, they are an attempt to slow the spread of the disease. The safest thing for you to do right now is to stay home, in an attempt to flatten the curve and preemptively reduce the strain on the healthcare system.
But I also want to acknowledge that staying home is a luxury not all of us can afford. If you must go out, wear a mask. I’m very grateful for the mask from a fellow cortisol pumper. Although I still struggle with unpleasant memories surrounding the wearing of masks, I choose to focus on the fact that this mask was sewed with care and love. If and when I have to go out in public, I shall proudly don this mask knowing that I am doing everything in my power to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Your Self-Talk Matters.
Please acknowledge that this is still a high anxiety time for the entire world. If you have not read my Three Tips to Help Keep Calm During a Pandemic, I highly encourage you to do so.
Also, I would like you to practice a phrase with me. We are not “stuck at home.” Rather, we are “safe at home.” Say that aloud with me: We are safe at home. I know whenever I tell myself that, I can feel my level of anxiety decrease. (For those of you who are not safe at home, know that there are still resources available during this time.)
Now for another one (that I must practice myself): Cloth face coverings are useful and good. Masks are not scary. May we get into the habit of something other countries have been practicing for a long time. When you must venture outside the safety of your sanctuary, please don a cloth face covering. It has the potential to keep you Clearly Alive.
I would like for all of us to remain Clearly Alive.
You can find the CDC’s DIY instructions on how to make cloth face coverings here.
How to Make a Quick Cloth Face Covering using a T-Shirt
How to make a Quick Cloth Face Covering using a Bandana
Bonus: Something I cross-stitched while in my sanctuary
Please do not neglect your mental health during this time, dear Clearly Alive Family. Find an activity that calms you or reminds you of who you are, and do it. It doesn’t have to be cross stitching, that’s just one of my personal favorites.