Many people are suffering from what is being called “no-mask anxiety.” Now that we’re told we don’t have to wear a mask, we’re unsure. Although it sounds simple enough, after all we’ve not regularly worn masks before 2019, you can feel anxiety. This is especially true with so much public rhetoric and because being masked was the norm. It was pitched as protection of an aggressive virus. Now, you can take it off. Just like that. But what about the virus? You may be asking yourself “Can I still get it?” Even with the vaccine available and taken by many, anxiety is rampant leading to this new phenomenon referred to as no-mask anxiety.
Just as a child gleans security from the comfort of their favorite blanket, so we have become accustomed to masks for our security and safety. They have given us a sense of protection from becoming infected with a virus we know little about but one that has had a devastating impact. Unsure of how effective the vaccine may be and knowing the virus is still out there, going without a mask (or losing our security blanket) can cause a lot of anxious thoughts and even fear.
To help ease the anxiety of going completely maskless, start small. Try going without a mask when you’re in a small gathering of people you are comfortable with and feel safe. Work your way up to going completely maskless, but do it in a timeframe that suits you. If you find that you are losing sleep or that anxiety related to going maskless is interfering with work, your family, or your social life, you may benefit from speaking to a mental health professional or medical provider to discuss no-mask anxiety.
At Garrett Counseling, we have a compassionate team of professionals with extensive experience related to anxiety. Fill out the contact form or call us today at (256) 239-5662. With offices in Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville, appointments are available now!