4 Tips to Embracing Your Naked Face
by Michelle Molle-Krowiak Ed.S, LCSW
Re-entering the world without our mask has been a dream since March 2020. I missed my “naked” face! Despite that, the process has been slow and anxiety-filled. I imagined ripping it off and running into the sunset; yet, the reality is a feeling of uncertainty and pressure. So another layer of this pandemic has been realized, “un-masking anxiety”. I know I am not the only one so I wanted to share my tips.
- Start outside: Breathe the fresh air and maintain social distancing allowing you time to embrace your naked face.
- Start small: I went for quick trips during off-peak hours. As I walked into the mall, I slowly lowered the mask, easing my discomfort little by little.
- Conquer your inner critic voice: For me, I need a positive affirmation to help ease my discomfort. My discomfort does not come from the possible virus ( I feel pretty confident being vaccinated and still taking reasonable precautions). My discomfort and anxiety came from feeling unsafe from an unnecessary confrontation. Feeling eyes of judgement or even fear of me the unmasked individual impacts me. I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable because of me. However, I realized my fears were just my own worries that I needed to challenge myself with a positive affirmation.
- Smile: Spread the joy. The power of a simple smile will lift your own spirits and others. It is time to shine.
In the end, this is a personal decision of when and where… I wish you peace and joy as you un-mask. I, for one, am loving saying good-by to my un-masking anxiety and saying hello to all those smiling naked faces.