Many of us are going through a huge change in the Midwest with masking in public. Because new science is coming out, new rules are being established, and more people are getting vaccinated, mask mandates depend on the level of COVID rates in our area. This change can come with many feelings. 

You could wish there were still certain rules in place, you could wish the mandates would continue, you may wish all people would stop wearing their masks, and you may still feel fearful. The thing that’s universal is the big feelings and distress that we all feel. 

If you have encountered some feelings about masks recently while in public, this video and simple practice from Show Me Hope Missouri are for you. 

Some emotions you may feel while in a public setting may be fear, anger, irritability or anxiety, especially when others do not share your opinion regarding masks. When you feel these emotions because of someone’s behavior, what can you do? 

Oftentimes, confrontation is not effective in a situation like this. Instead, try sending good wishes to this person, saying a prayer, sending loving kindness, or sending an intention into the universe, depending on your spiritual tradition. This practice isn’t meant for the other person to hear, rather it is something you can do in your head, alone in your car, or in a private space. 

You can say, “I wish for them to have a good day” or “I wish for them to experience peace.” This is something we can actively do ourselves that can bring us some peace and calm in difficult moments. It can also direct our community toward peace, love, and cohesion during this transition period. 

Try this simple practice of wishing someone well when you’re feeling fear or anger while in public. This is a difficult period we are moving through with much uncertainty, but we will get through this together. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing stress due to the pandemic, call or text Show Me Hope for 24/7 anonymous crisis counseling. We’re here to listen. 

Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
Tri-County Mental Health: 816-468-0400