I have been thinking about my culture bumps with coronavirus. Could I use the 8 steps to help my own stress level? I thought I would give it a try.

In these days of dealing with the coronavirus, there are thousands of things, from staying home, to wearing masks to zoom meetings that are catching my attention. I found that using the culture bump steps gave me a fresh, new, more empowering way of the experience of wearing masks.

Step 1: Pinpoint the culture bump.

Since this step is concerned with paying attention to the things that catch my attention, I choose to focus on wearing a mask into the grocery store.

Seeing people wearing a mask while shopping is a culture bump for me.

2. Describe what the other person(s) did.

I saw a woman wearing a mask while shopping yesterday.

3. Describe what you did.

I looked over my own mask at her and tried to look in her eyes.

4. List the emotions you felt when the bump happened.

I felt surprised, alone and separated, fearful, sad, hopeless

5. Find the universal situation in the culture bump

Responding to a dangerous situation in public

6. Describe what you would do or expect others to do in that same situation.

When I think about trying to respond to a dangerous situation in public, my first instinct is to look to other people who can join me creating safety for myself and others.

7. List the qualities you feel that action demonstrates

When I feel that there are others with me facing danger, I feel secure.

8. Ask or think about how those qualities are demonstrated by other people.

Wow, when I think about how I face danger, I realize that wearing a mask – for me – brings up the opposite feeling of feeing safe and secure. I understand the idea of wearing a mask from a rational point of view, but realize it is at odds with my emotional understanding. I believe that this will allow me to begin to shift my way of “looking at” masks from my unconscious bias of something being negative to something being positive – even amusing. And it will help me to consciously increase the ways that I view being in league with others against danger to include “wearing masks”.

Croatian designer, Zoran Aragovic, believe that masks should not only protect but should be fashionable too.

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