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.

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

I saw a woman wearing a mask while shopping yesterday.

Step 3: List the emotions you felt when the bump happened.

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

Step 3: List the emotions you felt when the bump happened.

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

Step 5: Find the universal situation in the culture bump

Responding to a dangerous situation in public

Step 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.

Step 7: List the qualities you feel that action demonstrates

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

Step 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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