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Amped Up: COVID-19 safety masks

A stylish mask can help promote balance and reduce anxiety while staying safe.

MACON, Ga. — If you're looking for a mask these days, there are not too many that you won’t be able find to your liking.

There are also some that represent pro sports teams.

Stefanie Hughes, a licensed marital and family therapist, says she encourages people to seek out experiences of what normalcy means to them.

A stylish mask can help promote balance and reduce anxiety while staying safe.

“That's what helps us to build that self esteem and that confidence so that when we do go out into the workforce or interact with other people," Hughes said. “We feel safe and secure and confident about ourselves and confident about what we’ve been purposed to do.”

Ashely Wilson works in healthcare. She came up with the idea of designing and selling masks in March. 

“If it’s something you have to wear why not make it fashionable or cute? But also protecting us and covering us at the same time," Wilson said. "It’s a conversation starter because now instead of someone complimenting your smile, because I love to smile to smile but now people can’t see it. So now it’s, 'I love your mask. Hi, your mask is nice'.”

Doug White, owner of Cotton Avenue Clothiers in downtown Macon, says everybody loves a sharp dressed man.

“People just feel different when they’re dressed up,” White said. “Our slogan has always been, 'the million dollar look.' And the million dollar look is whatever makes you feel like a million dollars. In these times, there’s a lot of mental problems and a lot of stress. This is just one of those things that make you feel good about yourself.”

Hughes says masks don’t have to be a message of fear.

Instead, it can be an expression of hope.

“We have to find things that help us to get grounded, so we can continue to get through this,” Hughes said. “And having a sense of normalcy, studies show, is one of those things that help you to become grounded. So if Mickey Mouse brings you joy, then put that mask on. Whatever is going to help you get to that place where you can get through this period and time, then by all means do it.”

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