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How to handle holiday travel when anxiety gets in your way

I can't leave this behind

For nearly half of Americans, the holidays come with suitcases and travel. Whether it’s visiting family or friends, going on vacation, or getting away. And if you deal with anxiety, panic attacks, or PTSD symptoms, it can make travel stressful. Or cause you to miss celebrations altogether.

What causes travel anxiety?

Whether you’re going near or far, flying, or driving, travel often means leaving your comfort zone. Some people have such strong fears that they avoid driving at all. Others avoid specific types of travel, like driving on highways.

While an accident can lead to travel anxiety, experts say most of the time an accident isn’t involved. But other fears may still play a factor:

  • Bad weather
  • Getting lost
  • Panic attacks

Overcoming travel anxiety

If travel stress leads you to miss seeing the people you care about, it’s worth working to overcome it. Some things that can help:

Plan ahead. Travel anxiety is often about the unknown. While you can’t plan for everything, laying it out can help you feel more prepared. Plan your schedule to help you know what to expect. Make sure to carve out time to relax.

Make a packing list. Having the things that help you feel comfortable away from home can make a big difference. Make sure to include things like snacks, water, and any medication you need while you’re away.

Practice healthy coping. Avoiding things like travel is one way of coping, but it doesn’t help you manage your symptoms. Healthy coping strategies, like these may help.

Get help. Sometimes self-care is enough. Other times it’s not. If your symptoms keep you from enjoying the holidays the way you want to, treatment can help.

About Freespira

Freespira is an at-home treatment for panic attacks and PTSD symptoms that can relieve symptoms in just a month. Freespira doesn’t require medication or visits to a health care provider. It has low to no side effects and is safe to use with most other medical treatments.

See if it’s right for you by using our online screener.

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