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Many Americans love the Fourth of July and the chaos it brings. Others seek solace during the hectic festivities. Barbecues, pool parties, and day drinks are, for many, the criteria for a perfect summer holiday.

While it’s great to celebrate patriotic freedom, the Fourth of July can also be a trigger for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other anxiety disorders.

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Wherever you are in the country (and whatever the local regulations suggest), you will likely encounter unexpected fireworks and huge crowds. Depending on your comfort level, sleeping at home may be worth it for a cozy indoor vacation. In other situations, you may want to participate in the festivities at a level that suits your mental threshold.

It may seem impossible to have a Fourth of July without the triggers of loud noises, unexpected fears, people screaming, and overstimulation, but here are some of our favorite tips and products to help you get through this sometimes-stressful vacation with a perfectly safe space.


Noise-canceling headphones

One of the most important tactics for reducing anxiety is taking control of your environment. Loud, unexpected noises from neighbors can pull you out of your safe space and inner turmoil. One of my favorite ways to make sure I can maintain a comfortable mindset is to use noise-canceling headphones to determine how much I hear.

I have tried many headphones to regulate my stress responses related to PTSD. After playing with different types for years, I have chosen Beats Studio 3 as my favorite pair. That’s because the headphone cushions surround my ears so that no outside noise comes through the noise-canceling mode.

Beats also offer excellent music quality, so if you want to drown out the world with songs or TikTok videos (like me), you’ll be completely immersed in whatever soundscape you choose with little noise from the people around you.

Beats Studio3 wireless noise-canceling headphones cost $349.99 through Beats. You’ll likely find deals on Best Buy and other retailers, cutting costs significantly.

If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, we also loved the Sony WH-1000XM5s and WF-1000XM4 earbuds. You can learn more about this from our updated list of the 12 best noise-canceling headphones.

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones $199

Poppi prebiotic soft drink

You may want to participate in the Fourth of July celebrations but don’t want to consume alcohol. It is well known that alcohol can worsen anxiety symptoms, especially in a highly stimulating environment. And those with anxiety also know that sometimes an upset stomach is part of the ordeal.

Poppi Prebiotic Soft Drinks are made to mimic your favorite treats without the sugar, caffeine, or chemicals of a regular soft drink. While the brand makes a selection of delicious, fruity flavors (which you absolutely must try), the strongest category is soda knockoffs that put gut health at the forefront. DPop, Classic Cola and Root Beer taste almost identical to competitors, but you won’t be left with a sugar crash. Instead, you’re actively helping the bacteria in your stomach that keep you feeling great, even in stressful scenarios. Dr. A 12-pack retails for $29.99 on Amazon.

$29.99 at Amazon

quiet app

Mindfulness is a great tool for calming uncomfortable sensations. However, the truth is that it doesn’t work for everyone. Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all solution because sitting still can be very difficult (and triggering), especially for those with trauma.

My mindfulness app is Calm because it has more focus areas than meditation. In the app, you can listen to soothing soundscapes or even enjoy sleep stories that can help you relax and slip away into a fictional safe space. Harry Styles tell even one story… so how could it go wrong?

Calm offers some free features, but you need a subscription to get the most out of the package. Plans are currently priced at $14.99 per month or $69.99 per year. If you feel particularly committed, there’s also a lifetime option for $499.99.

Try Calm

Calming sweets

OOne surefire way to get yourself out of panic is to eat something sour. When your anxiety starts to build (especially in the case of a sudden panic attack), pop a few Sour Patch Kids in your mouth for an instant distraction. Not only will your attention shift to the candies, but your nervous system will be silenced in response. The story of this older woman in mental health has had me successful many times before.

You can also opt for a special candy designed specifically to combat anxiety. Some mental health advocates favor Bach Rescue Pastilles (costing as little as $7) because they provide quick relief without using psychiatric drugs. Others may like the pastilles for a placebo response, which links the taste with a sense of calm. Regardless of how they work for you, Rescue Pastilles are a great addition to your first aid kit.

$14 Sour Patch Kids 24 Pack

Ask what you need

While not directly tied to any product, this is arguably the most important piece of advice on this list. If you are going to an event with friends or family, communicate your limits and expectations in advance. Never avoid complex stimuli if you find yourself in a situation that causes fear or trauma. An escape plan and early communication with your support system can help you find comfort in testing the limits of your comfort zone or retreating into it.

Not everyone understands how stressful mental health issues can be, and it’s not uncommon to be afraid to explain your concerns to others. Give yourself permission to put yourself first and take all the liberties you need to stay comfortable. If that means canceling stay-at-home plans, leaving the meeting early, or making necessary adjustments to your routine, so be it. You’re doing a great job, and I hope these tips help you get through another busy vacation in a stress-free and fun way.

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I have been blogging since August 2011. I have had over 10,000 visitors to my blog! My goal is to help people, and I have the knowledge and the passion to do this. I love to travel, dance, and play volleyball. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I started writing my blogs when I lived in California. I would wake up in the middle of the night and write something while listening to music and looking at the ocean. When I moved to Texas, I found a new place to write. I would sit in my backyard while everyone else was at work, and I could write all day.