I’m Scared Of Fireworks

Bonfire Night can be triggering for some people…

Not everyone is a fan of screaming firecrackers and crackling sparklers. Loud noises can trigger anxieties, fear and, in some cases, PTSD. They can cause sensory overload and even panic attacks. Here’s the Hidden Strength guide to coping with fireworks this November…

Choose Your Safe Space

Decide where you want to be on Bonfire Night. If there’s a local display taking place near your house, you may want to stay with a friend or family member who lives further away. Or you may prefer to stay at home where you feel most safe. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

Prepare a safe space in the house before the fireworks start – get in your favourite snacks, pick out some music or movies to distract you later and get comfy with blankets and cushions. Preparation can make your evening a lot less stressful.

Identify Triggers

Have a think about what your triggers are. If it’s the noise of fireworks, you can try to block out the worst of the bangs with a pair of headphones. Stream your favourite music or listen to a relaxation podcast to calm your nerves. Sometimes, the smell of fireworks can be a trigger – try filling the room with calming scents to distract you. Close the curtains or blinds to avoid seeing the sky light up.

Plan Your Exits

If you are going somewhere and you think there may be fireworks, make sure you can leave, if you need to.

Talk About Your Fears

Confide in a friend or family member about your fears. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about so don’t suffer in silence. Having someone supportive by your side can make it easier to deal with.

Coping Methods

Try these simple coping methods to help you deal with anxiety and panic:

  • Breathing Exercises

Through the practice of controlled breathing, you can calm and control your emotions. Try simple breathing exercises, for example – counting to 5 as you breathe in, exhaling and counting to 5. Conscious breathing soothes the nervous system, oxygenates the brain and calms the mind and body; you’ve got to give this a try. Read more about dealing with panic attacks here.

  • Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques help to connect you to the here and now when you feel overwhelmed by feelings of panic and anxiety. These techniques use your five senses to ‘ground’ you and allow you to take control of your feelings. Here’s a good one to try: Look around you to spot five objects all sharing a similar characteristic – five red things, five soft items, etc. Remember, there’s no shame in having a fear. We are all afraid of something, whether that’s spiders, the dark, fireworks, clowns or death. Talking about your fears is the first step in finding a way to cope with it. If you feel like you need to talk to a professional or that your fear is seriously affecting your life, make an appointment with your doctor to get help.


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