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Experts share ways to ease your anxiety after COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases falling, a lot of people are ready to travel again. But for some, the thought of a crowded plane or staying in a hotel is overwhelming.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With more people getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and summer quickly approaching, it's pretty clear that the one thing most folks want to do right now is travel. 

After more than a year at home and in quarantine, many people are ready to take a break. But for many, the idea of getting on a crowded plane and staying in a strange hotel is a little overwhelming after all we've been through. 

With COVID-19 cases falling, a lot of us are ready to travel again but flying the friendly skies might be bringing more stress than excitement. How can you ease those concerns? Let's connect the dots. 

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Mental health professionals have a name for this: Re-entry anxiety. They say both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are experiencing it. 

First thing's first, if you have extreme anxiety, you should contact a medical professional. But if you're simply worried, or feeling a little uneasy, there are some things you can try. 

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Experts recommend exposure therapy. They say you should ease back into situations and start off slowly, rather than jumping in the deep end. 

If you're worried about restaurants in a strange city, try going out to one in your hometown and that you're comfortable. If a long plane ride is an issue, try a shorter trip first. 

If it's a big hotel with a crowded lobby that's driving your anxiety, experts recommend booking an Airbnb. They also say you should accept this new normal, and acknowledging that most people are feeling the same way can bring some comfort. 

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