Guest writer: Jennifer Cassetta, clinical nutritionist, personal trainer and self-defense expert.
June is National Safety Month and it’s a great time to take stock of your safety habits. A habit by definition is a settled or regular tendency or practice, not an action that we do just sometimes. The Top 10 Safety Habits Everyone Can Benefit From below can help protect you, your family and even strangers in your path, safer from potential harm. After reading the habits below see if there are habits you already have that have worked for you and what habits you may be missing and would like to adopt.
- Bring a new level of awareness to your daily life
Awareness is the cornerstone of safety. If we are talking about personal safety, dating safety, home safety, car safety or even cyber safety, the first thing we must do is become more aware. We should be aware of the potential dangers around us in an empowering way, not in a paranoid way. This can be done simply by talking less, listening more, looking deeper and heightening our senses. Take away distractions in your life while you are out in public. Other items on this list will help you do that too.
- Keep your cellphone in your purse, bag or front pocket while you walk
Walking around with your head buried in your phone is a surefire way to look like a target to a predator. Predators are looking for not just weak but distracted people. It’s best to keep your phone in your purse or bag or in your front pocket of your jeans, so it won’t be easy to steal from you.
- Save your headphones for the gym
Headphones really don’t have a place in public if you want to be hear what’s going on around you. Headphones block one of your most major senses allowing you to space out and easy to be snuck up upon by a person or situational disaster.
- Lock your car doors
So simple to do, but not always done. Getting in your car quickly and locking the doors behind you can save you from car jacking, theft or attack. It’s also a safety habit that gets you in the mindset for a safe drive. Doors are locked, now I can check my phone or go through my purse. Not while they are unlocked. It’s also one more safety precaution as you drive through sketchy neighborhoods.
- Lock your house door and make sure windows are secure
Living in safe neighborhoods gives us a false sense of security and oftentimes we forget to lock our doors at night. I’ve literally left my keys in the lock of my door and slept through the entire night with anyone able to just walk right in! Now I make it a habit to entire my home and lock the door behind me. Keep your windows closed throughout the night if a possible home intruder can easily access the window. Second floor windows should be safe, unless there is a way to get to that floor from the ground level. Ground level windows should be closed and locked.
- Meet your dates in public places
A first or even third date should not be at someone’s home. Until you know your prospective partner, you should be meeting at public places. It’s even better if the places you are familiar with and where people may know and recognize you.
- Don’t trust EVERYTHING you hear
There are scammers online and offline and everywhere in between. I love to be open to meeting new people and always would like to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, naivety can lead us down a rocky road when the person on the other end of the transaction is up to no good. Always ask a lot of questions and never assume things are the way people say they are. Especially, if these people are strangers and want something from you, i.e. money or sex. Keep your senses alert and listen to your intuition. Do research on people or situations that seem too good to be true.
- Have at least one safety item in your purse/bag you can use to protect yourself
I recommend having a SABRE pepper spray or gel on hand in your purse and one in your car at all times. Just remember that if you are out walking, running, commuting, etc. the pepper spray should be easily accessible if you needed to use it. For example, when heading to your car in the parking garage, your pepper spray is in your hand ready to go, not at the bottom of your gym bag.
- If you see something - seriously - say something!
We’ve seen the ads on TV and in the subway, but has there been a time when you did see something suspicious but didn’t speak up because you or someone told yourself that you were being paranoid? If your intuition is telling you that something is fishy about an item left on the floor, a cracked open door, or even a certain person, you very well may be about to uncover something wrong. This could lead to you saving yourself and others around you a lot of discomfort or even danger. Speak up when your intuition gives you that gift and don’t just ignore it.
- Change your passwords
Some of us keep the same passwords for our laptop, websites, smart phones and home security systems. Yes, this is an easy way to remember your passwords and can make life less difficult. However, it is also easy for a hacker or thief to break into more than one system in your life.
We want to hear from YOU: What safety habit will you adopt that you have not been already implementing in your life?