Self Defense

7 Tips How to Be Safe and Avoid Common Pitfalls in Everyday Life

You might teach your children to look left and right before crossing the street, but do you do this yourself?  Do you generally rely on signals to tell you when to walk and when to wait?  Do you say anything when your taxi driver seems to be driving like crazy?  Do you object when he decides to go off the beaten path and takes you to an isolated street?  Most of us are a bit preoccupied with what’s going on in our personal and professional lives, so we don’t pay that much attention while we’re doing other things.  Here are a few commonsensical tips on how to be safe that will help us in the long run:

7 Tips How to Be Safe and Avoid Common Pitfalls in Everyday Life

  1. Dress for the weather.  It’s important to check the weather before you leave your house.  If it’s a very hot or a very cold day, there might be a warning on the radio.  It’s not safe to expose yourself to really extreme temperatures, even if you’re dressed for them.  If you must go out in sub-zero temperatures, remember to take your warmest coat, boots, hat, gloves and scarf.  Remember that your health is more important than presenting a fashionable appearance.  If you’re going out on a very hot day, put on sun block and wear a hat if you can.  Stick to cotton and natural fibers and wear light colors.  These precautions can help you to avoid frostbite and sunstroke, both of which can have dangerous consequences.
  2. Drink water.  Whether it’s cold or hot outside, your body still needs water.  You may not realize it but you’re still losing water through perspiration when it’s cold outside.  If you don’t make it a point to drink liquids several times a day, you can get dehydrated.  So stop what you’re doing every couple of hours and rehydrate yourself.  Losing electrolytes can lead to an inability to focus, dizziness and even loss of consciousness, in extreme cases.  And these can lead to accidents when you’re traveling or even at home.
  3. Travel safe.  As mentioned above, don’t cross the street unless you’ve looked on both sides.  People run red lights all the time.  And if it’s a narrow road, they might even be driving on the wrong side, as they try to pass someone.  So it’s best to look both sides before crossing.  If your taxi driver is driving rashly, tell him to stop.  If he won’t stop, make sure you’re in a safe place and get off.  If he suggests taking detours you’re not familiar with, say no.  It’s often safer to take buses and trains than cabs, even though the latter might be more convenient.
  4. Know your neighborhood.  Most of us aren’t trained to spot someone following us a couple of blocks away.  So it’s easy to miss stalkers, child molesters and would-be rapists.  However, if you take the time to get to know your neighbors, this can make things safer for you.  Anyone following you will be deterred by your stopping to talk to several people on the way.  Plus, if you haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, chances are your neighbors will do so and tell you about it.  So being friendly is not just good for your social life and mood, it actually helps you to be safer as well.
  5. Wear shoes that fit.  You’d be surprised how many accidents and falls are caused by people wearing shoes that don’t fit them well.  If your friend just gave you a pair of unused sneakers but they’re just a little bit big, don’t wear them.  Loose sneakers are a recipe for disaster and can cause you to lose your footing even in mostly level urban areas.  If you know that you’re going to be walking for a while, it’s best to avoid high heels.  And be careful when you’re getting on and off the escalator because this is another area where people are likely to lose their balance.
  6. Don’t take off your shoes to run.  You see this in movies and on TV a lot.  A heroine who has to get away from a certain situation takes off her high heels and runs barefoot.  This is a technique that’s likely to backfire because there might be pieces of glass or pebbles that can seriously injure your feet while you’re trying to get away from a person or a situation.  Instead, make sure you generally wear low heels and run on your toes.  This is a technique used by many models on the catwalk to make sure they don’t fall over.  Try to carry your essentials in a small purse, separate from any other heavier things you might have with you.  This way, you can ditch the heavy stuff but still get away with the things you really need.
  7. Trust your gut.  People make a big deal out of “gut feelings,” “instinct” and “intuition” until you don’t even know what they’re talking about.  Is a “gut feeling” any different from a regular feeling?  Probably not.  It’s just that it comes up at different times.  In general, you feel good when you’re hanging out with friends and family.  You feel down when you fight with someone or don’t get that promotion you were hoping for at work.  But sometimes, you just get a feeling that something’s off.  You can’t pinpoint it but something doesn’t feel right.  It’s not a good feeling or a bad one.  It’s just different.  When you get that feeling, listen to it.  Try to figure out what it’s warning you about.  And then get yourself to a safe place or surround yourself with people.

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