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Personal Safety Tips for the Holidays

By bzarnett | In Life Skills | on December 5, 2016

The Christmas Tree at Durham Modern Martial Arts is up, the local shopping mall parking lots are already packed and the joy of the season is in the air. Yet, with all the festive activities and Santa pictures going on; we need to be aware of the holiday predator. The professional criminal who is not interested in buying the gift for a loved one but taking advantage of poorly lit parking garages, arms full of packages, keys buried in the bottom of overflowing purses, and wallets left on tables. To help you stay safe this holiday shopping season, consider the following list of personal safety tips!

Be aware of everything that is in, on and around you.

One of the most important things we can do while shopping this holiday season is to be aware. We want to be aware of the people around us, what we are caring and where our wallet is. Rather than let your wind wander about the crab cakes for the Christmas party, we need to maintain awareness of our surroundings. That state of “la-la-land” as we go through the parking lot is frequently a prime time for the bad guy to attack.

Park in well-lit areas even if its a farther walk.

If it’s cold outside than bundle up and take the extra minute or two to walk from a well-lit parking lot area. Do your best to avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. You want to keep your car as visible to as many people as possible. Also avoid parking next to tall shrubs or plants that could block views of your vehicle. Clear visibility is a key idea of personal protection. Just ask yourself, how frequently do you see this as a plot element in a tv-show or movie? Don’t be a plot element!

Don’t wear your bag or purse so that the strap crosses your body. 

Wearing a strap across your body makes you more connected to your bag. If someone tries to steal your purse, you will be pulled with the strap and fall, or get placed into an altercation with the bad guy. If your purse is draped on one shoulder, you can easily let go of it.

Dress casually and comfortably.

Blend in with the crowd and be prepared for the long walks and waiting in line. Avoid wearing large and expensive-looking jewelry that can draw additional attention to you; or clothing that makes you stand-out. Keep it simple – jeans and sneakers or similiar clothing.

Don’t hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car. 

Better safe than sorry does not mean you are paranoid. If it’s late at night, never hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car. This is doubly important for maze-like underground parking lots or poorly lit areas, Is valet parking available? Splurge a little with this pampered safety tip moment and have them worry about the car and parking so you can focus on the bag of gifts in your arms.

Personal Safety Tips are simple ideas everyone can do every day without any martial arts experience. Personal Safety Tips are part of our Force Necessary Personal Protection Programs run in six-week segments. P

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