The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us! Excitement is in the air, holiday lights are hung and retail is doing everything they can to entice us into their stores to buy gifts for all of our loved ones.
It’s easy to get distracted this time of year as we shop while still managing work and care for our families as well. Here are some safety strategies to help keep you aware and safe as you enjoy this joyous season.
1. Have a game plan
Before heading out to shop, make a list of what you need and make a game plan. This not only keeps us focused but it can also help keep you on budget. I can easily blow my budget on all the extra glittery stuff that I see and think I need, instead of focusing on the food or gift list that I need to buy. More importantly, lists help keep you focused on where you are going. Remember that predators are looking for vulnerable and distracted targets. When going from store to store or store to car, keep alert and walk with purpose to your next destination.
2. Avoid ATM machines
Try not to stop at a ATM machines during your shopping. Shop with plastic if possible to avoid pulling out wads of cash at the register. You never know who is watching!
3. Always keep at least one hand free
There’s no way you can even try to fight back against an attacker or protect your face if both hands are weighed down at your side holding shopping bags. Use a cross body bag as your purse to avoid being the victim of a robbery but remember to keep the actual bag in front of you and zipped. If you plan on buying a lot, perhaps look into using a backpack to stuff some goods into if you are in a city and will be walking around shopping.
In that free hand, you can carry a Mace Brand pepper spray while walking through parking garages, desolate parking lots, outdoor shopping malls and while getting into elevators. My favorite is the Exquisite polka dot purse pepper spray that looks just like a lipstick or perfume container. A pepper spray in hand keeps you more aware of your safety and can be used against a potential predator.
4. Cover your packages on public transportation
If you are taking public transportation to and from shopping keep all your goods covered. Don’t have expensive toys or fancy gifts hanging out of the bag to tempt would be thieves. If your list is lucky enough to get gifts from expensive designer stores, the branded shopping bags are dead giveaways that whatever is inside is going to cost a lot and therefore, can get a thief a nice payday on the black market. This is where it might again be handy to keep expensive gifts close to your body either in a backpack (securely zipped) or in a cross body bag.
5. Be alert
If you live in more a suburban area and you’ll be driving from store to store or to the mall, your car is going to either be a source of safety or danger depending on the situation. As you head to your car in a parking garage or lot, keep eyes and ears alert and have your phone put away. Your focus should be on walking with purpose, checking out your car (inside, around and under) and getting into it as quickly and efficiently as possible and then locking the doors behind you. This acts as a safe boundary against any potential predator. I also keep an extra Mace Brand pepper spray on the side of my door of my car that I can easily grab, just in case!
Stay safe and enjoy your shopping!
This holiday season is a great time to honor the empowered women in your life. Whether she is a super accomplished rock star or just starting out on her empowerment journey, the following list contains great gift ideas to show your support for her! Check out my favorite holiday gifts for the empowered women in your life!
1. 2018 Planner from Anthropologie ($34)
Setting goals is only done by a small percentage of people – usually known as go-getters! Following through on accomplishing those goals requires planning and tracking. Personally, I am old school and love putting pen to paper when I plan out my year. This planner is gorgeous and efficient but there are tons more to choose from. Grab a planner for your favorite goal-getter!
2. You Rock Quotable Mug ($14.95)
Every empowered woman could use a dose of positive reinforcement every morning. There are tons of positive quotes to choose from but I like the simple “You Rock” mug that easy to compute before I have my coffee. It’s a great gift for any coffee or tea lover.
3. T is for Transformation ($13)
I know Shaun T personally, and I can vouch that he is the real deal and truly authentic in his quest of helping people transform their lives from the inside out. In his book, T is for Transformation, Shaun shares the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and how he has overcome that and other challenges in his life through the use of his “7 superpowers.” This is an excellent book for anyone who had a rough year, anyone who is looking to improve their life or for that self-help junkie like myself.
4. Mace® Brand Pepper Spray ($16.99)
I couldn’t decide between my two favorite Mace® Brand products so I am including them both. Every empowered woman should have at least one pepper spray to help keep her safe. I love the Exquisite polka dot pepper spray because when I’m carrying it, I feel incognito because it looks like it could be a lipstick or perfume case. I also go out hiking a lot by myself and when I do I carry the Mace® Brand Sport pepper spray model. It features an adjustable strap so it sits right in my hand if I ever need it. This is a great stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift for a runner, a commuter or any woman who’s into personal safety.
5. Essential oil Diffuser ($29.65)
Have someone on your list that could use help sleeping, breathing, relaxing, waking up, or feeling happy? Apparently, there’s an essential oil that can help with almost every ailment out there. This essential oil diffuser that I have is one example of the many out there that are easy to use. Depending on your budget you can include a couple of oils as well. A good starter kit can include lavender (to relax), eucalyptus (for clear breathing) and lemon (for mood boosting). It’s a great gift for people that like to read in bed, sleep peacefully and relax.
6. Beauty Counter Polished Pout Trio ($48)
Most lip glosses contain toxic chemicals like parabens, BHT and petroleum, that we essentially wind up eating. Some lipsticks even contain lead. Beauty Counter products are safe from these dangerous chemicals so lip lickers need not worry. They often run out of stock on products so best to order fast. Also, you can order directly from their website and not have to find a consultant.
7. Hear Me Roar Book ($14.95)
An oldie but a goodie! Every high school senior and college student could use an extra dose of empowerment. Hear Me Roar: how to defend your mind, body and heart against people who suck, teaches young women how to be brave, increase self worth and roar and defend themselves against predators. This book is a great stocking stuffer for your daughter, niece or friend.
8. Everlane Backpack ($68 - $80)
Keeping your hands free as you commute, travel or shop is a safety tip we can all heed. That’s part of the reason why I love and carry this stylish and functional backpack. I travel around the country with it and throw my laptop in it and get on my bicycle to head to the coffee shop. This is a great gift for a student but also anyone who bikes, travels or commutes.
9. Graced by Grit ($92)
I must have been through countless pairs of black fitness leggings to date, however, the Graced by Grit Better Than Everything legging is by far my favorite. Graced by Grit is a women-owned brand based in Southern California who sources their fabric from Italy, but products are made proudly in the U.S. Every purchase comes with a free whistle in the hopes that women can use the whistles if ever in a dangerous situation. The brand was inspired by a tragic story of a teenage girl who was murdered while out on a run. Graced by Grit is taking a stand for women’s safety! Anything they make is a great gift for any women who likes to exercise and look and feel good doing it.
10. Lake Champlain Chocolate (From $10 - $150)
From baskets of hot chocolates, to truffles, to a vegan chocolate assortment, every chocolate lover would be over the moon to get a gift from my favorite chocolate company, Lake Champlain Chocolates. Based in Vermont, they use local ingredients when possible and all of their chocolates are free of preservatives, additives and extenders. There’s not one product I’ve tried that I didn’t love. This is a great gift from a stocking stuffer to a gift basket for a family, a good neighbor, or a great employee or boss. And of course, the higher the percentage of cacao, the healthier it is!
11. Society Nine Boxing Gloves ($78)
Quite simply, the Bia Boxing Gloves in white and gold are the sexiest boxing gloves I’ve ever seen. And when you feel sexy, you may be able to fight a little harder. Boxing is a hot workout right now and for good reason. It not only helps you burn tons of calories because of it’s high intensity nature of the sport, but it also does make you feel like a badass and help you learn how to hit, duck and block. These gloves are a great gift for any woman who currently boxes or would like to learn.
12. SeaVees for J. Crew Glittery Sneakers ($88)
Who’s says comfort can’t be cute? I’m all about wearing stylish sneakers as much as I can while I travel and when I’m working. Not only will you be able to run faster when needed, they are also safer for your back if you stand and walk most of the day. Wearing heels can do significant damage to your lower back by tightening your calves if worn often and over time. These glittery shoes are great for the holiday and your back. They’re a great gift for a student, someone who commutes or just loves comfy shoes and glitter.