Christmas shopping can scare the brain. Shoppers try to remember gift lists while calculating whether it’s better to use a coupon or sign up for a credit card in the store. Personal safety in the mall and in the parking lot is the last thing in the minds of most people, but it really should have priority.

Poorly lit garages, arms full of packages, Keys buried deep in crowded handbags, and other factors can make buyers particularly easy targets for predators. To help you stay safe during this Christmas shopping season, check out the following list of personal safety tips.

1. You will have to remain aware of your surroundings, by scanning your environment.

No matter how busy you are, don’t let your mind wander. It may seem important for the moment to make a to-do list in your head, but if you’re worried about appetizers for tomorrow’s Party, you might not notice someone following you to your vehicle.

2. Even if that means that you need to go a little further, Parking in well-lit areas.

It is best to avoid buying after sunset, but if you need to do it, try to bring a friend or family member with you. When you park, avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows. You want to keep your car visible to as many people as possible. Also avoid parking next to large shrubs or plants that could block the view of your vehicle

3. You don’t carry your bag or purse, so that the belt runs through your body.

Wearing a strap all over your body makes you more connected to your bag. If someone tries to steal your purse, you will be pulled with the strap. They may become unbalanced and put in a vulnerable position, or they may find themselves in a physical confrontation with the attacker. If your handbag is draped on one shoulder, you can easily let it go.

4. They dress casual and comfortable.

The mall during the Christmas shopping season is not the time for a fashion Statement. It is best to leave High Heels and eye-catching accessories at home. Jeans and sneakers help you mix and, if necessary, make a quick getaway. Also, avoid wearing bulky and expensive jewelry that can draw extra attention to you.

5. Do not hesitate to ask a security officer to escort you to your car.

If you go shopping at night and the amount in the mall has become thinner for the day, it’s always a good idea to take an extra step to stay safe. Or plan ahead and pay the extra few dollars to park your car so you don’t have to walk alone with your arms full of bags.

If you want to learn more about self-defense, we invite you to try an introductory course at the Elite Martial Arts Academy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Taekwondo for self-defense, fitness, character building and much more! We offer courses from age 7 for adults in our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program and from age 3 for adults in our Taekwondo program. Please register here (at the top right of this page – ” try a course for free!”) or (call us at 702-772-0102) and we will talk to someone to find out how you or a member of your family can begin the experience in martial arts!!

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