Lifestyle Mental Health

Staying Safe During The Winter Season

staying safePhoto by Alex on Unsplash

Ughh! Today was the first day that it reached -1 degrees where I live and I hate it! I don’t do extremes in temperature. If it’s too warm or too cold, then I don’t function. Between dealing with my skin throwing a toddler tantrum and my sense of balance becoming non-existent, winter is dangerous! That’s why I want to look at staying safe during the winter season, especially pedestrians.

A lot of people tend to overlook what winter could throw at us.

I’m honestly not trying to put the fear of God into people. Just trying to make sure that anyone who reads this looks after themselves and others. I guess visiting the elderly with my Mum made me realise how deadly the cold can be. It looks gorgeous and like a picture on the outside but there is always more. I mean…does anyone else in the UK remember 2010 when the temperatures got down to -14?!

It was no fun wading through knee-high snow and hitting my frozen pipes!

It’s even worse for people with disabilities affected by the cold and trapped in their homes.

Wrap up warm

This is a massive one for those of us who walk or drive.

One of the few positives of winter is that you get to wrap up snug. You can throw on as many layers as you feel comfortable with! Hat, gloves, scarf, thermal socks and leggings! There is no reason to freeze just to look good. If you need to, think like a runner. Even though they don’t wear as many layers, they still make sure to protect themselves while they run.

If you drive and it snows, try to make sure to have emergency winter stuff in your boot. I hear this so often in the news when people get trapped in the snow. I might not drive but I did learn a few things from my parents. They always made sure to have extra warm clothes like jumpers and socks packed. Not only clothes but blankets, a sleeping bag, flasks of tea and food.

People forget how freezing cold a car can get when it’s not running!

Be seen

This is another tip I’ve picked up from a runner friend (hi Lisa!).

Now that the nights hit around 4pm and we have to leave work/school in the dark, we’ll be at more risk walking. What she does is wear a reflective armband so that any passing cars will see her. I reckon that’s great advice for anyone who is walking somewhere with less light.

You could attach a flashing light to your bag or even a reflective band. You don’t have to wear it all the time but there is no harm in staying safe just in case.

Don’t pull a Bambi

THIS!!

I, Daisy, have basophobia.

That’s a fear of slipping on ice and it’s real! I am a wuss when it comes to a lot of things, but ice literally has been frozen to the spot. No pun intended. I don’t even know what caused me to become so scared of falling but the fear is there. If I see that it’s icy outside, I refuse to out. I’ll re-schedule everything and stay in.

I’m not the best on my feet anyway because of legs giving out so add that to ice = Bambi!

Something I have learned from getting the odd concussion over the years is that you should never underestimate ice. It’s so tricky! You can see the obvious shine of ice spread over the pavements, but there is also black ice and freezing rain.

FREEZING RAIN IS A MENANCE!

Going back to 2010…I saw so many people falling over, cars and buses sliding everywhere! It was like I was watching an episode of Who’s Been Framed! That was the year I slipped over backwards twice and gave myself a severe concussion. That’s why I now refuse to leave my flat until I put on my Yaxtrax! They have me a literal godsend to me. They give me much more confidence walking outside when it’s icy.

If you don’t own something like this or shoes with a decent grip, take it easy! Make sure you have extra time to get to where you need to be. Another piece of advice I’ve picked up: walk like a penguin and use your arms to keep your balance.

Be prepared

Like Scar sings in The Lion King, be prepared!

The weatherperson does tend to be right more often than not so, if they say snow is immient, get ready!

Try to stock up on items that will last such as soups, frozen food and bread. They will help to keep you fed if you’re stuck indoors for a little while. If you take medication, make sure that you’ve gotten everything you need. Pharmacists are usually nice and will help you out if you’re worried.

If you have furry babies, they need help staying safe too! Get their food all sorted and, if you have a dog, time to get them dressed up! You can pop on a cute little coat and, depending on where you live, some boots. I’ve heard that grid and salt can really hurt their paws so let’s keep our babies safe!

Keep an eye out

Winter may be a nightmare for us but it can be horrendous for the disabled and the elderly.

I’ve heard so many stories from fellow disabled friends who dread the idea of heading out. Some of them are in wheelchairs and know that their chairs would stand a chance. I hate seeing ambulances being called out to the streets near me because an old dear has slipped. I live near a residential home and that always happens!

It can really strip the little independence they have away.

If it’s possible, check on any elderly neighbours to see if they need any help getting shopping. If they don’t, then just stay and chat. Loneliness can be even more deadly in the winter. I’ve recently started volunteering at a helpline where I talk to some elderly folks about whatever they want to. It’s amazing how much of a difference someone caring makes! It helps me too!

Listen to your body

If there is anything that winter is known for, it’s getting everybody sick.

People sneezing, coughing and slowly feeling like they’re dying on the way to work. I’ve already chatted in a post about how to try avoiding getting sick but it’s not always possible. You can be ill both physically and mentally. While it’s great that you’re pushing yourself to getting out of the house when you’re struggling, but your body is sobbing.

Don’t let life dictate what you should be doing winter.

Yes, there are probably a lot of getting their Christmas shopping done at the shops or going on winter breaks. That doesn’t mean everyone is. Comparison is so easy to fall into! Believe me, I know. Do what you feel you can right now and know that there are people there to help.

How do you usually stay safe during winter?

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