What Do You Do When You Feel Unsafe?

Every morning I go for a walk in a park near my home. I walk 3 or 4 miles, alone, and I generally feel safe while doing so. However, I watch the news. I watch Law & Order. I know that bad things can happen to anyone anytime, no matter how much you think ‘oh, it can’t happen to me.’

I don’t like feeling afraid. I don’t like feeling like I need to have “CONSTANT VIGILANCE” (thank you, Professor Moody). But I’m not an idiot. I know that it doesn’t matter who or where I am, anything can happen.

Lately I’ve been considering things I should or could do to make myself feel and be safer while I’m out on my own. What do you think? Are my ideas below ridiculous? Am I crazy for worrying so much about it?

Option #1: Carry a weapon

I’ve seriously thought about getting pepper spray or a small knife to carry around with me. I thought this would be a great solution to make myself feel safter, but then I read a blog (and I can’t remember where I read it–so if it was yours, let me know and I’ll link it up!) that said unless you are thoroughly trained in using one, carrying a weapon is actually a bad idea. What if your attacker got it away from you and used it on you? I don’t want to get Maced. Or stabbed with a pocketknife.

Option #2: Change up my routine

I dread the idea of doing this. If I’ve learned one thing from Law & Order SVU, it’s that stalkers love when their stalkees do the same things at the same times every day. I don’t want to be so easy to track, but if I don’t stick to a routine, shit doesn’t get done. Waking up each morning and going to the park is the only way to ensure I’ll get any exercise for the day. “I’ll do it later” is not an option, because I won’t do it later. It has to be done first thing. I’m afraid if I try and mix up my routine, all will be lost. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Option #3: Don’t go alone

This is impossible at the moment. My friends have jobs or kids that need to get to school in the morning. I get up much earlier than Alex, my boyfriend, does, and he’s not a morning person. Maybe there’s a walking club I could join? But aren’t those for 80-year-old power walkers?

Option #4: Take a class

This seems to be the most viable option for me, but I’m having a hard time finding a class to take. I don’t really want to study a certain genre of martial arts, I just want to take a women’s self defense class. Where does one find such things?

My feelings of unease aren’t limited to the park. I go lots of places by myself, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, certain that someone is in the house. Now, maybe I have a complex, or maybe I’m overthinking it. In any case, I need to do something.

What are your thoughts? Do you ever feel unsafe when you’re out of the house? What have you done to combat those feelings?

I blog about books, life in Vegas, and writing at Check, please!

Get Inspired and Get Going with Travelated, an online travel magazine.

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