Safety and You at ISU
Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee December, 2005
Safely Handle Holiday Stress
According to the Alexandria, VA-based National Mental Health Association, depression peaks during the holidays, affecting 17.6 million individuals. “The holiday stress period really begins around Halloween and doesn’t end until after New Year’s,” said Peter A. Wish of Sarasota, FL. Wish is an author and consultant for the Boston Globe and United Press International.
Holiday stress has many causes, including time pressures, terrorist anxiety and traveling, bad relationships with relatives, reflecting on past failures, loneliness, and unrealistic expectations about the holidays.
However, teaching yourself how to handle the stress, whether through prevention or healthy coping methods, can assist you throughout the holiday season.
Prevention is the key when battling the holiday blues. First, forget all the holiday hype. “You need to really get your expectations realistic, Wish said. “Identify the traps that people get themselves into.”
Inoculate yourself against family members that cause problems. “Try to minimize the contact with them or take into consideration what their previous moaning was all about,” Wish added.
Most importantly, try not to do it all by yourself. Learn to say no. It’s a very short-but important-word, especially during the holidays. Saying no can be for financial or emotional reasons. If you can’t handle having all 30 people at your home at once, spread it out during a few days, or invite fewer people. Know your limits.
Know yourself. If you know you are likely to overeat during the holiday season, make efforts to eat healthier meals during the day. This is a way to avoid feeling guilty and depressed once the holidays are through. If you usually get into a financial jam during the holidays, consider making craft gifts, which are generally less expensive, but equally appreciated, or setting an amount of money for family members to spend on gifts.
Give yourself time. Post-holiday depression is common. People don’t allow themselves time to be depressed because they are too busy taking are of others.
(Courtesy Utah Safety Council)
Working in the Cold
The National Safety Council offers the following suggestions to minimize the effects of working in the cold.
Work in the sun as much as possible.
- Share the workload to avoid overheating and sweating.
- Follow a work warm-up schedule when possible.
- Use the buddy system to help detect early signs of frostbite. Avoid working alone. Periodically check under face protectors.
- Pay attention to shivering as a warning sign; workers should get out of the cold if this occurs.
- Wear several layers of clothing, and remove layers as the body warms up.
- Keep clothing dry. Allow time for changing into dry clothes.
- Brush snow and moisture off clothes whenever possible.
Evaporate perspiration by opening the neck, waist, arm, sleeves and so on to provide fresh air circulation.
Preventing Crime in Our Neighborhoods
Each of us is responsible for our own safety. What are practical measures we can each take to prevent becoming a victim of crime?
Know your neighbors. Know who lives where, the types of vehicles and whom they belong to, where the children live, and the work patterns of your neighbors.
Be actively involved in the Neighborhood Watch program.
Preventing Home Burglary:
- Use appropriate deadbolt locks on all outside doors with 3” screws in the strike plate.
- Light up the outside of your home at night, all night.
- Trim back trees and shrubbery from around doors and windows to prevent providing hiding places.
- Install a wide-angle door viewer (peephole) in your front door so you can see who is at your door before you open it.
- Use appropriate locks on all windows.
- Secure your vehicle in a garage, or if you park on the street or in a driveway, lock the doors and remove your property from it.
Recognizing & Reporting Suspicious Activity
Anyone or anything that seems out of place (abnormal) in your neighborhood is suspicious and may end up as criminal activity. While some suspicious activity has innocent explanations, your law enforcement agency would rather be called out on suspicious activity than be called when it is too late. Listed are examples of suspicious activity:
- Slow moving vehicles—repetitive or aimless.
- Vehicles being loaded with valuables.
- Abandoned vehicles.
- Suspicious persons going door to door, going into the back or side yard, waiting in front of a business or house, forcing entrance into a residence, business, or vehicle.
- Unusual noise, such as breaking glass, gunshots, or other loud noises.
Report Any Suspicious Activity to:
In an Emergency dial 911
Elevator Myths & Safety Tips
MYTH: Many people believe elevators are held up by only one rope that can break, leaving passengers trapped in a falling car.
FACT: Elevators are supported by multiple steel cables. Each cable alone can support a fully loaded car.
MYTH: Some people believe that if an elevator is stuck between floors that they are in danger of falling and should try to get out.
FACT: Absolutely not! Leaving the car on your own could result in injury and even death. Elevator cars are designed as safe rooms. The safest place is inside the car.
Ring the alarm and wait for help.
- Know your destination.
- Stand aside for exiting passengers.
- Wait for next car, if elevator is full.
- Enter & exit carefully. Step up or down if the elevator floor and hall floor are not level.
- Leave closing doors alone.
- If doors don’t open, ring alarm button and wait.
- If there is a fire in the building, use the stairs.
(Source: Elevator/Escalator Safety Foundation)
Did You Know?
Safety Tips for Students:
- Lock your dorm room, even if you are there.
- Don’t walk alone at night, even if it’s a short distance. Call for a safety escort if necessary (ext. 2515).
- Don’t be casual about leaving your stuff around.
- Be aware of your surroundings and your condition.
(Source: Security on Campus)