Think of the energy you need to get through your day as coming from one big battery. Each time you struggle through a task without the right supports in place, it drains your battery—sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot. The good news is that your battery can be recharged by finding ways to make tasks a little bit easier. Take time to figure out which parts of your experience with safety issues are draining your battery and to find the strategies that work for you. You can use this downloadable worksheet to make notes for each area in this roadmap.
As an adult, you take on more responsibility for your own safety. In addition to recognizing your personal triggers and risks, staying safe also means preparing for outside situations like weather emergencies, financial scamming phone calls and safety hazards in your house or apartment.
Recognizing these risks can help you to avoid getting into an unsafe situation, but if you do, safety skills can help you get out of it. Even if you never experience these problems, having the confidence that you know what to do can reduce your anxiety and prevent these worries from draining your battery. To help you identify safety risks and develop your skills, consider talking with a support person who has plenty of experience.
What drains you?
Consider the parts of your daily life that require safety skills.
- If you use social media, you might be vulnerable to misinformation.
- You might get scam phone calls or emails designed to trick you into sharing your personal information or sending money.
- If you live alone, you might not have a safety plan in case of fire, carbon monoxide or weather emergencies.
What recharges you?
These are tools, strategies and behaviors that make challenging tasks a bit easier. Think about the things you already do as well as some new ideas you might want to try.
- If you have trouble identifying misinformation, you could use a fact checking website, explore online games designed to teach media literacy or talk to a support person who is skilled in this area.
- You could limit scam calls and email by blocking or filtering out certain contacts.
- If you live alone, you could ask a support person to help you develop a safety plan for different emergency situations.
What are the risks?
Sometimes, a safety risk can become serious enough that it is a danger to your life or wellbeing. These issues can be frightening - it might even drain your battery to think and talk about them. But preparing yourself for safety risks is like charging an external power pack before hurricane season. You might never get hit with a storm, but you are prepared, just in case.
- Is there anything in your environment or circumstances that could be a threat to your safety?
- Are there any safety risks you feel unprepared to handle or skills you need to develop?
What is the plan?
The best time to make a safety plan is when things are going well. It is much harder to make decisions in the middle of a crisis.
Sometimes, the hardest part about safety is recognizing whether a situation is putting you in danger. You can identify a support team of people who can offer advice about how serious a situation is and how urgent your response should be. Think about which people on your team are most knowledgeable and able to help in different situations.
What are some new everyday behaviors, strategies or tools that you want to put in place?
- Do you need support to put these ideas into practice?
- Who can help you in this area?
- What do you need to say or do to get that help?
When your battery is running low, seeking help can feel overwhelming. One way to prevent this is planning ahead for these times.
- How do you know when you need to ask for help balancing your needs?
- Who can help you in this area?