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How To Avoid These Typical Winter Injuries

How To Avoid These Typical Winter Injuries

When you think of winter injuries, a ski hill probably comes to mind first, followed by car accidents. While slipping and falling on an icy road might not seem detrimental, you can acquire a variety of serious injuries, like, broken bones, displacement of the joints, and damage to your back. This has become so common that there have been laws put in place, making people accountable for their property. Nowadays, businesses are obligated to take reasonable steps that ensure safety for those using their property. No one should wound up being permanently injured because a shopping mall didn’t tend to an icy parking lot in a timely manner to ensure public safety. To put it in perspective, there are lawyers that specifically deal with property owners who are negligent in their snow and ice safety practices.

In order to avoid an injury that can cause you to miss out on the slopes or work, here are some precautions to take this winter:

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1 Choose slip grip shoes over vanity

Yes, it’s great to wear stiletto boots with your favorite work outfit to make you feel good, but don’t do it. Shoes or boots with slip grip soles might not be attractive, but you’ll thank yourself if you are presented with an icy pathway. The best advice is to take your favorite boots to work in your bag and change once you get inside and wear your slip grip shoes outside.

2 Use nordic poles

This may seem absurd if you live in a city, but it comes in handy in snowy and icy terrains where you would rather have the support instead of falling over with a busted hip. Nordic poles help keep you steady no matter what the terrain. An added bonus is if you have to climb over a heap of snow (thanks to snow plowing), you’ll know just how deep you’re going to fall.

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3 Allow yourself extra time

If you’re running late, you are far more likely to get into an accident while driving or walking. If you’re driving, you’ll have to take into account that your car might need to warm up and that windows need to be scraped. If you’re walking, being able to take it slow will help aid in the prevention of an injury.

4 Stay aware

Even if most of the ice seems to have melted off, there might be spots that don’t get sun or areas where the ice is thicker than others. Watch the road diligently, avoiding any ice patches that might present themselves as an issue during your travels.

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5 Shovel your driveway and sidewalks safely

The hidden danger of ensuring nobody slips and falls on your driveway is that you might put your back out while you’re shoveling snow. Bend your knees and take breaks when you get tired. This is the time to use those core muscles, instead of putting all the pressure onto your back.

6 Avoid the first week of ski hill opening

This is my own personal piece of advice based on what I saw when I lived in a winter ski resort. I worked at a large hotel and we would lose 10% of our staff during the first week of the season. This usually had something to do with the amount of snow on the mountain. It might have also had to do with an over-ambitious mind combined with underworked muscles from the ski/snowboard crowd. Whatever the reason, heading up the hill when the conditions aren’t great and people are still a bit clumsy sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

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7 Avoid 4 X 4 in ice and snow

Again, living in a winter wonderland, I saw some pretty bad practices from city people that had never used their 4 X 4 option. The road to most ski hills are windy, go uphill and downhill a lot, and usually have a sheet of white over them. For some reason, people felt safer putting their vehicle into 4 X 4 mode. It was usually the SUVs that ended up in the ditch because of that. What people don’t realize is that when your vehicle spins out while in 4 X 4 mode, all four tires spin out. It’s better to drive slow and steady in ice and snow and turn the 4 X 4 on your vehicle off.

Featured photo credit: mitjamikol/pixabay via pixabay.com

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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