About 3 minutes. This exercise can be done while moving around or stationary (standing or sitting) and can also be paired with group stretching.
Ask the group to observe their present environment. Ask, “where are the exits?” Allow the group to verbally identify the exits in the space. Exits can be more than doorways – they can include windows, air ducts, etc. If you are outdoors, an exit can include going indoors.
Next ask, “while in this space, if you believe your safety is in jeopardy, what weapons can you identify?” Allow the group to verbally identify potential weapons in the room. Weapons can include things found in the environment, parts of our own body, our voice, items in our pockets or on our person, etc.
Finally, ask the group to identify the things in this space that can be used as a shield. Allow the group to verbally identify potential shields in the space. A shield can be a movable object, furniture, etc.
The purpose of this activity is to provide another tool for your toolbelt. Everywhere we are, indoors or outdoors, are potential exits, weapons and shields. We don’t need to go around on hyper-alert all the time — but we can practice using our intuition/gut-feelings to identify the moments when we start to feel unsafe. We all have different physiological reactions to feeling scared or unsafe — feeling flushed, having the hair on the back of your neck stand up, butterflies in your stomach, etc. Get familiar with whatever it is your body does when you feel scared or unsafe, and when that happens, you can take a moment to identify your exits, weapons, and shields.