You can find a way to escape reality for a while without looking to drugs or destructive behaviors. When done in moderation, these 5 quick mental breaks provide a short reprieve from stress. That way, you can disconnect, relax, and come back to what’s stressing you in a better frame of mind. Keep reading to learn more about healthy escapism.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will find a way to escape reality by practicing some popular escapism techniques, including:
- What is Escapism?
- When is Escapism a Bad Thing?
- Popular Types of Escapism
- Interactive Entertainment
- Live-Action Role Playing
- Virtual Reality Gaming
- Travel Escapism
- Reading a Great Book
- Final Thoughts on Ways to Escape Reality
What is Escapism?
Before we dive too deep into your options, let’s take a look at what is escapism. In short, it’s when you find a way to escape what might be stressful surroundings or an unpleasant reality. Escapism provides you with distraction and relief through entertainment.
It’s really nothing new. After all, the day-dreamers, writers, artists, and other creatives are masters of escapism–sometimes with incredible results!
But what is new is technology, which has put a whole new spin on escapism
Is Escapism a Bad Thing?
Escapism isn’t necessarily bad or good.
It can actually be very helpful and emotionally beneficial to take a break to decompress from life’s daily stresses. You’ll discover there are some very healthy ways to escape, including watching a movie, socializing with friends, traveling, listening to music, or sleeping.
Where the negative reputation of escapism happens is when you spend too much time doing escapist activities. That could lead to procrastinating, avoiding, or adversely affecting work or relationships. Let’s face it, too much of anything can be bad. Or worse, if you’re turning to drugs, alcohol, self-harm, gambling, or addictive/extreme behaviors to escape, clearly that’s a bad idea.
Remember, everything in moderation. That includes the 5 ideas to escape, below.
Popular Types of Escapism That Offer More than a Standard Video Game and Streaming
As a parent, a single person, or even someone who just likes to be entertained, you probably crave some escapism now and then. We all do.
Streaming platforms like Netflix offer something for everyone with their binge-worthy box sets such as The Crown, Stranger Things, or recently, Midnight Mass.
You may also be a gamer who enjoys nothing more than spending an entire weekend in Tamriel, San Andreas, or Night City.
Then again, video games and immersive TV might not cut it for you, and you need something a little more tangible. Fortunately, there are many artistic and creative alternatives to the standard forms of entertainment you might be used to.
Here are some of the most accessible.
1. Interactive Entertainment
While video games are considered interactive entertainment, their function is limited. You are confined to a 2D world displayed as 3D. The only real interaction comes from talking to other gamers if you play online should the game allow it.
Fantasy role-playing games like Elder Scrolls Online are excellent for this. Yet, some people find solace in heavy action team-based games like Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, and Fortnite.
But for some, this isn’t enough, and real-life person-to-person interaction is needed. That’s where escape rooms come in. Some of the best escape room designs are almost like being inside a video game.
The phenomenon started in Kyoto, Japan, yet has swept the world. Escape rooms require team-based puzzle-solving to leave. Then, over 60 minutes, you are subjected to scenarios such as being in prison or planning a heist.
2. Live-Action Role Playing
Live-Action Role-Playing, or LARPing as it is known, takes gaming to a whole new level. Many LARPING groups and their rules are designed around popular tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons.
Participants dress up as medieval-style characters and engage in mock battles. But LARPing also extends to other tabletop games such as the World of Darkness universe that encompasses vampires and werewolves.
Extreme LARPing also exists where you could be subject to events at random times, like being a spy.
Whatever you desire, LARPing is a great form of escapism similar to historical battle re-enactments that allows you to become someone else, if even for a short while. You also get to meet like-minded people who want to have some fun, and there is no judgment among LARPers.
In short, this is the ultimate escapism form of entertainment, with some pretty impressive artistic flair and dedication when you consider the costumes and organization.
3. Virtual Reality Gaming
VR gaming is nothing new and has, in fact, been around for decades. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that the face of VR gaming changed for the better when a young Palmer Luckey invested in the Oculus Rift.
Oculus Rift made high-fidelity home-based VR gaming possible. Without it, today, we wouldn’t have devices such as Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR, and Vive HTC.
Currently, PlayStation VR (PSVR) holds an impressive library of games for PS4 and PS5. When using PSVR, you are transported to another world. Depth perception is perfect, and you will feel like you are inside your game.
However, it’s so deceiving that you will even feel a physical reaction to events in the game, such as a sinking feeling when you jump or fall. However, the graphics of PSVR aren’t tremendous, and PC headsets offer a higher resolution.
And to take VR gaming to another level, Ubisoft recently announced a location-based VR experience for their flagship title, Far Cry.
4. Travel Escapism
There’s a great quote that says, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” While that’s true, sometimes you really do need to escape your life for a bit.
In fact, travel and escapism go somewhat hand-in-hand. Who doesn’t love to take a break from daily life with a change of scenery, weekend away, or trip to the Caribbean?
There’s a good reason why you need a vacation from time to time–and why mental-health experts encourage time off. It’s because occasionally, you need a break from the burdens of life to relax, disconnect from stress, and get a fresh perspective on things.
What’s even better is that since the pandemic, more and more venues and destinations offer virtual experiences. When you can’t escape through travel in person, you can still visit botanical gardens online, and enjoy virtual tourism around the world.
Either way, you’ll get the benefits of feeling rejuvenated by your travels.
5. Books to Escape Reality
Last but not least, books are a great way to escape reality. The may sound a little old-fashioned, but it’s way cooler than that – they are the original escapism. When you lose yourself in a book, because in no time at all, you’ll be transported from your location in time and space to a new place, identity, and set of circumstances.
While it may not sound as glamorous as the other options presented as a way to escape reality, but it’s just as effective — only the operating system is your mind.
Final Thoughts on A Way to Escape Your Reality
I certainly don’t recommend a total detachment from your life. After all, it can be tempting to avoid problems and lose yourself in reality gaming or some other type of escapism.
But if you find a way to escape for a short time when you’re overwhelmed, you’ll likely experience a much-needed reality break. That might just be the “breather” you need to ultimately focus on dealing with whatever it is stressing you out.
To continue reading about escapes, click here to learn the best cities for gamers.
Photo Credit: VR – Eugene Capon (Pixabay), others courtesy of Canva Pro.
When to Visit 36 Dreamy Destinations
You will instantly receive the FREE Month-by-Month Destination Guide