E is for Escapism

Thanks to my Mother-in-Law for today’s A-Z Challenge idea.  Feel free to leave your own suggestions for the rest of the month as I may very easily run out of ideas!!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Escapism as:

The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

A pretty wide definition there, and one that differs greatly for everyone.  For my MIL, I imagine that escapism is a trip to the beach, either in a hot, exotic country or a more local one in beautiful Suffolk.   A quick Google Images search for escapism also reveals lots of pictures of deserted beaches, so I guess the idea of getting away from it all, whether ‘it all’ is work, other people or housework, is a common theme.

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Blugh, no thanks!

HWW would like to escape from 9-5 corporate life, so his idea of escapism is fantasising about running a coffee shop by the seaside.  Just daydreaming about about rustling up a few cappuccinos for delightful customers, far away from management speak, meetings and deadlines, is enough to provide temporary distraction from the stresses of everyday life.  (Even if the reality of running a coffee shop would bring plenty of its own stresses such as cash-flow problems, long hours and doing numerous mundane tasks!)

When I asked my daughter how she likes to escape from problems or the stresses of life, she said she doesn’t need to because she has no problems!!   Lucky her!

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Mmmm, yes please!

For me, I can get a quick (and cheap) form of escapism in books.  Once a book has captured my imagination, I can shut out the rest of the world and not think about the myriad of problems that are waiting for me.   In that sense, my escapism could be considered similar to mindfulness: by concentrating fully on the words and losing myself in the story, I’m there in the moment and nothing else matters.  However, I’ve tried using mindfulness techniques to enjoy doing the washing up – “Look at the bubbles as they pop in the air, enjoy the sensation of the warm water running over your hands” – and it still sucks.   Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong…

How do you escape the unpleasant realities of life?

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17 thoughts on “E is for Escapism”

  1. I’m flattered that you used my suggestion. These days I rarely feel the need to escape. But, for a change of scene, a walk along the beautiful riverside is perfect. Back in the days of worry & stress, the one thing that never failed to relieve my worries was to walk through the meadows to commune with the herd of cows. Something about their big brown eyes and the way they seemed to want to communicate. It worked everytime. This escape was always calming, I returned feeling ready to face whatever might come next.

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    1. Yes, nature is definitely a big stress reliever. Sadly, the nearest cows are quite a trek away for me! I’ll have to commune with a child instead (might be more stress causing than stress relieving!!)

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  2. When I saw the title, I immediately thought “books”. Blogging is a good form of escapism though – especially when I’m reliving my travels, as I am right now. I can look at the photos I want to upload and pretend I’m still in New Zealand 😉

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    1. Absolutely. I’m reading Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell) at the moment, which isn’t holding my attention enough and I keep drifting back into the real world!! Not good 😉

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  3. Daydreaming, fantasising, reading books and watching sitcoms are the perfect escape from reality routes that I take.

    Why don’t you write more about Italy and it’s heavenly cuisine through the rest of the month? At least, that is what I want to know more about. A closeup of a gelato stall, tossing pasta, cooking seafood…. drooool! You get the picture right? 😉

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