How to not waste your life(4 toxic escapism habits)
How to Escape Your Life
Life can be hard, and sometimes you need an escape. Luckily, you have many options for escaping your life! Start by taking a mental break, which can provide you with a short-term escape. If you need something longer, try embarking on an adventure. When you find yourself dreaming of escape often, you may want to make long-term changes to your life.
Taking a Mental Break
Take a mental health day.Sometimes you just need a brief escape from your work or school demands. A break from your everyday responsibilities will give you time to rest, recharge, and/or try something new. Call in sick or take a vacation day so that you have time for yourself.
- Choosing a Monday or Friday for your mental health day will give you a 3-day weekend. Just make sure that your decision doesn’t inconvenience someone else, such as a coworker who will have to cover for you.
- If you’re feeling exhausted, stay home and indulge in a few fun activities that you enjoy, such as watching your favorite show, soaking in a bath, or playing with your dog.
- If you’re feeling like your life is stale, go on an adventure. Take yourself on a short day trip to a nearby town, or invite a friend along for the ride!
- If you're feeling overwhelmed, talk to a therapist, religious mentor, or someone you trust. You can also reach out to a suicide hotline, such as 1-800-273-8255.
Change up your routine.Varying your daily routine even a little can make you feel like things are different. You could take a different route to work, eat lunch at a new spot, and engage in a different activity after work or school. Use this as an opportunity to try out a few things you wish were part of your everyday life, such as the following:
- Grab a coffee at a cool coffee shop.
- Take your lunch to the park.
- Eat lunch with a different group of coworkers or classmates.
- Find a new event to try, such as a new club at school or an event on meetup.com.
- Walk a friend’s dog to see if you might enjoy getting one of your own.
Get a change of scenery.Changing your environment can provide you with a brief escape from your everyday life. It will also show you ways that you can shake things up for yourself. Here are some ideas:
- Try a new restaurant that serves a cuisine you don’t commonly eat.
- Drive to a nearby city, then go to a park, a store, and/or dinner.
- Go for a nature hike.
- Ride your bike, walk, or take a bus instead of driving.
- Sleepover at your friend’s house.
- Work or complete homework at a coffee shop instead of your home.
- Shop at a different grocery store.
Immerse yourself in a good book.Books provide the ultimate escape from your daily realities. Best of all, they’re also a cheap, easy solution! Check out a new title from the library or purchase a bestseller from your local bookstore. While escapist storylines may be the best option, choose a genre that you enjoy. What’s important is that you can transport yourself to a new world.
- Consider reading fantasy or science fiction if you enjoy imagining unknown locations.
- Choose a contemporary book if you want to imagine yourself in a new place or lifestyle.
- Ask the librarian or bookseller for a recommendation.
Indulge in a video game.Like books, video games let you immerse yourself in a different world. You can play either alone or alongside other players. Let yourself get caught up in the storyline of the game for a few hours while you take a break from reality.
- Look for a game that lets you create your own unique character profile, which will allow you to spend a few hours as your alter-ego.
- Choose a game that has several different levels for varied game-play.
Participate in a role playing game.You can play role playing games in person, online, or as part of a video game. Create a character that you enjoy coming back to as your alter-ego. Become that character across several campaigns whenever you feel the need to escape.
- Check online on sites like Facebook or meetup.com to look for gaming groups that meet in your area. You can also talk to the staff at local comic book and gaming stores.
- You can even find single-player role playing board games, if you’d prefer to play alone.
- Some popular RPG games include Dungeons and Dragons, Magic Realm, World or Warcraft, and Arkham Horror.
Visit a therapist.A therapist can help you get to the bottom of your need to escape. You can talk out your feelings and learn how to work through them. Your therapist can help you identify ways to improve your life and your feelings toward it so that you don't feel like you need an escape.
- You can find a therapist on www.psychologytoday.com.
Embarking on an Adventure
Take a road trip.Road trips are fantastic because they’re an inexpensive way to get away from your life. Plan a trip or just jump in the car and drive. Either way, you’ll have a temporary escape!
- If you're short on time and resources, you can take a brief road trip that lasts one day. Visit a nearby city, or drive to the closest natural attraction, such as a beach, lake, mountain, forest, or large park.
- If you want to take an overnight trip, you could ask your friends and family if they’ll let you stay with them. Otherwise, you could book a hotel.
- If you have more time and resources, take off for a week long road trip and visit several different cities. You might even check off a bucket list goal by visiting a popular destination, such as the Grand Canyon.
- If you don’t have a car, ask a friend or relative if they’d take you on a road trip. You could also try taking a bus or train trip. You can go to a city close to you or for a longer trek.
Do a house swap with someone you know.Switching houses will give both of you a chance to escape your everyday. You’ll be able to pretend for a few days that things are different. It’ll be fun cooking in a different kitchen, bathing in a different tub, and sleeping in different surroundings.
- See if you can swap houses with a friend who has something you don’t. For example, your friend may have a pool that you could use.
Spend a few days in a city you’d like to live in.Immerse yourself in the lifestyle of that city! Talk to locals to ask their advice on where you should go and which restaurants you should visit. Make a point to live out your fantasy of living there.
- For example, enjoy the things that the location is famous for, such as sipping coffee in a French cafe.
Join a study abroad program if you’re in school.You may be able to go abroad for a few months up to an entire year. Talk to your high school, college, or university’s study abroad coordinator to find out what you’d need to do to qualify.
- For example, you may need to be learning the language of your destination country in order to join the program.
Help others by volunteering.Volunteering can benefit you in several different ways. First, it can take you to different parts of town and help you meet new people. You may even be able to volunteer for longer stints of time, such as a week or two for hurricane cleanup in a disaster zone. Not only will this give you new experiences, you’ll also value your own life more.
- Some volunteering programs, such as AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, can take you to other cities or even abroad. You might join one of these organizations for a temporary escape to a new place.
Making Long-Term Changes
Identify the stressors that make you want to escape your life.When you feel the need to escape often, this could be a sign that you need to make changes. You may be overwhelmed or burnt out. Alternatively, you may be living your life according to someone else’s expectations rather than your own. Talk out your issues with a therapist or someone you trust. You can also journal your feelings.
- You may need to do some job hunting or change careers.
- If your relationship is troubled, you could try counseling or consider moving on.
- You may feel like your hometown isn’t the right place for you to spread your wings. In that case, you could set aside money to start over somewhere new.
- You may feel bored or confined in your daily routine. In that case, mix things up by creating a new routine or pick up a new hobby.
- If you feel like your life is just school or work, you might try some new hobbies. Take up an instrument, enroll in an art class, join a recreational sports league, find a book club, etc.
Let go of expectations put on you by others.Everyone has different values in life, and sometimes people force those values on others in order to help them. Unfortunately, it’s not always helpful. It’s possible that you want to escape your life because you’ve chosen a job, course of study, home, or hobbies to please others and not yourself. Your opinion is the only one that matters, however, and it’s important to live life how you want.
- Ask yourself what you truly want in life.
- Identify your values and make sure you’re upholding them. If you're not sure what your values are, consider what makes you feel happy, fulfilled, or proud.
- Make changes in your life if you find things that are mismatched from what you really want.
Re-decorate your living space.Try to make it as different as possible. If you can, paint the walls, add wallpaper, or use decal stickers. Rearrange your furniture, switch up your decor, and create a whole new look.
- Choose a look that’s inspired by your dream life. For example, if you dream of living in Paris, your could hang up a nice print of the Eiffel Tower and a quote in French. If you dream of reading on a terrace, fill a bookcase with books, place a few plants on your windowsill, and position a chair near the window for reading.
- Look for cheap items at garage sales, thrift stores, or consignments shops or sites. You could also trade items with friends. Invite them over for a swap night!
Create a schedule to help optimize your time.Make a schedule for yourself so that you can add a few new things to your life or change how you do everyday activities. You could get up earlier to work on a personal goal, set aside time for a hobby, or go out 1-2 nights each week. Just try something different.
- For example, you could wake up an hour earlier than normal to go for a run and then make a breakfast smoothie.
- You could start a game night with your friends that happens every Tuesday.
- You could start a new routine of going to a coffee shop after school or work to complete your work, homework, or work toward a personal goal.
Take up a new hobby.A new hobby can change up your identity, making your whole life seem different. For example, learning to play guitar will make you a musician, and taking a painting class will make you an artist. Try your hand at something that’s always interested you. Here are some ideas:
- Take an art class.
- Start a YouTube series.
- Learn to play an instrument.
- Start a garden, whether it’s in a plot, pots, or a windowsill.
- Learn how to cook or bake.
- Join a recreational sport.
- Run or do yoga.
- Learn to crochet or knit.
Start a new job or career if your job is making you want to escape.A new job could be the change you’re looking for. Browse job listings and look for ones that you’re qualified for. You may also want to brush up on your job skills by attending classes or workshops.
- It’s best to wait until you have a new job before quitting your old one.
- If you aren’t ready to leave your job, talk to your boss about changes you can make at your current job. You may be able to take on new responsibilities, spruce up your workspace, or change up your schedule.
Go back to school.Get a degree in a field that you love. You could look for either an in-person program or one that you attend online. This could help you find a job that you truly enjoy.
- Make sure that the program you choose is accredited.
- Nonprofit schools are usually less expensive. Make sure you know if your school is for-profit or nonprofit before you start taking courses.
- Check the earning potential for your field before you take out student loans to pay for school.
Move to a new apartment or a new city.Starting over somewhere new is the ultimate escape. Although it may sound impossible, you can do it. Set aside money each paycheck to help you get started in your new city, and start looking for a job or school there.
- You can also raise money by selling off some of your belongings. The less stuff you have, the easier it will be to move and start over.
- If money is an obstacle, look for a roommate.
- If you’re moving to a new area, don’t stress about finding your dream apartment or house right away. You may be able to find a room for rent or a small studio or garage apartment to start your new life more affordably.
Confront relationship problems, if you have them.You may be able to work through your problems in counseling. Alternatively, sometimes it’s best to move on. Starting over is hard, even if you’re the one who wants to leave the relationship. However, it may be better in the long-term.
- Listen to your gut. If it says you deserve better, trust it. Although you may hurt over losing the relationship, you’ll feel better in time.
- Tell your partner how you’re feeling. Say, “I haven’t been happy in a longtime. I think we need to see a counselor.”
- If the person is a friend or family member, talk it out.
QuestionI want to kill myself. I've never thought of suicide before and I'm confused. I don't feel I can talk to anyone. Could you please tell me what to do?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerYou could call a suicide hotline and remain anonymous. You can also chat online through text as well while remaining anonymous. Please call the National Suicide Hotline or try an online therapy service like Betterhelp.com. Make sure to reach out to someone!Thanks!
QuestionWhy do people usually offer such poor advice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPossibly because they don't know well enough what's wrong or you haven't quite figured out what's wrong or making you sad enough to tell them.Thanks!
QuestionDo you think it would be better just to commit suicide?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSuicide is never the answer. If you're thinking about ending your life, please reach out to someone who cares about you and/or a mental health professional, or call a suicide hotline. The number for the national line in the United States is 1-800-273-8255.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I escape a toxic classroom environment?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you feel that your school environment is toxic but you can't escape it entirely, then try to just ignore the people who lead to that toxicity and only concentrate on your work. You can also talk to the counselor at your school about the issue and see if there's anything that can be done to resolve it.Thanks!
- Escaping your life won't fix your problems, although it can provide a temporary respite. If you're looking for an escape, consider why you are dissatisfied and take steps to solve the problem.
- Suicide is not the answer. If you're thinking about suicide, please call a suicide hotline. For example, you can call 1-800-273-8255, if you live in the United States.
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