Why we need to escape (TW Magazine)
This post was published in the Summer 2020 editions of TW Magazines, and also used by journalist Laura Hampson in her article Why You Should Use Your Annual Leave Even If You Can’t Go On Holiday published on the Evening Standard site.
With travel restrictions still in force, should we still booking time off? Holidays are essential for both mental and physical well-being. But doing the same thing day in and day out is wearing, and can also lead to burnout or low mood. Having something to look forward to? It energises us; it excites us. We crave new things and ‘rewards’, the brain loves novelty, so it’s stimulating.
During the lockdown, there have been many forms of escapism; chocolate, alcohol, cakes, NetFlix, etc. On the healthier side, exercise that some people may never have done before, walking/running to places they’ve never ventured to in the past. The brain and body seek pleasure and new things. Stimulation is so crucial for our well-being.
When we have a day off, let’s say a bank holiday, it is important to see it as a bit special. Doing something that you wouldn’t normally do, it’s a physical and emotional break from the daily grind. After a day off, we are generally more productive, more focused and energised. We feel as if we deserved our break and got our ‘reward’.
Things you can do right now in lockdown; get your local map, look at places you may never have known about, that are practically on your doorstep. Do something virtual, that you’ve never done before, yoga, salsa dancing, juggling, anything!
Escapism is only harmful if it’s something you are consistently not dealing with. You may be coping by using substances or habits that may affect your mental or physical well being.
However, when you use your imagination for your good (remember, Einstein, said “imagination is more powerful than knowledge”, you feel uplifted. Thinking of seeing your best friend and hugging her, or imagining that great holiday you want.
We all know how the delightful anticipation of thinking of the next holiday. That’s already an upgrade in thought and feeling, then imagining what you might do there, the scenery, etc. Doing this kind of escapism is great stuff.
In fact, on that note, and for that reason, I have recently recorded several virtual holidays free to download. They were even picked by an award winning travel agent to share with their clients as a little gift. While you are experiencing your ‘holiday’, you are both relaxing and stimulating your brain. The great thing is – you don’t even have to pack your cases!! As you can see below, there’s something for everyone…
Be transported to a place filled with magic, to spend quality time with your relatives. As you navigate the park, you see their smiling faces as they meet famous characters. You hear their laughter experiencing their favourite ride. You witness them marvelling at the parade and shows. Later, fireworks light up the night sky, around the castle, while familiar tunes are playing. Experience all the colours and sounds, the atmosphere and togetherness.
Step aboard your very own Safari vehicle, this is the adventure of a lifetime. Grab your binoculars to capture that very first animal sighting. Explore the faraway place, surrounded by unique landscapes, allowing you to see the most fabulous wildlife show on Earth. You can see majestic animals in their environments, marvelling at their beauty and power. Enjoy the magnificent scenery and vast open spaces on that Safari.
You are surrounded by mountains, rising high above the clouds, beckoning you with a magnetic pull, to walk deeper into their beauty. Notice the crisp, clear air that you breathe. All around you, beautiful landscapes, wonderful corners, the clearing in the middle of a forest, the lake with crystal clear water. Enjoy this natural place to walk, the grandeur of those peaks, the deep peace of the wild…
Stepping off the plane, you are filled with excitement as you pick-up the keys of your Mustang or Cadillac, ready to hit the road. On your way to visiting hidden gems and experience different cultures, you sing with your friends, sticking your head out the window and feeling the wind in your face…
Travelling from a seaplane you can see the beautiful islands from the window, looking down at powdery white beaches, coconut palms and green trees. Stunning coral reefs, blue lagoons and powdery white beaches: this is the tropical paradise you are about to enter…