I love being a mum but now and then I feel like screaming, running out of the house and down the road … never to return!
I think we all feel like this occasionally.
The annoying thing is that as much as we need a break, with kids at home, it’s hard to have one.
Since the pandemic, we have become masters of finding the pleasures we need to navigate life from within the walls of our homes. As someone who has many moments when I long to escape the monotony of mum life and the daily drudgery of work, I have embraced my learnings from isolation and use them as coping mechanisms almost every day.
Here are some simple ways to escape your life without leaving the house.
10 Ways to escape your life without leaving the house
1. WATCH TV MINUS THE GUILT
Let’s start with something simple. The most common and easiest mental diversion of them all. Sticking the TV on.
Yet, this often comes with so much guilt. And feeling guilty means you are still focusing on your own life and not getting the escape you need.
My trick is to allocate myself time to sit and immerse myself in whatever I choose … Netflix, Stan, a movie, or the cooking channel. I get comfy and set a timer on my phone. Until that timer goes off, I let go and allow myself to be 100% engrossed in whatever I am watching.
2. LISTEN TO MUSIC, LOUD
We listen to music all day. The car radio, the tunes our kid’s play, the music in the grocery store.
But how often do you really listen to music?
I’m talking headphones in, favourite playlist, and volume LOUD.
“Music exerts a powerful influence on human beings. It can boost memory, build task endurance, lighten your mood, reduce anxiety and depression.”
When I’m seeking distraction, I listen to my fave tunes. I feel empowered, my senses are heightened and I come alive. From boring to bring-it-on in 0 to 3 seconds.
If you’ve not tried meditation yet and are looking for ways to escape your life without leaving the house, the time is now.
My good friend and I have a private joke because whenever she suggested I try meditation, I laughed (loudly, with mirth) in her face. Until I hit rock bottom and gave it a go. Now I’m the one singing the praises of mediation and telling her off for not doing it enough.
I do transcendental meditation which you can do anywhere, anytime. You do need training though. To keep it easy use a meditation app or search for an online guided meditation.
Meditation is up there as one of the best ways to escape your head without leaving the house.
Find out more about meditation here: Meditation for mums (no it’s not a joke).
We all know exercise is good for us. Blah blah blah.
The problem with it in the context of escapism without leaving your house, is that you usually have to leave the house … whether for a run, a brisk walk, or an exercise class.
But there are ways.
Exercise will not give you escapism if what you are doing allows mundane thoughts to creep into your head, such as what you’ll make for dinner or did you remember to send that work email. Green tick for exercises, red cross for not escaping your life.
A good way to use exercise as a way to escape your life without leaving your home is to do something that requires concentration, such as an online exercise routine. Your mind will be so busy following the instructions, that you’ll forget about the mundane and concentrate on the moves, all whilst getting fit. Win/win.
5. WRITE FANTASY
Never considered yourself a writer?
Now is the time to start.
Writing can act as a great mental diversion if you choose fiction over journal writing. Journal writing will bring further focus to your own life, exactly what you are endeavouring to escape. Fiction writing, however, can take you anywhere. It is a wonderful opportunity to use your imagination and probe into the recesses of your mind that haven’t been visited for years as you’ve been too busy folding socks.
Not only is reading an effective way to escape your life without leaving the house, but a scholarly paper by NIU also reports that the benefits of writing are plenty, including:
“Improved memory function, decreased symptomatology, and greater feelings of happiness.”
Start with a short story or a kid’s story and see where it leads. Remember me when you’re a published author.
More ways to escape your life without leaving the house
6. PLAY MAKE-BELIEVE
I knew my kids would come in handy at some point!
Playing make-believe is not part of adulting … unless you join the local dramatic society, in which case you have to leave the house.
But children make playing make-believe oh-so-easy.
For me, it started because I was so exhausted that I would suggest to my kids that we play hospitals, and I would swiftly allocate myself the role of the patient requiring me to lie still for a long time, ah heaven.
Then it would get more exciting making up games where mum had to actually move.
Do you remember being young and playing make-believe with your mate? You got so caught up in the moment. It seemed real. You were no longing in the living room, but in a coral reef under the sea or a spaceship en route to the moon. This is what you need to recreate and your kids will be only too happy to help.
Leave your inhibitions with the pile of washing up and engage in fantasy play to escape your life without leaving the house.
7. HELP PEOPLE
Life can be so boring when we focus on ME, ME, ME.
I don’t know about you, but I get really bored with myself which is why I want to escape.
A great way to do this is to focus on other people and become part of their lives by helping them in some way.
You could work on a charity helpline or offer support in a Facebook group.
Never think you don’t have something to offer. Think of your life experiences, the challenges you have faced, and the lessons you have learned. How can you use that knowledge to help others?
Make someone else’s world better whilst taking a break from your own.
8. VISIT VIRTUAL REALITY
Have you ever wondered why children love playing computer games? Because it takes them away.
Borrow the kid’s video game console, have a quick play and you’ll see what I mean. Pure escapism.
Immerse yourself in a computer-generated environment which wonderfully different from your own. If the kid’s games don’t float your boat, treat yourself to a game that is more up your alley. I like Diablo III on Nintendo but there are heaps to choose from.
Seeking entertainment through the virtual world is an easy escape. Just don’t get addicted and don’t fight with the kids over the console.
Do you ever have those moments when you daydream so deeply that when you snap out of it you wonder where you are?
It’s a lovely feeling, isn’t it? You were truly elsewhere for a bit.
Try to recreate and encourage yourself to daydream. Sit quietly and think of a pleasant situation you would like to be in, anything at all. Focus on this and let your mind drift away.
My favourite daydreams are food and beach related. Sometimes together, sometimes not.
10. READ A BOOK
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Nothing gives us relief from unpleasant realities like a good book.
One minute you’re washing the dishes, the next you’ve dived into your book and could be anywhere in the world, with anyone, at any time.
For me, reading a book is the best form of escapism. It eclipses watching TV because it is so all-compassing. There is no room for the mind to wonder because I have to focus on the words.
Work, kids, washing … none of it matters as I lose myself in the pages and travel far away to another place and time. See ya later life.