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Your escape plan |


Your escape plan

- Alia Vargas -

MANILA, Philippines - There are many things in this world that may be a cause of stress. Be it work or that incompetent customer service operator on the phone, something’s bound to drive you mad and make you feel like you’re trapped in a tiny cavern of toxicity. When sh*t hits the fan, you know it’s about time you moved your ass towards your inner Pleasantville—somewhere you feel alive, yourself, and where dreams aren’t light years away.

Although there are a million ways to blaze down the road of escape, here are 10 surefire ways to get you started.

Get Out Of Town

Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, staying stationary for a pretty long time can be a downer. Shipping ass to a new place somewhere outside of your realm of familiarity can get you to a whole new comfort zone. If you’re a creative person, it’s also a good way to get new and fresh ideas. In general, though, seeing something new and rare is always a good waker-upper.

Walk It Off

If you don’t have the means or the time to go out of town, you can always step out of your little box called life and take a breather. Ditch that cube and take a short break with a cup of coffee or a quick smoke. If you work at home, get a whiff of that relatively fresh air out in your garden. Getting your groove back could be all about stepping out of the space that’s cramping your style.

Sweat It Out

I once met a Bikram Yoga instructor named Tristan Choi who once told me, “If you really love yourself, you’d make time for the things you need.” That includes exercise, of course. Whether it’s a set gym schedule, a personal trainer to push you to pump it, or crunches by your couch, exercise can do wonders. It certainly can be quite a commitment, but when your back is straighter and your muscles are tighter, the renewed bounce in your step will be a sure sign that you are doing something right.

Clean Up Your Act

Changing the way your space looks oftentimes makes for a more productive you. Not only do you throw out the junk but also find ways to redecorate. Maybe there are sentimental things that keep your spirits up such a photo of your family or a clock that you bought from a trip out of town. Or maybe you don’t want to see a photo of your family and you don’t want a clock in your room, whatever floats your boat. As long as the change of scenery is not cluttered and is to your liking, it’s as if you had escaped a stressful space without even having to leave it.

Tune Out

Rock, pop, whatever your aural flavor, ear candy’s always an easy-to-come-by pleasure. Play it while you’re working or break the steady hum of traffic by plugging yourself into some really good music. There’s a reason why they call it sound tripping, so go on and enjoy the ride.

Flick The Switch

Film is described as “a suspension of disbelief”, and watching in a cinema locks out all the lights and noise of the outside world. You can escape into a film and enjoy almost two hours of pure bliss in a dark room and a huge movie screen playing a movie just for you. Then you go back outside with the bright lights and the noisy crowd, but at least you’ve recharged already.

Get On The ‘Flip’ Side

For a more quiet escape into the imagination, reading has brought a lot of piece to many minds and hearts. For centuries now, people cannot get rid of the joy of reading and you really don’t have to do it with someone else. You go on a journey by yourself in your own mind. Reading at night instead of watching TV before I sleep has worked wonders for me, and my latest favorite is a graphic novel by Arnold Arre called Martial Law Babies. Instead of visiting some unknown land where dragons and warriors join forces to defeat evil, or some mysterious deaths that have rendered an entire city terrified to step out of their homes, Martial Law Babies took me back to my childhood when we would be biking around the village and flying a kite in an empty lot without the fear of being kidnapped. It also gave me a new perspective on what I wanted to do with my life. That is what some books do, so if you’re already a bookworm, don’t break the habit. That’s a good habit to have.

Soak It

Some people are so used to rushing in the morning that taking a shower before work is just a chore. As much as possible, take a bath before going to bed, and take a really long bath so you can savor all your bath products. That is, if you have good bath products. Organic products are natural so they won’t add up to the possibly imbalanced life that you’re already dealing with.

Turn Facebook Off

Or any networking site that is. Networking sites keep you from being productive in the day. If you keep it off while you work, you will discover how fast you can get things done, and get them right. Do we really need to know what all our friends are doing 24/7?

Get Together With Real Friends

Aside from socializing virtually, you should take time to see real friends and family in the flesh. At the start, you will probably talk about work, but after all the catching up, make it a point not to bring work into the conversation for the rest of the gathering. This is for your sake really. Although if you do feel that you need to rant, well then that’s what loved ones are there for. You can escape the horrors of your life by letting your feelings out and replacing them with love and support form those closest to you. If you bottle everything up, you’ll be an atomic bomb waiting to happen, and that will be one tough explosion to escape from.

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