One day, you’re the best thing since sliced bread. The next, you’re toast. You know the feeling. You imagine scenarios in your head that have a two-percent chance of actually happening. Who couldn’t use a bit of fancy and fantasy right about now? Ah, the magic power of imagination and escapism. Logic can get you from A to Z. Imagination can take you anywhere. It is your magic carpet. The truth is that it is the only weapon in the war against reality.

The most active thing about you right now is your imagination? Our world has gone mad. But your imagination is a weapon of mass construction. Feel free to use it. We all have the creative ability to form ideas and images in our minds. It is what is behind every invention, design, and development. Think of every book, movie, or song you love. Did it change your reality somehow?

At times, we humans need to escape our circumstances and imagine things made up purely from the fabric of our minds. During the Holocaust, imagination literally became an instrument of survival. It was once said: You can’t depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.

The only exercise you’re getting is letting your imagination run wild? It’s okay. We all need a healthy way to relieve the pressure of life. How do you get away from it all? Anything that removes you from the current world situation will do. Want to benefit your mental health? Take a time out. Take flight into a fantasy world via your favorite show. Play that video game; get lost in that portable magic: your new book or the song you just downloaded.

Speaking of which, don’t you hate it when you’re singing a song and the artist gets the words wrong? Me, too. We all use diversions when we become unsettled or unhinged. Maybe you need a new distraction to distract you from your latest distraction. Go ahead and open that pressure valve before you become overwhelmed or weighed down. What do you do to decompress when the burdens of life are simply too much to handle?

You’re trying to take one day at a time but several days attacked you all at once? I get it. Drown yourself in a book. Reading is how you install new software into your brain. Your weekend is all “booked”? Great. Here’s a great workout: Read in bed until your arms hurt. Maybe your biggest problem with reading books is that you get distracted by other books. There are nearly 130 million books in the world. Do find one to get lost in.

Cook your number one dish or just help with the prep.  Baking or cooking can actually have a healing effect on your soul. Or if you’re like me: Go to Pinterest for that one special recipe. Pin everything. Bake nothing. I tried to start an online bakery, but I accidentally deleted all my cookies. Hmmm. Why do basketball players like cookies? Because they can dunk them. Okay, okay. But you can truly bake the world a better place. Biting into that warm, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie can surely be a mood booster. The secret ingredient is always love.

Socialize, please. Don’t be afraid. Meet up with your friends for coffee. Surround yourself with the ones you love. Not the one who wants to ride with you in the limo. The friend who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.  Or the friend you would share your last cookie with. Okay, Microsoft, I agree. I accept “cookies.”

How do you make it through each day? We can all use a safety net at times. Do you accentuate the positive? Set yourself up for success, sweet friends. Your favorite outdoor activity is going back inside where it’s warm? The only exercise you’ve done this month is running out of money? Sheesh.  Exercise will reduce your stress level. Some sports even offer you a legitimate outlet for some of that pent-up aggression or exasperation. Go ahead. Run like you stole something.

Your work can provide you with structure and a framework. But please don’t let it take over your entire life. Don’t you sometimes whish the “Esc” key could help you escape from work altogether? Remember to focus on your personal relationships and your own happiness, as well.

Alcohol, smoking, drugs, binge eating, or gambling cause more problems than they allegedly solve. We all seek comfort but, trust me, they are a temporary fix at best. Learn what your unmet needs are, my friends, so you can ease the desire to escape into something destructive.

Go ahead and find some relief from all the troublesome realities of the world. Get yourself out of that toxic headspace and pursue some healthy escapism.  And by all means, find a fulfilling and favorable direction in your life.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at