Is escapism good for your mental health?

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We look at the pros and cons of taking a mental vacation when things get tough

Is escapism good for your mental health?

Escapism can come in many forms. Perhaps you find it when engrossed in a good movie or maybe when endlessly scrolling funny videos on TikTok. It’s that feeling you get when you lift yourself out of the here and now to somewhere else – somewhere that feels better for your mind.

Over the last few years, I would hazard a guess that more of us are indulging in escapism. Real life can be… a lot. Whether it’s the pandemic, social justice issues or worldwide tragedies, it’s understandable that some of us feel the need to check out mentally from time to time.

I’ve always thought of escapism as a purely good thing; something we need now and then. But is there a point where escapism could be detrimental to our mental health?

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

Benefits of escapism:

It can help reduce stress

This is perhaps one of the most common reasons we turn to escapism. Getting lost in a favourite book, daydreaming while listening to a song or playing a video game can all help us switch off, release tension and reduce stress. When things get too much, a little escapism gives you the equivalent of a mental vacation, but it’s important to remember this is only treating the symptoms of stress. To truly reduce stress, we need to identify the root cause.

It can inspire us

Creative pursuits can be a wonderful ticket to escapism. Doodling imaginary scenes, making music, watching films/TV that makes us think, writing stories… it can all inspire us to think more broadly and spark a fire within us. These forms of escapism can be considered productive and often leave us feeling pretty good.

It can keep us motivated

Sometimes we need to step back to recognise where we’re going. Escapism can help us do that. Try daydreaming about a day in your ‘ideal’ life, from breakfast to bedtime, and ask yourself how it’s different from your current life. What small steps could you take to bridge that gap? Holidays can also be considered a form of escapism and these can offer the break in routine we all need to stay motivated when we get home.

Cons of escapism:

It can be a form of procrastination

Have you ever used escapism when you know you should be doing something else? Perhaps you’re binge-watching a series to avoid family commitments or scrolling on social media instead of working on a deadline. Procrastination often comes up when we’re feeling fearful of a task (maybe we doubt our abilities or feel anxious about it) and escapism can help to facilitate this.

It can lead to avoidance

Taking it one step further, sometimes we can use escapism as a way to avoid difficult emotions. I know I use social media scrolling as a numbing tool when I have an anxiety flare-up, for example. Maybe you shut yourself inside with video games when you’re feeling low.

“Escapism is the opposite of mindfulness – that is living in the moment, of living mindfully. It may be that for you, facing reality is simply too terrifying. This is at the root of your anxiety, the fear of ‘doing the living’, becoming frighten

Cheesy Pulled Pork Enchiladas

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Tender pulled pork is simmered with Mexican spices for these Pulled Pork Enchiladas. The pork is layered with tortillas and plenty of shredded pepper jack cheese to make this cheesy, saucy, slightly spicy recipe.

Whether you eat it with a fork or dig in with chips, this is going to be a dinner-time hit.

Pulled Pork Enchiladas in pan

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Slow Cooked Mexican Pork has been at the top of my favorites list for a while now and I’ve made it at least six times in the past few months.

Every time I made it, I kept thinking that the pork would be great in enchiladas, but we were enjoying it so much on its own, I never managed to try them until now.


Pulled Pork Enchilada Casserole

My middle son had been asking for “red” enchiladas ages and these Pulled Pork Enchiladas were made with red chile sauce especially for him.

The whole family loved them and there was barely a serving left in the pan. Over the past few years, I’ve since made them with red or green chile sauce whenever possible.

Layered pork enchiladas

This recipe makes a terrific make-ahead freezer meal. If you are planning to freeze the enchiladas before cooking, layer everything into the pan and cover with foil or a lid and freeze.

A day or two before you plan to serve this, take it out of the freezer and place the pan in the refrigerator. Once thawed, bake as noted above.

Pulled Pork Tacos

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Crisp Pulled Pork Tacos are an irresistibly delicious way to change up your average taco night.

With crunchy taco shells and plenty of cheese on top, this taco recipe is one of our favorite ways to use leftover pulled pork.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Leftover Pulled Pork Tacos

Taco shells are beyond handy to have in the pantry for quick and easy dinners. You can stuff them with almost anything and have an easy dinner in a crunchy “wrap” in minutes.

We love to make our tacos with everything from The Best Taco Meat to leftover Grilled Chicken or Shredded Chicken, Carnitas (street taco style), and all of the different Pulled Pork varieties.

Just about any leftover works when it’s held in a crispy taco. And yes, my kids have tried stuffing taco shells with almost everything.

Leftover Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is my go-to main dish for so many reasons: it can be made in the crockpot, it easily feeds a crowd, it makes spectacular leftovers, it can be used in countless ways!

Classic Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork, Mexican Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas, Crock-Pot Green Chile Pork, and Spicy Honey Lime Pork are all great options here.

We love pulled pork in traditional Pulled Pork Sandwiches with a side of Garlic Lover’s Potato Salad as well as rolled into Enchiladas and Taquitos for a Mexican Meal that feeds a crowd.

I’ve also been known to toss pulled pork in taco salad and serve it with p

Four Cheese Margherita Pizza

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Four Cheese Margherita Pizza

This Four Cheese Margherita Pizza recipe is so easy and so delicious! Actually, this is our favorite. We pretty much only eat margherita lately and while we love a classic margherita, this one is packed with so much flavor it’s hard to not make it.

There’s something especially wonderful about how the cheeses work together. The first time we made the pizza and I threw that feta on top I thought, this could be pushing it, that may be too much cheese.

But is there ever too much cheese?

Or bread?

Or pizza? I mean, come on.

a photo of a four cheese margherita pizza that has been sliced with two of slices pulled out from the rest of the pizza a little bit.

The dough is a Neopolitan crust which means super thin. We prefer thin, crispy and chewy crust. And we loooove the marinated tomatoes. It makes the pizza even more awesome! They only take a quick soak, and if you leave them too long they will start to break down too much, but trust me, they are totally awesome.

In the end it’s a dang good four cheese margherita pizza so what more can I say other than, just trust me on this one and make it for your family asap!

a photo of a whole four cheese margherita pizza with slices of tomato on top, melted golden cheese, chopped basil and chunks of feta cheese.Read more

Reeses Ice Cream Pie

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Reeses Ice Cream Pie

For those hot summer days or quiet winter nights Reeses Ice Cream Pie with chocolate crust is a cinch to throw together and absolutely no stress!

I know this makes me slightly un-American but I am not a huge ice cream fan. I am married to one and our kids are somewhere in between. After making our crazy popular peanut butter pie recipe the kids wanted an ice cream version and since it’s what we used to make for ice cream cakes minus the brownie bottom I decided to go for it. 


I was shocked that out of all of us it was little Grayson who devoured slice after slice. 

HOW?! I expected him to be sick to his stomach but ice cream does not phase the child! 

Peanut butter chocolate ice cream and gobs upon gobs of reese’s are piled high in a chocolate graham cracker pie crust. And here’s the best part, you can do whatever you want to it to make it your own!

A photo of a reeses ice cream pie in a white pie dish topped with reeses peanut butter cups and chocolate and peanut butter drizzle.

Ingredients for Reeses Ice Cream Pie

The ingredients are simple and all revolve around chocolate and peanut butter…heaven!! I’ve linked to the different Reese’s products on Amazon just so you can see what I’m talking about. You don’t need to order them from there. They come in packs of like a million, so you definitely don’t need that much. And like I said, you can make it your own! I have a section below on other ideas for toppings. These are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:

For the Crust

  • Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Hot Fudge

For the Pie

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.