You've done THIS at some point

Life, as we well know, can become rather routine. We press the reset button every morning and go through the motions: have breakfast, brush teeth, go to work, and so on. It's as if we trudge through life on autopilot, hardly ever taking a second to breathe and relax. And that's not to mention the constant worries that drag us down with them: bills, job security, health, and the list goes on.

To rid ourselves of the daily grind, even if for a few brief moments, we all engage in some form of escapism. Some of us like to immerse ourselves in books, whether of the fiction or non-fiction variety. Others like to disconnect by watching soap operas or reality television.

Then there are those of us who feel getting away from it all can only be achieved outdoors, whether that means sunbathing on a picturesque beach in Cancun, taking in the sites and sounds of New York City, or skiing to their heart's content in Germany.

Unfortunately, some people engage in escapist behaviors that are unhealthy for them. Such habits can become addictive -- and destructive -- if left unchecked. I speak of behaviors like drug use, pornography, cutting, drinking, unprotected sex, and wasteful spending.

Not surprisingly, we're most likely to engage in the latter behaviors when we're unhappy, stressed or depressed. While we may find them a temporary respite from our burdens, they can snowball into far more serious problems -- from alcoholism and STDs to bankruptcy.

If you find yourself battling such demons -- or you know someone mired in this situation -- please seek help as soon as possible.

I always remind people that while it serves us well to leave the real world every once in a while, sooner or later we'll have to return and face our problems. We all have friends and family who love and depend on us.

If you find your life stuck in a holding pattern, try doing new things to infuse some excitement into it. Take a trip on a whim, learn how to play a musical instrument, or start your own business. The sky's the limit.

We only live once. We might as well make the most of the time we have. Our time is finite, but the number of things we can do to enhance our lives is beyond measure.

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