Escapism – Creating Meaningful Moments

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As COVID-19 continues to affect our lives, many of us are seeking relief from difficult realities. We dream of escaping to beautiful places, to soak up the vacation sun, and enjoy the ocean breeze on our bare unmasked faces again. But what does one do if travel is suspended? We might seek refuge in a Netflix world of Vikings and superheroes. Others may prefer holistic methods of self-discovery through meditation, art, and music. We reminisce about the good ol’ days, before COVID, smart phones, and lab-grown meat led us down a very different path. We are learning to value what truly matters. Family, nature, nutritious food – a simple life.

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A Return to Nature

In recent years, green mantras have become less subculture and more mainstream. Heal Mother Earth and we heal ourselves. Our wellbeing is no longer defined solely by economic indexes like GDP and trade balances, but ecological factors such as sustainable crop yields, renewable resources, and the rate of melting icebergs. As we re-establish a love for nature, a return to the Great Outdoors is greatly welcomed.

To quote Hippocrates, “Nature itself is the best physician”. Whether you’re hiking up a canyon or taking a stroll through the park, these experiences can have a positive effect on mood and emotions. If you’re looking for ways to escape the built environment, why not plan for a day of camping or a picnic in the park? We have all the essentials you would need, from novelty camping gear to backpacks and water bottles. A retreat to nature is well deserved.  

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Filson Ripstop Nylon Backpack, Surplus | GENTLEMEN’S HARDWARE Barbecue Suitcase | Hydro Flask 18oz Standard Mouth with Flex Cap - Sunflower

The DIY Movement & Personal Autonomy

These days, many of us are led by a desire for autonomy, flexible work arrangements, and a family-first mindset. Forget about the din of city traffic and fluorescent office lights. You might even have aspirations to live off the grid in a tiny house. The notion that we can provide for ourselves and escape the clutter of civilisation is encouraging the DIY mentality. It is no coincidence that craft workshops are on the rise. A quick google search draws up a long list of activities in the community. You can learn to make your own kombucha, create a bespoke piece of furniture, or try your hand at glassblowing. The list goes on.

These tactile experiences help us to forget about our troubles as we reconnect to our authentic selves. Something as simple as kneading a batch of dough can provide an outlet to relieve stress. Specialty appliances like bread makers and food dehydrators make it incredibly easy to DIY at home.

Try baking a fresh loaf with the Panasonic Bread Maker (SD-P2001WSH) or experiment with The Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator to make dried fruit. If you’re a coffee lover, why not brew your own coffee with Kilner’s Cold Brew Set. The retro mason jars remind us of a bygone era before the days of global coffee chains and disposable paper cups.

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Panasonic Bread Maker (SD-P2001WSH) | Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator | Kilner Cold Brew Set with Handle

The New Golden Age of Craftsmanship

Along with the DIY movement is a new golden age of craftsmanship. The cottage industries that petered out during the Industrial Revolution have returned with a newfound reverence among millennials. These days, we attribute considerable merit to individuals who are dedicated to their craft. A shoemaker is elevated to virtuoso status. An artisanal baker attracts a cult following. A third generation noodle maker is credited for keeping Singapore’s hawker heritage alive. At an emotional level, it signals a desire to counteract the impersonal effects of technology by reliving simpler times.

It is also about recognising ordinary heroes in the community. Homegrown jewellery brand EDEN + ELIE creates handwoven beaded pieces inspired by Peranakan designs. A statement on their website beautifully sums it up, “EDEN + ELIE is built on the conviction that life can be simpler. We can own less but be so much richer, when we are connected meaningfully to our work and our lives.”

A poignant message in these challenging times.

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EDEN + ELIE Everyday Necklace, Bark | EDEN + ELIE Peranakan Drop Earrings, Blue

Art-making in its various forms can distract us from our day-to-day thoughts and alleviate modern anxieties. A woman in a former century might have undertaken needlework out of necessity or decorum. Nowadays, it falls under the recreational umbrella of “art & craft”. Cher & Create Bouquet Embroidery Kit is an all-in-one kit designed to be completed within 5 hours of leisure time. The Bernette B37 sewing machine is a computerised model that comes equipped with 50 different stitches for any home sewing project.

Whether you choose sewing as your therapeutic escape or other crafts and activities, the creative process is an opportunity to refocus on something fun and positive. 

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Cher & Create Bouquet Embroidery DIY Kit | Bernette B37

Thomas Merton, the American Catholic monk and writer once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” As we unplug from technology and return to wholesome pastimes, let us connect with our true selves to find meaningful moments of joy.

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