Drinking is not necessarily the best daily approach to giving oneself permission to relax and to recharge. For one thing, the alcohol tends to disrupt the sleep cycle. And you need your sleep to produce in a relaxed way, to think clearly, to maintain your optimism and hope, and health.
Artists have a blessing and a curse. They are blessed with the opportunity to partner with the Creator in creating, recreating, renewing the world every day. The potential curse, really part of the blessing, is a powerful drive to work, to produce, which can become obsessive. But our bodies, our brains, can only handle so much intensity in any day. So even as we continue to feel the drive to create, our body at some point in the day, earlier or later, says “No!” And we feel frustration. We feel shut down. There is so much to do, so much to achieve.
Unfortunately, the solution of many is to self-medicate as a way of drowning out the drive, the feelings of frustration. This self-medication sometimes takes the form of heavy drinking or some recreational drug use. Under the influence, we cannot do productive work – or much of it – so in effect we have given ourselves permission to cut loose – to watch a little TV, to hang out and shoot some pool, to call a friend or pursue a relationship.
The seasoned artist, always seeking to grow in his work, recognizes how valuable his downtime is. He understands what it means to “play hard”. To play hard means to put good energy, care and thought, into his relaxation time, as he does into his work time. As she matures, she discovers that the self-medication approach limits her opportunity for benefit from the downtime. So she seeks to minimize the substance-induced aspects of her relaxation time.
And when she is at her work, perhaps feeling the characteristic loneliness, isolation of the artist, she draws true nurture from reflection on those relaxation moments which were well spent – well focused on friends and fun. And she is truly nurtured, and spiraling ever upward in her capacity to produce and her capacity to love and to share.