Finding Balance

Like Laurie Ruettimann advised in her book I advocate for committing to doing what makes you happy every week.

There’s a stigma attached to isolating in your bedroom when you have a mental illness. Besides that it’s not healthy to self-isolate. Isolation can breed illness and cause paranoia.

The difference is that when you’re in recovery and have a job or are otherwise active it can make sense to consciously choose to take a break from the demands outside your doorstep.

To preserve your sanity it’s imperative [and it’s possible] to achieve a work-life balance. You can have an “outdoor-indoor” equilibrium.

For some time now I’ve been engaged in the Italian practice of dolce far niente that is “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

For the most part I’m devoting time to my job and to publishing Working Assets the book. It’s akin to going into the woodshed by taking time to be alone in a room to practice and perfect the musical piece you’re playing.

After the challenges everyone of us has faced in 2020 it’s true that going into the woodshed can be an act of ameliorating our health. People who are in a plateau or in the woodshed can go on to recover and achieve things.

Trying to do herculean feats right now might not be possible for most of us. I recommend practicing the art of doing nothing when on some days you need to rest and recharge your batteries.

Rest and recreation can boost a person’s mood. This can give you the confidence to restart a major life activity refreshed and ready to go.

Giving ourselves the gift of chilling out is not a luxury–it’s an act of self-preservation. You will be a better parent or better friend to yourself or better partner after this time off.

Woodshedding in Recovery

Easily over 15 years ago when I first started out as a Mental Health Activist I read about using the woodshedding technique in recovery.

Originally the concept of woodshedding referred to jazz musicians who go into a shed or room to practice their instrument.

The goal was to great improve or to perfect a part of what they were playing.

In recovery going into a woodshed happens any time you need to rest and recharge your batteries.

In the reference to woodshedding that I first read the writer talked about how individuals living in recovery seem to be in a plateau.

Even though we are in a plateau at this point we can go on to achieve things.

The woman interviewed in the article talked about needing to be alone to heal and to process what was going on.

Woodshedding can take place at any point in a person’s recovery.

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic is a natural plateau that everyone is experiencing.

It makes sense that it’s the perfect time to engage in woodshedding while we’re sheltering in place in our rooms.

In the next blog entry I will talk about my own metaphor for healing habits in recovery.