Adult Coloring: Relief when Reality is the Leading Cause of Stress

This post should probably begin with a massive apology. I assured you I’d share my life with you three times each week, and I haven’t done that. Already, in the second week of the year, I have failed that goal.

Last week’s Friday post was meant to be a fantastic adventure to my first ever meditation class, but it just didn’t happen. I was too stressed to even bring myself from my home to go and make mindful action to end that very stress. Crazy, right? Today’s post was meant to be a recollection of a Saturday night out on the town in Paducah, but again…I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I took in another movie. Two hours of uninterrupted time without having to put on fancy clothes or try to impress people with conversation. I didn’t want to turn my blog into some monotonous diatribe about yet another film I have no business reviewing, so I just…didn’t.

So, the week became one that was focused on self-care in the best way I know how: clearing my mind of absolutely everything and doing something mindless. And that’s where the coloring book and colored pencils come in.

I bought these supplies years ago, but you can buy a 50-pack of the Twistables on Amazon for $12.99 and the Zendoodle coloring book is available for $9.08.

I’ve known about art therapy minimally since college, but I had a number of close friends who lauded its benefits. While coloring certainly isn’t the same thing, a 2017 article from CNN outlines that it, too, provides a number of health benefits. It cites research completed in 2005 that discovered significantly lower anxiety levels after participants colored intricate circular designs. That same reduction in anxiety wasn’t found in participants who simply doodled.

So, tonight, I took out my colored pencils and dusted off the old coloring book and went to work on my own masterpiece. I find, personally, that colored pencils are more effective for these particular pieces because they’re more precise, but who am I to tell you what to do? Live you life, girl.

Tonight, through the entirety of the second episode of ABC’s The Bachelor, I took my mind away from circumstances I cannot change. I put my attention into creating something beautiful. And damn it, I think I did alright.

Let me know how I did in the comments. If you’d like to follow me on social media, you can find my Instagram and Twitter handles on the contact page here. Or, if you’d like to talk more about ways we can all manage stress, I’m definitely game. This world’s too rough for us to go at it alone.

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