Coloring- It’s For Your Health

As many of you know, I’ve been having a tough month. Some, when faced with a month like the one I’m having, spend hundreds of dollars at spas or on fancy vacations to clear their mind. As a job-seeking, new resident of one of the top twenty most expensive cities in the world, I don’t have that kind of money right now.

But, I do have a printer at home, and an arsenal of these:

Crayonsman by Wikimedia Commons. {photo: 16 crayons lined up}

I truly believe in the restorative power of crayons.

I often use coloring as an unwinding break in the middle of a hard day. Though frustrated as a kid about the necessity of staying between the lines, I find this task to be mind-clearing and helpful. Except for those “color-by-number” books that I have no use for, you have the power to decide which colors go where. You can even leave things blank, if you’d like. If I pop on my headphones and play relaxing music as I focus on coloring, it calms me through anger, comforts my sadness, and clears my brain if it’s running too fast. I have a few coloring books  and have plenty of seasonal printouts around.

I am not the only adult to notice that coloring can be quite relaxing and mindful. Some therapy groups use mandalas as a grounding technique, and there are plenty of websites that let you print them for free (this one gets a little silly). There is a serious and a hipster market of coloring books in stores and online.  I have made purchases in both.

Sometimes, these coloring books geared towards adults even get a little NSFW (not safe for work).

{photo: The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas (no vaginas pictured!)}

This one is pretty body-positive, actually.

I gave everyone in my immediate family a coloring book for Christmas this year, and my mom got me a nice holiday-themed mandala book. My intention was for family members to engage in this mindful practice together, but it’s also a great thing to do alone. 

Whether you like to stick to traditional colors or nonsensical ones, and whether you stay in the lines or not, I hope you have lots of fun. If you need a mental health break on a budget, consider the $1.99 investment in crayons. Hey, if you feel like splurging the $10.99, you can even make a custom box. It’s a small investment for a peace of mind technique.

❤ ams

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