Before you break out the colored pencils read these tips to make sure you maximize joy and minimize stress while getting your color on.
Never wait again
Time spent waiting can be frustrating and irritating. Whether in a doctor’s office, at the DMV or or in a long line, time ticks by as your to-do list grows and patience shrinks. Coloring therapy to the rescue! Tuck a little book or box of coloring postcards and a small art set into your bag and never tap your toe like a maniac again. This is something good moms do for their kids and it’s a good self-care habit you can do for yourself. Just don't get so into it that you don't hear your number finally being called.
TV just got better
My own personal research shows that watching TV is only about 72% entertaining, but after a hard day sometimes all you want to do is zone out in front of the boob tube. Adult coloring can take you up to the 100% engagement mark and maximize relaxation. It also has the nice side effect of keeping your hands busy in case you get snacky. Much like knitting, coloring is a repetitive, creative activity that can get you into the mellow zone much more quickly than TV alone can.
Choose the right book
It is a boom time for adult coloring books and there are a lot of options out there for people with a colorful bent. But beware, the wrong book can make you more anxious and addled then when you started. Books that would boggle some with their complexity will hit the sweet spot for those who love teeny, tiny involved challenges. Books range from super intricate to ways less involved with all different types of themes, so make sure you choose one that fits your mood, ability level and preferences.
Throw a coloring party (and please invite me)
In my experience an easily accessible activity like coloring attracts people who might otherwise avoid social situations because of the potential for boring chit chat. Coloring helps people relax and open up and gives them something immediate to talk about. “I never would have thought to put a paisley pattern on that unicorn. What a great idea!” And if there’s an awkward silence, just keep coloring!
Coloring is a cure for a bad day
If you’re having one of those days when nothing goes right and you hop around on one foot because your other one is stuck in your mouth, try coloring. On these days I like to color extra hard, use bright angry colors, and I don't care if I go outside the lines or break a pencil tip. I just want to express my mood with my loyal, non-judgemental, non-verbal friends (aka colored pencils).
Variety is the spice of your coloring life
Buy a few books and lots of colors so that you have options. Most books have a narrow theme such as fish, flowers, or mandalas. Having multiple books will ensure that there is always one to match your mood and that you don't burn out on any one subject. Lots of different colors will let you express your multiple selves and explore different themes.
Color for a cause
Make coloring gifts for your friends and family. My only complaint with coloring is that sometimes I feel like I could be doing something more productive with my time. This concern instantly goes away when I am making something for someone else. I recently colored a homemade birthday card for a friend and felt relaxed and altruistic every step of the way. Why not turn your complex projects into card, gifts, or even wrapping paper?
How are you adding coloring to your life?