Did you like to color when you were a kid? Have you heard of the "adult coloring book" trend? It has bloomed into a full-blown sensation! Mandalas, flowers, unicorns; even Harry Potter and the Hunger Games have been turned into adult coloring books.*
They're so popular because they elicit the relaxation response in our brains. It is sooo easy to get super zen'd out with them. I've been suggesting them to my clients (and I've been doing them for a few years) because they're an active meditation. A mindfulness practice that you can frame, put on your fridge or leave in the book.
Coloring books are super relaxing for a handful of reasons:
- it's a way to express their creativity (you don't have to be "artistic")
- no big time commitment; you can finish a page in a night or over a few nights
- there's not an overwhelming amount of choice (vs. a blank sheet of paper - where to begin?!)
- you can listen to music, tv, podcasts, chat with people or do it in the silence of your thoughts
- coloring in repetition (patterns are most effective for this), bring you into a meditative state, similar walking a labyrinth
- it's fun to feel like a kid sometimes
- you're hyper-focused on coloring the small areas, so your brain has room to wander – the way great ideas hit you in the shower
I'm a huge fan of most things that get us into our flow and feel more relaxed. Another bonus - it keeps your hands busy. If you need to be doing something while you watch TV at night, and you usually mindlessly eat popcorn, smoke cigs, bite your nails, or play on your phone (hi, that's me)... this is an option to try to see how you feel.
If you haven't dipped your toe in the coloring-book-waters yet, here's a free page to try! And if you're already hooked, take it as a gift from me to help get you through March ;)
I asked my best friend of 20 years, to draw a page for me to share with you. (She's ridiculously artistically talented, works in the nonprofit world, but won't moonlight as a typographer like I keep telling her to do!) I asked her use her magic to highlight one of my brand mottos + patterns (since they're the most meditative) – and I freaking LOVE how it came out. I'm using markers on this one, but most people prefer colored pencils, so use what you like.
*Am I the only that thinks that phrase sounds like it's X rated? Wish they were called something else - like "advanced coloring books" maybe?