Coloring My Way Through Hard Times

Posted by

Coloring has been a favorite pastime of mine since I was a little bitty kid. Every color in the 64 Crayola Crayon Box was etched in my mind. I STILL think a brand new box of crayons is one of the best things in life. The smell alone is pure happiness!! The only complaint: We all know the sharpeners suck – not sure why they advertise them so boldly on the box.

Image from Amazon

The Red and Cornflower Blue crayons were my favorites. My evil sister knew this and would color so hard with them until either the tip broke, or the crayon wore down to the paper. Because of the poor quality of the sharpeners, I knew the perfect point would never be seen again. Tears would flow for hours. Hmmmm….was this an early indication of a particular personality type??

Fast forward MANY years and coloring is still part of my life. The crayons were recently upgraded to a Faber-Castell box of 120 colored pencils. They glide on the paper oh soooo nicely. An A++ sharpener allows me to keep the perfect point. All is right in the world – mostly.

I recently stocked up on coloring books. A local art store had a ton of ‘adult’ coloring books on display, so of course, several have joined the shelves in the house. More and more pages of these books are filling up with color.

I have been coloring A LOT lately. Mostly to keep my mind focused on the present and off of the obvious chaos of the world these days. It’s working. It’s a positive distraction. It’s keeping anxiety at bay. It’s proving to me that I am not an artist and confirms the right profession was chosen. LOL.

Huff Post had a great article called “7 Reasons Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental, Emotional and Intellectual Health”. It has had such a positive impact on recent day-to-day living, this summarized article is meant to be shared. Here goes:

1. Many psychologists suggest this to patients as an alternative to meditation, as a means of relaxation, and as a calming tool.

2. Coloring Can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues. For many, boredom, lack of structure, and stress are the greatest triggers. This applies to individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, stress disorders, depressive disorders, eating and binge eating disorders, anger management issues, and substance abuse issues. 

3. These activities can help tremendously with individuals with PTSD, anxiety, and stress issues. It lets your brain have some much needed rest and relaxation.

4. Coloring also brings us back to a simpler time. An activity that can invoke the easier and happier times of childhood.

5. It has intellectual benefits as well. It utilizes areas of the brain that enhance focus and concentration. It also helps with problem solving and organizational skills. 

6. Coloring utilizes both hemispheres of the brain, right and left. When we are thinking about balance, color choices, applying colored pencil to paper, we are working on problem solving and fine motor skills.

7. This is another method of practicing mindfulness, which has therapeutic and health benefits. This can help us replace negative thoughts with positive and pleasant ones.

Here’s a sample of the “artwork”. I am definitely a color in the lines kind of gal. Some people outline the shape and then fill it in. I just go for it and color inside the lines – very carefully.

For all you coloring enthusiasts – happy coloring!

For those who haven’t tried it, you should give it a go. It’s a little stressful at first – the amount of details on the page can be overwhelming, but once you get into it, your mind (or mine anyway), calms down. I dig it.

….i choose this…..

Pam

88 comments

    1. I can see you being that kid! I wonder if it’s a male v female thing to some extent. I didn’t know many boys who liked to color that much. Then again, I was too busy coloring and eating paste to really notice.

      Like

  1. You’ve reminded me I have one of those colouring books tucked away because I never thought I’d use it but now it seems like a brilliant idea, a bit of music, glass of wine and off you go! Better watch the wine intake mind you or keeping in the lines will be tricky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great idea pairing it with wine and music!! You may be right about keeping in the lines with wine involved. I’ll have to do an experiment coloring while drinking v not. I wonder if colors will be bolder and a little more messy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course you like coloring because so do I! I must have that bird mandala book – heading straight to Amazon as soon as I finish typing here. I’ve colored a few times since the lockdown, but my 1000-piece puzzles are calling me more insistently these days. Try very sharp colored markers, too – less room for error but so vibrant! Happy coloring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course you do – my sister from another mother!! Do you have a brand of markers you like? I am breaking out a puzzle today – so pumped. It’s called “Things I Ate as a Kid”. haha. I did just buy a ‘Happy Camper’ coloring book from Amazon a couple of days ago. Should be coming in over the weekend. Good times πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like this brand: https://www.amazon.com/Stabilo-Pen-Coloring-Felt-tip-Marker/dp/B00HH32BH8/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=stabilo+coloring+markers&qid=1585404126&sr=8-2

        I did find the bird mandala book online and it’s arriving Monday – yay. Ooohh, a Happy Camper one … !

        Is your puzzle by White Mountain? I’m pretty sure we did that one over Christmas. Those are my faves. I sent some to my daughter and daughter-in-law, so our 3 households are puzzling away! We love all of theirs! My current one is Roadside America. They have a Colorado one you should find! OK, I’m babbling now … go color!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Send me a pic of one in WhatsAP!! I want to see. You are a soul sister for sure – luv ya. We are staying home. Loving it for the most part. Though I miss being able to plan a last minute trip some place!

      Like

  3. Wow, Pam! Such a great idea that didn’t even occur to me! I just checked our bookshelves and located The Anatomy Coloring Book, The Geography Coloring Book (might be painful since we can’t travel at the moment), and a regular ol’ Geometric Adult Coloring Book. Since coronavirus stress has lately made my heart feel like it’s being squeezed by an invisible hand, I figured I should give meditation a try. I’ve tried it before but it didn’t “take.” Also, I recognize that meditation is something that takes practice to get good at. Coloring may be just the form of meditation I need! Also, since the husband and I have quite different ideas of what’s good to watch on TV, it would be nice to be able to do some coloring while he’s watching one of “his” shows. We can be together, but I can be involved in my own entertainment. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ohh, all three of those sound really fun! It is an AWESOME idea to color when the hubby is watching a show you are not interested in. It is a form of meditation indeed. Try it and let me know what you think. You may need to color a few pages before your brain adjusts. I have tried meditating many times and can’t seem to get totally into it, but THIS works for me. Hang in there. I’m already fantasizing about what life looks like after the ‘VID.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OK you’ve convinced me to dig out my adult coloring book and give it a try. I have a book of Mandelas which are supposed to give me peace as I color in them. I suspect that drinking an adult beverage while coloring them will contribute to my sense of peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just be patient with it though. The Mandalas are super detailed. The first time I colored one, I felt really anxious. After a while, the brain adjusts. I’d actually like to read more studies on it. I swear there is something to it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yes – I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard for me to explain the way I feel when I do it. I swear my mind feels more sharp! You are a sweetie for giving these away – its a great idea πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. You many not consider yourself an artist, but you are definitely creative! The colors you’ve chosen are stunning! I like the idea of bird mandalas too. Day one of Stay At Home Order in Montgomery County, TX. Good thing I’ve been at home 2 weeks already (sooooo close to Houston). May need to get my own coloring books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Tracey. I definitely Love color. Hang in there! We have been at it for a couple of weeks now. You’ll start to get creative on what to do. Today, I found a recipe for chicken and green chili stew – I don’t cook so there’s that. LOL

      Like

  6. OMG, you just brought back such vivid memories of opening a pristine package of crayons. I’m convinced that colouring, along with other activities like knitting or playing an instrument are great ways to keep anxiety at bay. At my mom’s memory care facility they often have colouring as an activity and I’m amazed at the focus of many residents. Enjoy and keep well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As we don’t watch television, one of our favourite family hobbies is colouring. It brings so much joy and happiness and it’s the only time Ericeira stays put in one place. Although we always end up spending way too much money on colouring books and pencils, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s also a perfect way to keep your kids busy on long train/car journeys! Thanks for sharing and stay safe 😊 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it Aiva! Glad your kiddos enjoy it. Sure makes life easier! We have been watching too much Tv lately. I’ve decided I am not watching the news anymore. Someone is going to have to let me know the β€˜Vid is over!

      Like

  8. Yes to colouring! Although I’ve always preferred pencil crayons to wax … and because I’m a little OCD, I eventually bought an electric pencil sharpener to always have the perfect point.

    … and because I’m apparently a bit odd (or so I’ve been told more than a few times), I once even had a separate book for colouring with my non-dominant hand. In case you’re wondering, it never got easier 😏

    So colour on, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to have an electric pencil sharpener- I wonder what happened to that? The little one I bought is pretty dang good. I’ll have to try the non-dominate hand thing – you over achiever!! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A box of Crayola is a box of dreams: as are boxes of Faber Castell coloured pencils, Caran d’Ache pastels, Winsor & Newton watercolours. Heck! I love boxes of colours – so I hear you, Pam. And I feel for the loss of those broken tips!

    I love colouring. My instrument of choose these days is Sharpies because of the vibrancy of colours.

    Thank you for sharing your meditative art work – look forward to seeing more of your beautiful work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OHHHH, I’ll have to look at your other recommendations. You’re right, it’s all the colors that are so cool. Not sure I’ll post more here, maybe insta :-). Have a wonderful week Ju-Lyn!!

      Like

  10. My daughter and I colored last week. It was a fresh box of crayons too. That point didn’t even last through one photo!! Plus, the adult coloring books have much smaller spaces to color. I’ll definitely be switching over to our colored pencils. Love your “artwork”. Happy coloring, Pam!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YEAH!! Love it!! Yeah, the adult books are far more detailed. I didn’t think I’d like coloring with pencils, but OMG, just awesome!! Post some art on insta!! Looking at pens that LexKlein recommended as well. Haven’t pulled the trigger on that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, how wonderful! I’d forgotten all about the joys of colouring. I’ll have to dig out some of my mindfulness colouring books. Thanks for a fabulous post! Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for this awesome article. I am currently working my way through a very nasty divorce and being locked down during this process is not exactly ideal! But when I ‘face’ my coloring pages, it’s like the world around me becomes a little blurry and I’m able to travel inside myself to a better place, a better life, a better time. It helps me calm down, keep calm, re-organise, re-energise, re-focus and work through some mental and emotional issues that I would otherwise not have been able to work through. I absolutely adore the time spent with my coloring pages. So thanks so much for sharing! I can totally relate!

    Like

    1. Hey Pam… I tried to find your contact information on your blog, but couldn’t find it? I’d like to send you a free copy of my new coloring book “A coloring story (inspirational) – A therapeutic coloring book for adult women”. You can view some of the pages from the new book on my blog… But basicallly, it’s for women going through a hard time… It has inspirational images and because I illustrated it whilst working through my own divorce, the illustrations encourage emotional expression, which in itself is (for me atleast!) a very therapeutic experience… Because I am totally new at this, I would be super honored if you could try out the book, color some of the pages and give me feedback on how you find it? Because I think we are kindred spirits I am pretty sure I’d find your feedback very valuable and could use this to improve my future books! Let me know your contact info please by either messaging me or emailing coloring4covid@gmail.com. Would love to hear from you! Thanking you in advanced.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s