Adult Coloring: A Great Way to Destress the Holidays


November is here and you know life will get busy as the month progresses. This week alone you got an email from a favorite aunt who said she would be coming for Thanksgiving… what can she bring? You know your kids will be home that week from college. They will bring home dirty laundry and spend their late night hours with friends and early morning hours with their bed pillows. Then there are the in-laws, outlaws and an endless list of friends.

While all of this makes you dizzy just to think about, it also brings excitement as you know you will reconnect with people and create lifelong memories.

Sit down for a few minutes and write out the things you know will happen. For example, you know you will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Make an estimated guess how many people will be at your house. Is your house ready for the onslaught of people and food and activities?

Then make a list of things that could happen based on past years’ history: Your college-aged son brings home three friends… your dishwasher goes on the fritz… you forgot to buy extra laundry detergent.

After making these lists, laughing from memories and wondering how all of this will get done, plan a trip just for yourself to a craft store. What? Yeah, all of this responsible adult stuff makes you want to pare down and make life simple again. You just want to color.

You’re in luck! Coloring for adults is trending.

Whether it’s for re-centering or anti-stress relief, adults of all stages have rediscovered coloring. Art therapy has been around for years and even though it doesn’t cure diseases, it has been known to make a positive effect on the mindset of someone stressed.

Two studies from 2006 found that “mindfulness art therapy for women with cancer helped to significantly decrease symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment” according to Another study concluded that after only one hour of art therapy, adult cancer patients of all ages “overwhelmingly expressed comfort” and a desire to continue with the therapy.

People dealing with depression, dementia, anxiety and PTSD have been found to get benefits. While you might not be facing any of these illnesses, you know as you pile on more responsibilities, your stress level will increase.

Although you could order coloring books and markers online, plan to visit a favorite brick and mortar store for this important purchase. Browse through the selection of books, slowly flipping through pages of designs just waiting for your touch. Look through the aisle of markers, pencils and storage boxes. Make your purchases. Buy your favorite hot beverage and plan to carve out 30 minutes today of coloring. Let go of tension and stress as you fill in the lines of designs on the pages. Don’t “grade” yourself or criticize your work. This is your time.

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