When caring for others is stressful, I unwind by coloring. It’s the first day of summer vacation, and I already need a break. “Mom, I’m bored…Mom I have NOTHING to do.”
Bookstores are skilled at marketing their scores of coloring books. It’s almost impossible for me to pass the displays without buying an exciting new coloring book. I can color exotic animals or take a mental vacation to the French Riviera. Flowers and even Harry Potter grace the pages of these trendy new books. Better than the contemporary designs are the fancy crayon choices. We are so far evolved from Crayola’s 24 count box. These days, my watercolor pencils are my go-to medium of choice. They are vibrant and blendable. They function like a colored pencil, but I can use a wet paint brush to give my art a watercolor effect.
Beyond being a vogue pass-time, coloring is therapeutic. This simple childhood activity has proven benefits:
- Calms anxiety by slowing the body’s fight or flight response
- Uses both sides of the brain, which helps improve problem solving skills
- Shifts the focus from stressful triggers to a safe productive habit
Psychiatrist Carl Jung prescribed coloring to his patients because coloring gave their minds something to focus on instead of intrusive, negative thoughts. Coloring lends itself to mindfulness by concentrating on staying inside the lines.
Coloring With A Purpose
To celebrate summer, Reach Out Recovery is creating downloadable coloring pages. Each fun design is accompanied by a subtle message of recovery. It’s a light-hearted way to start teaching your young friends about healthy relationships. To download the file as a printable page, simply click on the image below and have fun.