Remember the kindergarten days, when you sat happily at the table, coloring those printed pages you were so proud of? Absolute masterpieces! Your teacher and parents praised your work and you felt like a true artist. Who says you weren’t? But most importantly, who says you should stop doing an enjoyable activity such as coloring only because you grew up?
There’s more to coloring than putting pretty colors on a piece of paper. The repetitive task gives your mind a chance to slow down and to focus on the process. It keeps you in the moment, allowing you to observe the shapes, to explore the possibilities, and shut down your inner critic (Oh, I screwed that up! That’s the wrong shade! Who ever heard of green petals?! Why am I wasting my time like this?). The last part might be hard at first, but give it a try and see how you feel!
In fact, this seemed silly to me in the beginning too. And yet after a while, I was so immersed into what I was doing, that I simply could not stop! I entered into the flow state and I was both focused on the task and relaxed. Since then, I have often set aside some time to color because it lightens up my mood.
If this sounds good to you too, here are some interesting ideas you can try:
Good Old Coloring Books…With a Twist!
I am sure you heard about adult coloring books, which have a certain theme like animals or mandalas. Every page is full of intricate models and details you only discover upon close examination. All you have to do is to let your imagination run free. There are no rules. If you want to make the grass purple, nobody can stop you! You have complete freedom to turn something conventional like a town square into a psychedelic landscape. Let your creativity flow and see where it takes you!
But what about the twist I was talking about? Well, nowadays you can purchase whatever coloring books you like: horror-themed ones, books inspired by your favorite TV shows or bands, and many more. Check this list and pick what piques your interest! Chances are you’ll want to finish coloring a book that depicts something meaningful to you, which in turn means less time spent worrying or glued to a screen. I see no drawback here!
Painting by Numbers
If you can’t decide what color to paint this flower or that cloud, this might be the solution for you. The kit contains the canvas with the numbered pattern printed on it, numbered pots of acrylic paint, and some brushes. Here is a gallery with thousands of designs you can choose from. The best part is that you can use the canvas to decorate your room. Take it from me, the final result is quite impressive! My friend gave a set to me a few years ago as a birthday gift and I have purchased a few more over time.
In the same way, you can download the Paint by Number app on your device and color your stress away no matter where you are. You can save the picture in your gallery once you are done and share it with your friends!
Or You Could Start with Something Small
The idea of spending hours coloring a page or a canvas might be overwhelming. Sometimes we want to change our mood but we lack the patience to pursue a long-term activity. That’s why I suggest trying something simple, like doodling on a page or decorating an item you already have, like a plain T-shirt. Anything goes.
For example, I have a set of bookmarks printed with cats playing or just being their adorable selves. They are ideal when I want to take a break and fill my soul with colors instead. And one can never have enough bookmarks, am I right? Likewise, I recommend those beautiful notebooks with little drawings on the edge of each page. You can organize your day and take a few minutes to color the figure as well. Not only it will look beautiful, but it might also help you practice your aesthetic sense.
Remember, coloring isn’t about having talent. Coloring isn’t a competition with the greatest painters of all time either. It’s a hobby you can take anywhere with you in your travel bag or on your phone.
Moreover, if you are interested in trying something new, you might want to give sewing a chance!