Ever since I returned home for winter break, I’ve been stuck in somewhat of a mental shlump. Something about being back in my hometown for this long, on top of being trapped inside because of the current stay-at-home order, feels very strange. My anxiety has been worse, my late-night obsessive thoughts have increased, and my internalization of high school memories has deepened.
With all of this taken into account, I’ve been desperate to find a remedy to distract and relax me. I’ve been journaling more, which I always enjoy doing, but when my hand begins to cramp up about five minutes in, I usually just give up. I’ve been feeling too unmotivated to work out, and none of the remedies I found on Google sounded appealing to me. So, as I roamed the aisles of Costco a couple weeks ago and came across a coloring book, I decided to purchase one and see if coloring helps calm me down when I feel anxious.
For the longest time, I never believed that using a coloring book could actually relieve anxiety. Whenever I used to color, I would become so stressed out trying to stay inside the lines that I would just give up. I would try to only color pages with large and simple designs, as the intricate designs with hundreds of sections would just stress me out even more. Moral of the story is, I was convinced that coloring was only an activity that children could enjoy.
Turns out, I was completely mistaken. Every single day for the past 10 days, I’ve been coloring in my coloring book non-stop. I ordered some fancy pastel-colored markers off of Amazon to illustrate the thick, cardstock pages of my coloring book, because I personally think markers are more satisfying than colored pencils. And let me tell you, something about the way the markers stroke the paper puts me in this meditative trance that provides me with ultimate relaxation.
Coloring has been really beneficial for me to focus on the present and rid my mind of obsessive, late-night thoughts. When I color, I put on my “Chill and Unwind” Spotify playlist, put my phone face down, and just let my creativity guide me. I can’t believe I was weary of coloring books for so long, because this seriously is my favorite pastime now.
If you are considering getting yourself a coloring book, I recommend purchasing one with geometrical patterns. The structure of geometrical patterns will draw you into that meditative state I mentioned above, which will help soothe you and relieve your stress and anxiety. Coloring will also bring out the inner child in you, which can help you reduce negative thoughts because you’ll be reminded of nostalgia from your childhood.
Coloring has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and stress, improve motor skills and vision, and promotes better sleep. It’s also a great way to pass the time when you’re stuck in a stay-at-home order. So, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a coloring book!! I promise, you won’t regret it.
If you need some help finding a coloring book, I’ve got you covered! Check out some of my favorites below.
Written By: Jordan Peterkofsky