In early November, an extremely thoughtful and generous friend sent me an early birthday present: a Paris coloring book and a box of colored pencils. I live on social media, so I had been hearing more and more about adult people coloring as a way of calming the mind and reducing stress. But I had not yet tried it myself, so I was so happy to have everything I needed literally arrive at my doorstep – with no effort on my own part. (Thank you, Kimberly.)
So, since coloring is supposed to be both calming and meditative, one day, I decided to try coloring for 30-minutes as an alternative to my sitting meditation. Fast-forward 45 minutes, and the only reason I stopped coloring was because I had other scheduled plans. I expected to like it, but I didn’t expect to have to pull myself away. And, because I had decided to shut off all of my gadgets during my coloring session, it was a welcome break from all the technology that is always pulling at my attention.
It it cool. You should try it! And here are some tips to make it better for you:
1. Set yourself up with good tools. This is actually an awesome tip not just for coloring, but for life in general. Having good tools removes one of the obstacles to getting things done by making it easier to do the task or project. I cannot tell you how many times I have struggled through with inferior tools. I’ve managed to get the job done, but it took me forever, and by the time I was finished, I was burnt. So get good tools. It is going to improve your life. For colored pencils, these are the two brands I thought were easiest and most fun to use: Koh-I-Noor tri-tone pencils ($30), which give more color and richness then single-toned pencils because each pencil has three tones that land on the page in a variety of ways depending on the technique and angles you use.
The other brand I really like are Studio Series colored pencils. They are less expensive ($14) and come in a set of thirty so you can create multi-dimensional color by just layering the colors on top of each other.
2. Find a coloring book you really like. I love my Paris coloring book. It makes me so happy to color in, and also I like the images so much, I am probably going to tear out a few of the pages I have colored and make a little framed collection to hang on a wall in my apartment. So find a coloring book you like enough that you would display your finished coloring art.
For tons and tons of coloring book options – check out Amazon or your local book store – now that adult coloring is all the rage, they are really easy to find. For the saucy among us, there are even “swear word” coloring books when you need to blow off steam after a #$&*! day. Hells yah! 🙂
3. Unplug. This is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case: what I mean is turn off your phone, your TV, your iPad, etc. If possible, try to find a quiet place where you will be not be interrupted. More and more there is very real [scientific] evidence of the great benefits of giving our minds and bodies a break from the screen and from multi-tasking. But regardless of what “they ” say, trust me when I tell you that you are going to enjoy this so much more, and get so much more out of the experience, if you let this be a single-task experience. Just do it! At least once.
4. Schedule your coloring time. This is another tip that is great not just for coloring, but also for life. I learned very late in life (meh) that if I don’t schedule things – especially fun things – there is a real good chance that something “more important” (such as checking Instagram and binge-watching The Royals) will take priority. So, if you want something to happen – especially “non-essential” fun stuff, it is a good idea to schedule it… as in, put it on your calendar.
Have you tried coloring as a “grown-up”? Do you notice the meditative qualities of it? Post below. Always really great hearing you.
City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.
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