It is impossible to be worried about anything when you are coloring with crayons.
A few months ago, my son gave me a coloring book for grown-ups. He wasn’t sure if I would like it, but he thought it was neat, so he gave it to me. I loved it immediately. Tons of pages in a nice sturdy book full of black lines tracing images of butterflies, goldfish, flowers, cats and whatever… cute little scenes. I grabbed my six-year-old nephew’s crayons and sat with the book at a table. Once I had picked a page and a color to start with I was lost from all the cares of this world; dropped back into a former time and part of myself that didn’t need to focus on anything but staying in the lines.
I’ve used coloring as part of my therapy before, but I chose children’s books full of Disney princess and threw all of my anger into them. This particular book is fabulous though. The pictures are so very positive and light that it’s easy to let go of myself in get lost like a happy girl in the simplicity of it. Choose a picture, choose a color, choose a space between the lines to fill. I can be a little artistic and leave some of the lines empty, making a butterfly pop off the page or a bird look like it’s sitting on air.
It’s a lovely form of meditation. A safe way to feel like a six-year-old and to let go of everything else for a while.
I’ve started using coloring as a way to distract myself if I have a bad day to help wind down my anxiety. It really helps me settle and can pick up my mood better than almost anything else.