Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Colourful Adult Life

I remember back when...  Oh why do we always start sentences like that? As we write those four words, there is an immediate wave of emotion that hits us, well, it does for me. I sigh, get a little weepy and then realize it's OK to long for the past, especially when these moments were really pleasant. I just know that I cannot dwell on them because no matter what Zoltar fortune teller machine (remember the movie BIG?)  I wish actually existed (obviously in the opposite way to stay young!) or the countless times I could chant what age I want to be again, like in 13 Going On 30, reality sets in and I cannot turn back the hands of time.

It's refreshing that in adulthood a lot of us can enjoy the simple pleasures of colouring, drawing, and even playing with Legos! There's no "right" age for anything, although it's funny when suggested ages on toys or colouring books state "ages 5 and up" and here I am tickled pink that i'm enjoying them too at age...37! 

I realize that for a while and still today in 2018, the adult colouring book is a very "trendy" hobby. I dislike some trends to be honest because they can be so disposable. Once it becomes "uncool" to do something, to wear a certain style or to eat a particular food, there is this sudden amount of guilt that you need to change and not like these things anymore. Why? Who made those rules? Oh ya, society. If i'm into something, why do I have to just pretend it doesn't exist or add value to my life?  Well hate to break the news to ya, but i'm not going to wear triple high-waisted jeans, i'm not going to brush my teeth with activated charcoal, nor am I going to start drinking kombucha with every meal.  Now in case you are starting to get offended or already feel offended, try to step away from that frame of thinking for a moment. These are current "trends" i'm mentioning, so if you love your triple high waisted jeans, wear them with pride! 

Back to colouring.  Recently while going for a trip to Dollarama with Bill, we were walking around and just needed to pick up "a snack." This of course usually turns into a walk-about throughout the store.  I didn't buy the colouring book on the basis that "everyone is doing it, so I should too," but for the simple reason of trying to add more self-care into my life. The last few months have been difficult. February was quite a bit of a sh!t storm to say the least, and sadly I am dealing with some pretty persistent nerve discomfort/damage along my spine and neck, which has come with an array of symptoms, so managing my stress has been paramount.

Adult colouring does have some scientific evidence. As always, not one hobby fits all. If you recall, when my dad got sick, adult-colouring was recommended to help in his recovery. He tried it a few times, but I honestly don't think it meshed with his interests. Here are a few benefits that have been noted though:
  • Helps to relieve anxiety and stress (who couldn't use a bit of that?) 
  • Promotes concentration
  • Allows you to be "present" in the moment, similar to meditation 
  • Relaxes the amygdala  due to the repetitive motion
I've been setting aside time away to do a little Colour Therapy. I find it quite enjoyable and it does help to a certain extent for me to get out panic mode and be in a calmer state. This is the first book I'm working on:

Book and coloured pencils
All finished

Working on this one now

You can  find hundreds of different books online at Amazon and other retailers. Also, just Google "adult colouring sheets" and if you prefer, you can print them out as well.

Feel free to e-mail me some of your lovely colouring creations, or just leave me a note on my blog, letting me know what kinds of hobbies you enjoy to tackle stress and how you find a bit more peace in your everyday life.

Happy colouring!