The idea for this blog came to me earlier in the week as I was volunteering at the elementary school my children attend. Even though I always have a million things going on in my life, but I still try to volunteer at their school. That morning, it just seemed like one more thing to do would be impossible to manage. But something I did that morning was such a stress-reliever, I just had to share with everyone else.
Grab some crayons!
Okay, it may sound silly, but coloring can be a fun, and inexpensive, way to de-stress. Let me tell you why.
The volunteering I was doing at the kids’ school was the Art Masters program. Basically, once a month or so, the students are all taught about a master of art (this month was Van Gogh), and the parents volunteer to teach the entire class how to make a piece of art similar to the artist’s style. Even though I am *not* an artist, somehow by following the simple directions, I am able to make a decent piece of art and teach the students to do the same.
As I was learning how to make the project (actually creating my own sample to show the students), I began to feel so relaxed. Focusing on the strokes of my oil pastel chalks, and not on my hectic schedule, was really peaceful. Seeing the colors pop on the paper and a landscape coming to life was rewarding. After just 20 minutes of “playing with chalk”, I walked out of there feeling not as overwhelmed about all the other things I had to do that day… and I was really happy with the little picture I made. Check it out:
Everyone can find the same kind of benefit with coloring books for grown ups and some crayons, colored pencils, or markers. That’s right, you don’t have to color pictures of Dora the Explorer or Spiderman. I found out about these while browsing Amazon one time. There are coloring books on different themes like florals, fashions of different eras (I want this one for myself), art deco (another one I want), still lifes, celtic designs, geometric patterns, and even coloring books of famous art works. You can order these online on sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or check out your local bookstore and see if you can pick one up there. I’ve included some photos below.
The great thing about coloring (or drawing/doodling) is that it is a pretty cheap way to divert your mind for a bit. At the end of each summer especially, when all the school supplies go on sale (a.k.a. a mom’s favorite time of year), you can grab a box of crayons, chalks, colored pencils, or markers for next to nothing! The coloring books themselves are well priced too, especially when you realize that you will get multiple uses with one book. Another benefit of coloring, is that if you have young children, it is an activity you can do with them. My kids love when I get down on the floor and color with them, but coloring teddy bears or Mickey Mouse is not my first choice. After just a few minutes of coloring, you’ll start to really enjoy yourself and find yourself with a little less stress.
Stay tuned for more ideas on de-stressing…