Adult Coloring Books: The Latest Trend in Relaxation

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At some point in our lives, coloring books have made a cameo.

Kindergarten creative time that typically ended in tears because Jenny (don’t THINK I’ve let that one go!) stole your favorite blue crayon and ate it just to be spiteful. Trying to get the crazy child you babysat for the first time to sit still for more than 2 minutes so you could go to the bathroom. Showing your kiddo proper Crayola wrapper removal techniques. The general consensus was that coloring books were more used for soothing and relaxation than trying to unlock the inner Picasso in children.

It’s no surprise that this same concept can be geared towards adults needing to take a time out of the daily grind. But what thirty-something wants to sit and color 10 pages of Dora the Explorer and her adventure friends? Thanks to some incredibly talented artists like Johanna Basford and Angie Grace, adults have thousands of options for finding a creative outlet for stress relief and mental clarity.

There’s actually a long history of coloring for mental health reasons. Famed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that mandalas, sanskrit for “Sacred Circle”, represented the total personality (the Self) and that when the image showed up in dreams or art, it was typically indication of a movement toward a new self knowledge. He noticed many of his patients drawing these ancient symbols and encouraged them to explore the new sense of self awareness that accompanied their creative outlet.

Creating a calm environment for self exploration can be as simple as turning your iPhone off, making a cup of your favorite herbal tea and playing some soft music in the background. I like to light a little aromatherapy candle or simmer a pot of water, orange peels and cloves on the stove to engage all the senses!

Whether you’re trying to find the perfect “me” time to unwind at the end of the day or struggling with anxiety and depression, picking up a set of colored pencils and a copy of Christina Rose’s Mind Healing is definitely a less expensive alternative to that $ 2000 guided meditation your best friend signed both of you up for next weekend.

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