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Last month I presented myself with a challenge: Spend the month using adult coloring books as a means of self-care. You can read more here!

In addition to sharing what I learned, I will share some links and recommendations at the end of this post so you can get creative with me! Here are my top 3 lessons:

 

  1. I Have A Control Problem – I noticed that my attention to detail made me tense up a little. Luckily, this activity helped me become more aware of what my body was feeling. Research connects coloring to meditation and some meditative practices involve body-work. When you are “mindful” of your activities you are “mindful” of the sensations in your body. The fact that I recognized this and was able to tell myself to relax resulted in a more positive experience. I was able to turn this tension into relaxation and enjoyed the rest of my coloring experience.
  2. It Helps Distract You – I did this exercise for an hour with my Fibromyalgia support group and it invited more conversation. A new member joined our group this evening and she appeared relaxed and appeared to connect well to the group because we were all actively creating. Many group members admitted that adult coloring books distract them from their pain, even if for a short time. A few members commented that they do this activity at home as well. I admit that it also distracted me from looking at the clock and stressing over my never-ending action list (a.k.a my to-do list).
  3. The Type Of Coloring Activity Needs To Compliment My Emotion – Some coloring books are pretty complex. Don’t get me wrong, once they’re completed they’re gorgeous! But if I am feeling anxious or stressed, a busy coloring book just adds to the problem. I found a few free coloring sheets online that have inspirational words in them. What better way to train your brain to digest positivity? Stare at the word for 30 minutes while dressing it up with color!!

 

One thing I found interesting about this challenge is how many coloring books I keep bumping into! I walked into a craft store for Halloween décor and BOOM! The front of the store had a huge coloring book stand!

michaelsbooks

 

What’s the verdict?

I will definitely keep coloring and stay mindful of my emotions throughout the process. It’s like yoga. Breathe and move through the process. Concentrate and feel where it’s hurting. This is just another muscle that I need to keep stretching out!

Recommendations:

I recommend  Coloring Pages Bliss for downloadable coloring sheets! I also follow her on Facebook! What struck me about her site are the special pages for people like myself who struggle with chronic pain. She has beautiful designs with inspirational words mixed in!

Here is another book I found made especially for stress management.  You can see the mix of journal space, an inspirational quote and room to color!

coloring book

To purchase this book:

 

I also recommend the book I used for this monthly challenge. It teaches you how to doodle (which I needed help on) and gives simple tasks to work on. This was a break from the usual coloring books that are just filled with patterns. Here is a sample of my doodling!!

 

coloring books

Purchase this book:

 

 

Here’s a cultural book you can also share with your kids!

 

Are there any books or sites you recommend?? Would you be willing to try adult coloring books as part of your self-care methods?