Monday, July 22, 2013

Showing My Colors

At some point during all the blog hopping I've been doing for this challenge, I happened across a post that discussed coloring as stress relief for adults. I always enjoyed coloring as a kid but I can't remember the last time I used crayons, probably 20 years ago or more. The post made sense to me and I briefly thought "Hmm...I should give that a try" but after after leaving the post I didn't think about it again. A couple days later, I was shopping with my other half when he called to me from an aisle away "Hey honey, these crayons are only $1.68! We don't have any at home, do we?" I knew it was a sign from The Universe! I trotted over and said "Let's get them! I just read an article about coloring as stress relief for adults" and into the cart went a box of 64 crayons. Next I needed a coloring book but discovered they were $5 for only a few flimsy pages. Reg suggested I draw my own pictures but I'm more of a "stay inside the lines" kind of person so he said he thought I could find some online to print out.

My initial search for "pages to color" turned up lots of sites that provide coloring books to pages to download for a fee. I added "free" in there and found  Crayola's website. They have a lot of options for all sorts of crafty stuff. Of course it's geared towards kids, so this is what I ended up with:
Don't laugh! I did a couple of those and while they're cute and fun, it wasn't quite what I had in mind. Over the weekend I had some time to look again and got the same sort of results so I decided to change it up and Googled "free coloring pages". Autocomplete kicked in and gave me some suggestions: the first was "for children" and the second was "for adults". I'm not sure what it says about me that I hesitated for a moment, thinking "coloring pages for adults" would mean X-rated. I honestly didn't even want to come across those, but I took the chance and thank goodness no one is as perverted as I was suspecting. Well, I'll take that back and say I bet someone is but thankfully it wasn't easy to stumble upon.

With a bit of searching, I have been able to find several sites that offer free designs I can print out. This makes me feel better because at least now I know I'm not the only grown up looking for coloring books! I tried to find the blog post that originally gave me the idea but I've had no luck. However I did find several other articles on the subject.

As to whether or not coloring actually reduces my stress levels, I can't say for sure yet. I certainly found it to be a soothing activity. The smell of the crayons takes me right back to childhood. My mom colored with me a lot. I remember I had a Planet of the Apes coloring book that I loved (How in the heck did I get that?!). It definitely is a nice alternative to staring at FaceBook. One thing I noticed right away is that coloring encourages me to slow down and sit still quietly, which isn't something I do very often. It's not something I can do "real fast" and it's the only thing I can think of that I've done lately with no agenda. I'm coloring the pages and then putting them in a pile on my desk. That's it. I'm not finishing them to meet a deadline or gain knowledge or to give them away.

Even though I'm staying within the lines, I'm still using the creative part of my brain. It's something different and it feel nice. I encourage you to give it a try. Sit at your kitchen table in the evening, when the house is quiet, and color a picture.


  1. Coloring has always felt therapeutic to me! Enjoy!

  2. I honestly color with my kids daily - and I love it!

  3. I have a book of patterns I love to color (sorta like kaleidoscope type patterns). Craft stores are great for cool coloring books. If you add in a search term of what you like to color (like flowers) it can help you narrow it down even more! I love coloring. :)