My last two posts have been kind of heavy, so I thought this week I’d speak about my new obsession and whether or not it’s a waste of time or actually beneficial.
I live in Scotland at the moment, somewhere, though beautiful and green and dotted with magnificent landscapes during the summer months when the sun (sometimes) makes an appearance, is rainy most of the time and personally, the colour I see most in life is probably grey.
I know, that totally sounds depressing and sad, I mean, who wants to wake up in the morning and see nothing but darkness and then see the same again when they leave the workplace? No one, that’s who… and if you enjoy being damp and cold and unable to see through your glasses because there’s always rain drops on them, well, i commend you, because it’s a difficult thing to get used to, let alone actually like. 🌧☔️
Anyway, last year, I was au pairing in France, and it turned out that looking after two little boys in the middle of the French countryside, paired with the hip injury I was sporting, wasn’t as awesome as I thought it was going to be.
I felt lonely- cut off from the world, and stressed out because I could barely walk around playing with the kids, let alone go running or take the 40 minute walk to the gym.
And one day, my very good friend sent me a care package. In it, included a Minions Blanket (that’s right, I am 23 years old and still love Minions, don’t judge me please); some chocolate that had melted on its way over from Scotland; a beautifully written note that made me super emotional and long for home (which has never happened to me before) and, a mindfulness colouring book(and colouring pencils of course because it would be a bit pointless to just get the book and nothing to colour with wouldn’t it?)
At first I was sceptical. I’d heard about this new craze of colouring books, and how adults were now participating in this activity we normally associate with children and what they do in their first years of nursery and school, and hadn’t really given it much thought other than how expensive a habit it must be to keep having to buy new colouring pencils.
But, I now had one of my own, and the next day, I called my au pair kids into the kitchen and we sat for an hour colouring in… well, they did finger painting, but same same.
Unless you’ve tried it for yourself, it’s quite difficult to explain how colouring in is therapeutic. Obviously, it is by no means going to solve all (or any really) of my problems, and some people correctly assume it’s a little bit of a waste of valuable time.
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing a page that begins as black and white fill up with beautiful colours in a pattern or manner that you want them to appear. On top of this, the simplicity of colouring in actually allows you to take time for yourself to think things through.
If you just copy someone else’s way of tuning out of the world, you won’t be able to do it. I’ve tried meditating, but it’s so difficult for me to detach myself from my thoughts I find it too hard to let go and just be. Going to the gym is a good way for me to drown out the world but, well, we all know I need to moderate even that activity.
Is colouring an effective way to be less stressed? Perhaps not, because at the end of the day, you need to face up to your problems and not shy away from them.
Yeah. I definitely think so.