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Self-care is all over social media right now! With stress, anxiety, and depression on the rise we know to take better care of ourselves. Especially our mental health. Of course, if you’re new to the concept it might seem like a very simple thing to do. And it can be simple. As simple as slowing down and coloring in adult coloring books.
What is Self-Care?
At it’s most straightforward, self-care is any action taken to promote and maintain our mental, emotional, and physical health. When it’s done right, a self-care routine can improve our mood, our physical wellbeing. And even make symptoms of mental and physical illness more manageable. It’s something that refuels our figurative tank and helps us run more smoothly.
In this sense, self-care could be taking a jog, taking a bubble, bath, or even coloring. But it’s also a delicate balancing act. It’s not about doing what makes us feel good above all else or neglecting our needs to attend to our wants. Nor is it about putting our needs always above the needs of others,
Why Adult Coloring Books are Great for Self-Care
So, with all this talk of practicality and healthy living, where do adult coloring books come in? Coloring for stress relief has actually become quite popular lately. And it has done so for very good reason. In a therapeutic sense, adult coloring is a simple and enjoyable way to focus your mind. Mindful coloring books help to banish negative thoughts and focus the mind. They can help to relieve anxiety and stress. The best thing about adult coloring books is you don’t need to learn a new skill. Activities like meditation can take weeks or years to get the hang of. You already know how to color. Plus, mini adult coloring books are portable and fun. You can color anywhere.
Of course, according to researchers at the University of West England adult coloring has many more lasting benefits that go far beyond taking the edge off of a particularly hard day. In one study they found that:
“After colouring for 20 minutes participants reported being more contented, more energetic and calmer than after reading. They also reported higher levels of mindfulness (attending to what is happening in the present moment) and flow (being ‘in the zone’). “
The Benefits of an Adult Coloring Book
When used as a part of a well-rounded self-care routine, mindful coloring can be a very powerful tool. So powerful, in fact, that the practice of prescribing this activity to patients goes back to Carl Jung. Of course, while Jung believed that it could help patients to access their subconscious fears and desires, we now know that it can be used as a very effective alternative meditation technique. As it has become more popular, however, we are finding out that there are additional, more long-term benefits too.
Stress and Anxiety Management
The most obvious adult coloring benefits are the management of stress and anxiety in both the short and long-term. When feeling panicky or restless, coloring focusses your mind on something non-threatening to induce calm.
Improved Sleep and Focus
The process of coloring requires you to focus in a way that walks the fine line between relaxation and stress, and because of this it not only relaxes you but can improve your ability to focus in the long term. This is because of the way it stimulates your frontal lobe. As a result, you will find it easier to meditate or practice additional mindfulness exercises if you color regularly.
Coloring therapy has also been shown to improve the quality of sleep, which helps manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and many other ailments, but which also makes you quicker on your mental feet throughout the day. The sleep benefits of using adult coloring books before bed come about partly because they relax you, but also because they reduce your light exposure. By switching to coloring rather than scrolling at night you can expect to feel more refreshed in the morning.
Improved Motor Skills
Because it requires you to utilize both hemispheres of your brain, adult coloring is actually a good way to improve your motor skills. There is even some suggestion that it can improve vision and creative thought as well.
Adult Coloring Can Help Anyone
With all of this in mind, we’re sure you’d agree that adult coloring books are a great addition to any self-care routine or a great way to begin one. Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression on a regular basis they can sharpen your mind, improve your sleep, and even encourage creativity. Plus, they’re fun and accessible!