Adult coloring books filled the shelves towards the end of 2015. This new trend is supposed to be an unconventional way for adults to relax and unwind. I liked the idea of these books from the moment I saw them but didn't think that it could be something that would work for me.
Since I got a plethora of gift cards for Christmas, I decided to invest in one of these books and give it a go. At the time I had no idea how much a coloring book could teach me about life lessons.
You can find the book I bought by clicking here.
You can regain your focus.
When I started my first page in the coloring book, I instantly thought I was going to hate it. I’m the kind of girl who can’t sit still long enough to read a book. My mind starts to wander, I get antsy and then eventually I find myself doing something that is completely unrelated to reading a book.
I found coloring to be easier than reading, but it did take time to direct my focus solely on the coloring book. When I would notice my mind start to drift, I would make a serious effort to redirect it to what I was working on.
After a while this became easier and easier. Distractions around me weren’t as successful in stealing my attention and the act of coloring became more enjoyable.
Live in the moment.
Focusing on the past and future is much easier than focusing on the here and now. We’re constantly planning for something or reminiscing about an event that happened a few years back. It’s so rare that we stop to appreciate the current moment.
I am extremely guilty of this. My obsessive planning of the future definitely takes away from my life in the present.
While coloring, it would be very easy to plan ahead. When I would look at a design, I would have an overall plan for how I would want it to turn out. The hard part was trying not to jump ahead. Even though I knew which parts I wanted to be green, for example, I needed to remind myself to not work ahead and finish all of the green parts at once. For me it was important to focus on the part of the picture I was coloring at that moment - whether that's a leaf, a flower, whatever it may be.
Focusing on one leaf or one flower allowed me to put all of my energy into that section I was on in that moment. Just like in life, it’s important to focus on what you’re doing in the present. Have a plan for the future, but don’t allow it to consume all of your energy.
About halfway through my first page, I started to get over it. I had a lot left to do and my first thought was to just give up and finish it “later.” Which likely would have meant never. Although I was having these thoughts, I knew how happy I would have been to see a finished page full of color.
It would have been easy to give up, but I didn’t. I kept working my butt off on this page and when it was complete I was even more happy than I thought I would be.
Don't get discouraged by the thought of time. Rushing through anything leaves us with a finished result that we know could have turned out been better.
It’s okay to take breaks.
Not everything has to be done right here and right now. I was really lost at a point and didn’t know what direction I wanted my color scheme to go in. I was getting frustrated so I decided to take a break.
I walked away from my work and when I came back the ideas started flowing. Had I not taken a step back and given myself a chance to clear my head, I may have ended up with a finished piece that I was unhappy with.
Sometimes stepping away from a project or a problem is actually the right thing to do!
The end result:
This whole thing may sound silly - comparing life to coloring books. But sometimes you can find answers to your questions in places you never thought to look.
Coloring really did help ease my mind and reduce some stress, but it also taught me some valuable lessons along the way. I highly recommend you invest in a coloring book. If you are interested in purchasing the same book that I got, you can do so by clicking here. I went with the animal kingdom coloring book by Millie Marotta. It's a phenomenal book filled with all sorts of beautiful designs relating to plants and animals