Who remembers the days of grabbing a box of Crayola crayons and coloring for hours? Maybe you had the standard 8 or were fortunate enough to have a Crayola Caddy circa 1980 something. (I really wanted that.) The point is, there was nothing like coloring. It was the easiest way to escape the stresses of being a kid. Now as adults we’re encouraged to go to yoga, go bike riding, go rock climbing, anything that involves a $50+ investment and a possible visit to the ER just so we can “relax.” While that sounds promising, I’m okay with something more low-key. Recently I’ve been hearing about adult coloring books as a stress reliever. Commercials have scrolled across my screen tempting me to color the perfect mandala to unwind. According to BBC.com, Amazon’s top 10 best-seller list currently has four adult coloring books on it.
To Color Or Not To Color?
I have to admit that I, like so many, am overwhelmed by the stress of life. So I did contemplate ordering a coloring book. On my Facebook timeline I noticed my friend Callie Stockman posted that she ordered one. I asked her if it worked for her. She said, “The coloring book is great for me. I have obsessive thoughts and I typically tried to distract myself with television or reading, but sometimes that was too difficult. Coloring seemed like it would just free up my mind to obsess more over my worries, but it does just the opposite. Using my hands and my mind together proves a great distraction from obsessive thoughts. It’s also fulfilling to look back after a few minutes and see what I accomplished (something you can’t do with reading or watching television).”
Not To Color…But To Decorate
So I began to consider one as well. However the more I thought about it, the more I stressed about being able to color perfectly. (I lost a coloring contest in kindergarten that’s always troubled me. My mom wouldn’t let me color my chipmunk teal. Oh well.) That’s when it hit me, I already have an amazing way of de-stressing. I do the same thing Callie mentioned above. Every week when I style my Limelife planner I’m using my hands and mind together to create weekly spreads. And honestly I feel so much better afterwards.
Like this morning when I realized how much work I had, I grabbed my glue gun and some stickers I purchased from Michaels’ and made new macaron paper clips for my planners and notebooks.
Seriously, I sat back and let out a huge sigh of relief. My head was clear and I was able to knock out two hours worth of work and felt great. (If you’re interested in making your own clips, check out this tutorial.) I think conceptually these ways of relieving stress are the same—coloring and styling. You need various tools to color and style. For my Limelife planner, I use washi tape and stickers.
It’s not quite a Crayola Caddy, but I like my DIY Washi Tape Dispenser. Here’s the tutorial if you want to make one too. I use stamps and my EK Tools Journaling Pens. I got the pens at Target and then decorated them with double sided sticky tape and Martha Stewart Essential Glitter. All of these tools help me on a weekly basis to escape the stress of the real world. So if you need an easy way to relax that doesn’t involve a $200 trip to Lululemon or if coloring isn’t for you, I suggest enjoying 30 minutes each week to make a masterpiece out of your planner. What creative pursuits help you relax?