Color Your Stress Away

Not much could soothe my childhood soul more than a box of fresh crayons and the crisp pages of a new coloring book. I’d spend hours at a time in a zen-like state carefully decorating each section of my picture. There were no real pressures. I didn’t have to color by a specific deadline, within a particular budget – or even inside the thick, pre-planned lines. I could simply sit and enjoy the act of coloring.

What a joyful thing to experience.

It’s no wonder adult coloring books are a growing trend right now. Have you seen them? It’s really a thing – and some of the books are downright gorgeous. Frame-worthy, even.

I first stumbled upon one in Barnes & Noble. My little Avery wanted a new book and we spotted the Secret Garden by Johanna Basford.

secret garden

Come to find out, Johanna is the queen bee of adult coloring books. She has sold more than 1.4 million copies of her book so far, and she has composed a newer edition called Enchanted Forest. It looks equally as intriguing.

enchanted forest

I found myself scootching next to Avery whenever she pulled out the Secret Garden. We’d sit and color and chat about what seemed to be nothing. But whenever we finished, we felt much happier. And that’s definitely something.

I know it might seem too indulgent to sit and color. Sometimes I hear, “ain’t nobody got tiiime for that” in the back of my own mind. But if we reframe it as a time to relax and reconnect with ourselves (or even our children), it can be as important as any to-do on the list. And it can be as refreshing as meditation or a good glass of wine. #winning

So why not give it a spin? Pull out a new batch of colored pencils (the grownup version of crayons for these beautiful books), fire up your pencil sharpener and start creating.

To help get you started here are five pages from Secret Garden you can download and print right away.

When you’re ready to buy a full book, here are a few good options to consider:

Calming Colouring Patterns by Leslie McCallum (I bought this one at Hobby Lobby before our recent road trip!)

calming colouring patterns

Here are a few others on my fave list:

Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter (Love the title.)

color me calm

Dream Catcher: A Soul Bird’s Journey by Christina Rose (This is more like Secret Garden with the botanical/nature patterns.)

dream catcher

The Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons (I feel calmer already just looking at the cover.)

mindfulness coloring book

Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta (Look at these gorgeous illustrations. These are wall-hanging worthy for sure.)

animal kingdom

Creative Coloring Inspirations by Valentina Harper (I love the inspiring messages that come along with each of these pages.)

coloring inspirationsYou’ll have to let me know if you have any of these books and which is your personal favorite.

I’d also love to see some of your pages. Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #CreativeTipTues or @KateJAndersen.

Happy coloring, my friends!

-Kate

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