Stacie jumped on the adult coloring book bandwagon first, but I followed along quickly.
The trend has swept across France and the UK and seems to be doing just fine in the US as well. I asked my fiancé for a coloring book for my birthday and then got myself a box of 50 (50!) Crayola colored pencils. The last time I bought colored pencils I’m pretty sure they only came in 24s.
In the flow of life, I found myself with almost two hours of down time on a Sunday. The fiancé was playing a rec-league softball double-header and I was headed to the symphony with a friend, but the downbeat for that was later. I pulled out the book and sat at my dining room table to start in on my first one. It was instantly fantastic.
Huffington Post explored this trend, quoting experts who said the phenomenon was linked to adults looking for mindfulness.
“One gets so engrossed in colouring, it’s an extraordinary activity – in fact, if you watch children playing with crayons you can see just how absorbing it is.”
….colouring can make mindfulness more accessible to stressed adults as the action requires the mind to focus on the present moment.
Because Stacie and I both have found this activity so great, we’ve been trying to analyze what we like about it. We agree that it probably hits our need for perfectionism in more healthy ways. We can color inside the lines. We can finish pictures. There aren’t really wrong ways to do it. Stacie also theorized that it helps our writing brains too, because it’s a way to put pen-to-paper without the hurdle of words.
And, as the HuffPost piece notes, it is slow. The adult coloring books have lots of little spaces. In almost two hours of work, I wasn’t done with it. I didn’t want to rush. I wanted to take my time.
NPR also recently had another post about coloring and how coloring is tactile in a way the writer implies that other creative pursuits (she’s a writer too) are not.
So I colored. And I didn’t think about other things, just the work in front of me.