I remember enjoying coloring books when I was a kid. And even now, as an adult, it is still just as enjoyable. It’s relaxing, and a good way to refocus your attention. It can be especially helpful for people who experience negative thoughts or hear voices.

Coloring is a great coping skill. It doesn’t require much effort. You could search for coloring books on the web to buy. Nowadays, because adult coloring books started to rise in popularity, you can find them in local arts and crafts stores, or even places like Target, Walmart, or CVS.

You don’t even need to buy a coloring book. If you have a printer, you can print out coloring pages online. I’ve printed out a few Christmas ones myself from websites like JustColor.Net.

You could even repurpose your coloring pages. After you finish coloring it all in, you could make envelopes out of them, greeting cards, giftwrap, gift bags, and more. That’s partially why I chose Christmas-themed coloring pages, so I could use them for that specific time.

I started coloring a page I printed from the internet last night. I bought a set of felt tip markers. The markers I got bleed through the paper onto the other side. I guess that’s expected with most markers. I thought about getting colored pencils, but I just like the vibrancy of markers.

Personally as someone who hears voices, I found coloring to be meditative and fun. I didn’t have any particular thought while coloring. I was mostly focused on figuring out which colors would go well together and staying within the lines. I didn’t experience hearing voices during this activity. So, I’m experimenting with it as an evening activity before I go to sleep, to help me to relax and to give me something fun to do.

Some other activities that are similar to coloring may be painting, drawing, or doing puzzles such as word searches, crossword puzzles, or sudoku. I’ve tried painting before, but I stopped because I had difficulty always coming up with an idea for it. Same for drawing. Plus, it requires some skill. Of course, you can practice the skill. Coloring is more accessible to people though, because you don’t have to draw a picture to color. You can find plenty of images online to color, or a book full of coloring pages.

There are apps on your phone or on your tablet that you can download that involved coloring/painting by numbers. I haven’t tried a painting or coloring app. Personally, I like the motion that’s involved with coloring with a marker against a sheet of paper. It requires some hand-eye coordination. I think it’s more fun that just tapping a screen and producing colors. Though, it’s worth a shot for anyone who doesn’t feel like spending money on buying art supplies.

Taking up coloring as a hobby is pretty inexpensive, though. I spent less than $10.00 on a set of 34 colored markers. So even if I found out I didn’t like coloring the first evening, oh well, it’s not more than a movie night, or a dinner out. I could give the markers away to my nieces. No big deal.

Compare it to other hobbies. It’s cheaper than playing a musical instrument, or buying a bike to ride, or even some sports.

So if you’re thinking about getting into the hobby of coloring, I’d say go for it. The risk is minimal. And, it could be good for your mental health.

It also can take a while to do. I thought it’d take me 15 minutes to color in half a page, but it took more like an hour to fill a quarter of the page because of how carefully I was trying to color in between the lines. So, it’s a good time sink for sure.

By the way, I already started my 30-day challenge to read, but I think I’m going to add coloring to the challenge as well. Reading is more challenging that coloring, because you’re processing the words in your head and trying to make sense of the text. But with coloring, you’re focusing on just moving and watching I guess. It’s pretty mindless. My real challenge will be to focus on reading 20 pages without fail each day. Coloring will be my reward in a sense.

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