Mental Health Monday: Color Me Happy

coloringA couple of years ago I did some posts—like this one—about coloring mandalas. Could have been about coloring anything, really. A friend of mine recently confessed to me that she keeps a child’s coloring book and crayons by her bed and colors when she’s stressed or just wants to relax. And another friend is about to publish a book about coloring as a form of prayer.

I was struggling emotionally this afternoon so I got out my mandala coloring book and a new pack of Crayolas and relaxed with another mandala. (A very simple one this time.)

And then I read (in an article in yesterday’s Parade Magazine) that Susan Albers, Psy. D., a Cleveland Clinic clinical psychologist and author of 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, recommends coloring for relaxation, specifically to reduce stress.

I knew I was onto something. And then I found this article: “50 Shades of Happy: The New Joy of Coloring.” It even has some downloadable coloring pages.

finishedAbout six years ago I took a coloring book and crayons to the nursing home to color with my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. She warmed up to it slowly at first—but then seemed to really enjoy it. (“Coloring Violets With Effie”)

I think I’ll get the sheet music to Colour My World (Chicago) and play it on my kayboard….

So the next time stress drives you to eat or drink too much, or to skip your exercise routine and spend too much time watching TV, keep some coloring books and crayons or colored pencils nearby. It’s amazing how much it helps. Have a great week.