Here’s Why Adult Coloring Books Will Ease Your Stress

Here’s Why Adult Coloring Books Will Ease Your Stress

adult coloring books

Amazon’s books best seller lists have been filling up with…adult coloring books. Yes. As of today, 20% of Amazon’s current top 20 book best sellers come from coloring books created for and marketed to grownups. If you think I’m kidding about this being a huge thing, look HERE.

This may seem crazy to you, but it doesn’t to me. I’ve already jumped on the adult coloring book bandwagon. I’m a proud owner of a 36 pack of Crayola Colored Pencils and a coloring book of my own. There’s a reason behind thousands upon thousands of grownups purchasing coloring books for themselves:

Adult Coloring Books are a serious stress-buster

Here's Why Adult Coloring Books Will Ease Your Stress

1. Coloring is Mindful

Therapists are actually recommending coloring as a therapeutic activity.  When you focus on coloring-in these small areas, your awareness gets brought to the page instead of worrying about all of life’s stresses.  It creates a sense of mindfulness, being aware of only what you’re doing in that moment.

If that sounds super hippy-dippy to you, know that it did to me too.  Until I tried it.  It has calmed my anxiety attacks, stopping them right in their tracks.  Who needs Xanax when you can have Crayola? (Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional by ANY means, and you should never take my sarcastic and witty, if I do say so myself, advice over that of your doctor.)

2. Coloring is Creative

Working with different colors and patterns is an unchallenging way to flex your creative muscles at the end of the day, and creativity is known for combating anxiety.  Many people don’t get the opportunity to express themselves creatively at work during the day.  By the time they come home, they may be too exhausted to start a serious, complicated creative project.

Coloring to the rescue :)

3. Coloring is Simple

How many times in your life do you get to start and finish a project in a single sitting?  If you’re anything like me, I’m bouncing from this to that, back to this, and over to that all day long.  Coloring one sheet of an adult coloring book is something that can be started and finished – simply.  And it’s not hard.  It may be a small feat, but simplicity is worth gold – especially when it comes to an anxiety-filled life!

If you think adults around the globe are coloring in Disney Princess and dump trucks, think again.  These adult coloring books are incredibly detailed, intricate, and beautiful even before a stitch of color hits the page.

Here are a few of my favorite coloring books (click on the links to learn more!):

Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book

Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book


Creative Coloring Inspirations: Art Activity Pages to Relax and Enjoy!

If you’re prone to stress, like I am, don’t knock adult coloring books until you try them.  You just may have fun getting in touch with your inner kid again!

The Interesting Project

 

*Affiliate disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means if you buy a product I suggest, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. As ALWAYS, I only recommend things I believe in or use myself. Nothing I am not totally crazy about will ever be promoted on this blog.*

Do I Dare Step Out of My Comfort Zone?

Do I Dare Step Out of My Comfort Zone?

Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are like Pumpkin Spice Lattes and crocheted scarves during fall.  They are warm and cozy.  That’s why we call them COMFORT zones.  They’re comfortable.

I happen to like my comfort zone.  I lived there years and managed to always find my way back.  I don’t think comfort zones are bad by nature.  As humans, we need moments of calm and rest.  We need to be comforted sometimes.  But we can linger a bit too long.  The comfort ZONE can easily become a comfort FORTRESS with a well-built moat.

The great things, the HUGE things, the things that make history books – none of them happen in comfort zones.  We need to step out sometimes and enter a new arena.  I’m calling it the Arena of Uncomfortable.   Theodore Roosevelt had something to say about those who are brave enough to go into the arena.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

When we step out of our comfort zones we become the brave (wo)man in the arena.  But here’s the honest truth: Roosevelt used words like dust, sweat, blood, errs, comes short, error, shortcoming, fails.  He used them because no matter how heroic it sounds to be the super person who refuses to stay in a comfort zone, it’s also freaking hard.

Enter my truth:

  • I’ve started a new full-time freelancing career.  It is hard.  I was used to going to college.  That was comfortable.
  • Then, I just started living in a foreign country where many people speak a different language.  It is hard.  I was used to everything being all-American and in English.  That was comfortable.

Costa Rica

  • I was used to living with my boyfriend in a 2-bedroom townhouse. That was comfortable. Now we live in a studio apartment (and BOTH work from home).  It is hard.

When I tell you that great things happen when you step out of your comfort zone, don’t think it’s roses and rainbows. LET ME BE CLEAR: It’s uncomfortable.

So why even step out of your comfort zone at all?

1. You’ll get new experiences, new stories.

The comfort zone is old, mediocre news.  You have it mastered.  There’s nothing new to tell.  The Arena of Uncomfortable is brand spanking new.  You’ll have so many new experiences and amazing stories, you won’t even know what to do with them all.  You’ll have tried: new food, a new job, new ideas, a new country, a new house, new methods, a new custom, a new tradition, new art.

2. You’ll be less judgmental, less critical.

The more you know about situations and people, the less you judge.  It’s easy to judge a statistic, but have you ever tried it?  Have you ever met them?  Have you ever walked a mile in their shoes?  Once you’ve felt the sting another person has already felt, you will be filled with compassion.  (You will be stung, lots of stinging happens outside of your comfort zone.  Literally. Living in Costa Rica, I’m getting stung by mosquitoes every minute.  I digress…)

3. You might fail, but you’ll have failed DARING GREATLY.

Here’s the thing, stepping out of your comfort zone takes a massive amount of vulnerability.  Since you’re walking into uncharted territory, you may do it all wrong and fail.  But it’s not really failure.  You’ve done way more than the person who is still sitting on the sidelines. You’ve dared greatly.

4. You’ll find the goodness, the magic.

If you don’t fail while daring greatly, you’ll succeed.  And that’s where the magic comes.  Brilliant creativity, excellent problem-solving, innovation – these things are products of getting the hell out of the comfort zone.  What’s a little lack of comfort when magic can be held in your fingertips?

So cast off the anchor and sail away, dear readers!  Venture away from the comfort zone of your life, your creativity, your business, your dreams, and enter the Arena of Uncomfortable.  It will probably suck at some point.  But, man, that’s where the great stuff happens.  The magic.

This Blog is My Fight Song

This Blog is My Fight Song

blog_write

Why blog?  They ask all the time.  The store clerks, blackjack dealers (Vegas girl), professors, strangers, coffee shop owners.  Why even bother writing in a flooded market?  Why waste the time?  Why not make the big bucks?

My only answer: Because I have to.  I have to write.  I have to speak.  But the artist Rachel Platten gave me better, more elegant and poetic words to describe this phenomenon through”Fight Song.”

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

I know I’m that small boat in a very big ocean.  I know I’m a single word, and only one match. But here’s the thing!  I’m full of those wrecking balls she sings about.  They are the words I didn’t say for too long.  I spent years of my life feeling silenced.  Literally being told to shut my mouth because God values men’s thoughts more than women’s thoughts.  And I can’t do that any longer.

So I will write.  And you may or may not read.  But I will write.  Because this is my fight song. I’m taking back my life and I’m showing it off.  I got to wake up one morning as a 22-year-old and say “I’m going to fight to make my life the best life possible.”  Two years later and I’m still doing that.  You can too. This blog stands as documentation that I have fought and will fight for a beautiful life.

What’s your fight song?

Featured Image by the lovely and talented Bethany Paige Photography

24 Lessons I Learned by 24

24 Lessons I Learned by 24

24 Lessons I Learned By 24

 

I turned 24 this weekend.  24 years of journeying through this peculiar thing called life.  I’ve learned a few things so far and had a hard time only choosing 24 lessons. Though I may be young, life is always a painfully and graciously generous teacher if we are willing to notice.

1. If you get the chance, jump into the ocean and ruin your hair.  You can always put on a hat.

2. Be brave. Be vulnerable.  These virtues are sisters, not enemies.

3. Eggs and toast are acceptable for any meal of the day.  Give yourself a break.

4. Feel the fear; do it anyway

5. You do not need to defend your choices to every single dissenter.  Some people will just never approve.  You can beautifully survive lack of approval.

6. Traveling can be so much more than just going on a vacation.  It’s about self-discovery and widening your mind.  Also, about dealing with 24,918 things going wrong and the same going right.

7. God is love.

8. Self-care is not selfish.

9. Siblings can be your best friends

10. Faith is a choice, not a feeling.  So is true love.

11. If you leave smoothies in your car for a few days, your car will stink.  If you leave the wrong people in your life too long, your life will stink.

12. It’s way more fulfilling to be a Gatherer of Friendships and Experiences, than it is to be a Gatherer of Things.

13. Getting enough sleep makes you more productive and less bitchy.

14. Women still aren’t equal.  Women are changing this.  But, honestly, so are all these really great men.

15. It’s okay to change your mind.

16. Food can either heal or kill your body.  By all means, let it be a healer.

17. Creativity is vitally important to your humanness.  Everyone is creative and should explore their artistry frequently.

18. Divorce is sometimes the best and only answer.  Don’t judge.

19. Chasing your dream is hard and you will get very tired.  Take a nap and then keep chasing.

20. Your brain is not controlled by you the day before your period.  It is controlled by an evil alien.  Watch what you say.

21. Being the “good girl” is way overrated.  Be you, and be you awesomely.

22. Anxiety and Depression are real medical problems.  “Having more faith” won’t fix them anymore than “having more faith” will cure high blood pressure.

23. You don’t have to fit into any particular mold.  Uniqueness is a gift, not a curse.

24. Making friends is hard, keeping friends is hard, people are hard.  But the giving and receiving of love is important.  Love people.  Above all, love people.

24 Lessons I Learned by 24

What They Sometimes Forget to Tell You about Chasing Your Dream

Just_a_Dream____by_enricoagostoni

They tell you it will be worth it.

They tell you it’s the only way to be happy.

They tell you your dreams are there for a reason.

They tell you to follow your heart.

They tell you to be brave.

They tell you your future is bright.

Chase.  Your.  Dream.

They are right.

But…

Sometimes…

They forget to tell you that it will be really, really hard.

There will be days where your exhaustion overwhelms.

There will be days when it doesn’t look so bright.

There will be days when you snap at your biggest cheerleaders.

There will be days when your biggest cheerleaders snap at you.

There will be days when you wonder what the hell you’ve done.

There will be days when you take every elevator and forget every staircase,

because it is just. too. much.

There will be days when you feel defeated and you’re convinced all your work is shit.

There will be days when you will be forgotten.

So…

Take a breath.  Take a seat.  Take a nap.

Cry if you want.  Watch a mind-numbing comedy if you want.  Run away for a day if you want.

Then…

Get back up.  And keep pressing on.

Because…

It will actually be worth it, it will bring happiness, those dreams are there for a reason, your heart should be followed, bravery is the only way, and your future actually is that bright.

Chase.  Your.  Dream.

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” – A League of Their Own

Image – Creative Commons via Google Images