The Benefits Of Coloring
Coloring is fun, and it turns out it’s actually beneficial to your health. Coloring is not just for kids anymore; adults can benefit from coloring too. I‘m not an expert, so I can’t say that coloring is art therapy, but it certainly has some therapeutic properties.
Don’t just take my word for it, many medical magazines and news outlets have researched and written about the benefits of coloring. You don’t need to read all of those articles, I’ll break it down for you (unless you want everything backed up by science and numbers, then go ahead and Google some of those articles). I am going to use our summer camp slogan: Unplug Connect Discover to simplify this breakdown.
Coloring can help us Unplug:
This one is easy. Instead of going from my computer in the dining room to the couch in the living room and the TV, I can take a screen break and color. Man, do those pieces of art look better when I only color instead of trying to draw.
Coloring can help us Connect:
Coloring allows us to focus on the now and creates a sense of mindfulness (I looked it up, it means a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment). I like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness and they seem like they are everywhere right now, but if I try to sit still with my eyes closed for more than two minutes then I’m asleep. Ask any of the people that attend our office yoga, go ahead, they like to mention my snoring. Don’t worry I’m over it now. Now hand me some colored pencils and a coloring book and I could go for hours (well, maybe 45 minutes at most) without falling asleep. Coloring relaxes the mind; I stop thinking about all my work tasks and think, “stay in the lines, stay in the lines, stay in….dang.” It connects me to my own creativity, reduces stress and anxiety, and allows me to see what is right in front of me.
Coloring can help us Discover:
Anxiety and stress are two emotions that run rampant in these trying times of being quarantined with the family you loved a week ago but now is starting to get on your nerves. You are trapped in your house, house apartment, or dorm with nowhere to go and running out of “projects to do in the garage”, so why not try coloring? When I am coloring, I can move into the world of the page or picture I’m coloring not the one with Coronavirus and quarantine. We can create a new world where the Catalina Island Fox did not steal all of my socks, but one where he returns them. This state of discovery takes me away from the world of consuming anxiety and stress, and I highly recommend it.
Coloring allows you to unplug from technology, connect with yourself, and discover your creativity. Don’t know where to start?
Check out our little coloring book here:
The Catalina Island Conservancy created a document with some coloring pages of island plants and animals. Pinterest also has some great coloring book pages you can print from home. I encourage you to give it a try, color together as a family instead of watching TV. Here is a link to the Conservancy coloring book:
They also have a learning at home page with some resources for learning about Catalina Island that is worth a look. You can even watch the latest Lecture series talk about Marine Protected Areas; CIC is located in one of those MPAs.