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Coloring and Calm

Family Coloring Endeavor 🙂 the boys drew the ocean!

I know I’m not the only one whose heart leapt for joy when I saw the headline, “Adult Coloring Should be Your New Hobby.

YES! 1 million times YES!

It sounded leaps and bounds more fun than any internet surfing, but I digress. As a mom of 2 and full-time grad student I am constantly thinking of ways to keep my cortisol levels in check. While I adore my crazy messed-up life filled with snuggles, reading (not the fun kind), and tests, there are definitely times when I need a minute. An hour or even 15 minutes spent coloring sounds like divine meditation, especially in those moments… you know the ones I mean.

The best part is that the benefits of coloring aren’t merely hearsay propagated by mombies rocking back and forth, crayon in hand, repeating “Like coloring, I like coloring…”while their toddler scribbles on the walls with wild abandon. Actual research conducted at San Francisco State University found that those who pursue creative activities outside of work not only deal with stress better, but also improve their work performance. It can lower stress levels, help with insomnia, and it makes a great group activity!

11212726_10100320996372729_2065403034549114297_oMy boys enjoy coloring even more when I sit with them and color a picture, it gives us some quiet time and can be especially helpful when the baby is napping.

For me, the act of coloring is a lot like yoga or running. When I stand in tree pose, my mind has a singular task, to focus on my body, my breathing, balance. Coloring also provides the mind a singular task, allowing it a break from rampant to-do lists, or a stressful situation at hand. It is precisely these breaks that recharge batteries preventing explosions of unprocessed emotion. It is a way to engage the mind and create new connections among neurons and renew connections with my little guys.

In April, three of the bestsellers on Amazon were coloring books just for the post-pubescent set… Currently, there is one coloring book remaining on the list at #10. So, while I’m sure coloring’s 15 minutes is coming to a close, I remain enamored.11536456_10100320996537399_3610684076018480564_o

Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden has been one of the most popular coloring books, it is about $10 on amazon. If $10 sounds a little steep a quick search on Google or Pinterest returns tons of free printables so you can check it out!

Have you colored recently? What other methods of de-stressing have you found and loved?


About Jamie Schnell

Jamie Schnell
Jamie Schnell is an RN and full-time mommy to three boys. Her husband, Adam, keeps track of all the stuff that she can never remember where she had it last, and she loves his geeky-wonderfulness. He is definitely the best daddy. Jamie has a BA in English to accompany her BS in Nursing, and recently completed her Master's in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner track. Jamie loves reading, writing, crafting anything and everything, green beans, having little parties to celebrate life, coffee, camping, cooking, spa days, Cheetoes, naps, and just being outside.


  1. Megan Fikes

    I was just thinking of doing this! I recently took up needlepoint too! So calming! Thanks for the post! And yes, Pinterest has tons of free printables!

    • Jamie Schnell

      I used to do tons of cross-stitch, but haven’t tried needlepoint 🙂 I should try it out, I love making pretty things!

  2. Coloring is my new favorite relaxation activity. Now I remember why I liked it so much as a kid!

    • Jamie Schnell

      I know someone who has purchased multitudes of fancy art supplies for coloring 🙂 It can be simple or crazy complicated!

  3. Bethany Drysdale

    I love my grown-up coloring book. It really is calming, and is a great creative outlet for someone rather, um, uncreative like me. I can’t draw, but I can sure color! I like to do cross-stitch too, but my coloring book and pencils are easier to pack around and whip out at a moment’s notice.

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