Color Away the Stress – Adult Coloring Books For VegansDecember 18, 2018
There’s a colouring craze going on right now and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you just might want to give it a shot. Besides being a fun activity that is bound to make you feel like a kid again,the benefits of colouring range from meditative and psychological to improving fine motor skills and focus.
First, let’s admit we are all a bit stressed out. While we may go to great lengths to avoid it, stress creeps in wherever it can. Most of us have something vying for our attention outside of ourselves.
Whether it’s a boss, a child, a significant other; someone else’s needs often come before ours. We all have bills to pay, cars to keep running, homes to tend. Throw in some traffic, health problems and a leaking roof and you’ve got the modern adult life.
In this endless list of adult responsibilities, where do you fall? Adult-ing is hard, so self-care has to take a priority, especially for vegans.
Vegans often feel added stress as many of us take on the world’s problems as our own. Once you awaken to the violence and destruction that is so prevalent in this world, it can leave you in a very lonely, stressed-out place. You want to help every animal live and help every human make the connection.
Fast-food restaurants, meat aisles and advertising remind us that the majority of the world doesn’t see things the way we do (yet). It takes a lot of self-care to balance this out.
My favorite go-to stress relievers are long walks with my dog, a nice glass of wine, or snuggling up with hot tea and a good book. I’ve been also known to de-stress with a fun craft or hobby! I’ve done everything from candle making and glass etching to knitting and painting. So when the colouring craze hit, you bet it sparked my interest!
Can you really colour to relieve stress? Can this seemingly unproductive activity actually be beneficial? Is this just a way to waste time? There was only one way to find out. I started colouring.
Unlike more in-depth artistic endeavors, colouring can easily be added to something you’re already doing. For instance, I follow a lot of vegan channels on YouTube and like to keep caught up, so I added colouring to my regular YouTube watching.
Colouring is perfect for airplane rides, TV binges and even while waiting in restaurants (although, it may be better if you are colouring with a little kid on this one, but then again, adult colouring is in)! I have to say; I felt the benefits right away.
Once I realised I wasn’t wasting my time, I felt alive. I was a little kid with not a care in the world. Many psychologists are saying that colouring can be as beneficial as mediation. So, whether it takes you back to your childhood, or just helps you let go of your day, colouring allows you to free your mind.
Colouring as a Spiritual Practice
Now, if you want to make colouring a more meditative and even a spiritual practice, I recommend you colour alone. Get some of your favourite markers, sharpen your coloured pencils and take a seat. Add some calming music and burn some incense. Set up your space like you would to meditate and get colouring!
If you’ve never meditated before, that’s okay too; you can still reap the benefits. You have probably heard of something called the flow state – a space you can arrive at when lost in work or activity where time ceases to exist and you are just in that moment – flowing. Flow to me is basically a working meditation state.
Well, colouring is a shortcut to that place. It can take a few minutes to turn off the chaos in your mind, but if you can calm your thoughts, you can easily get lost in the art of colouring.
If you have trouble getting into a meditative state, I recommend you quiet your mind by focusing on the patterns on the page. Really see the colors you are using and take in the transition the piece of paper is going through. As you focus your attention on the physical action of colouring, your mind will begin to clear. You’ll tap into that space on the other side of stress and get in a blissful flow-zone.
Once in the zone you may find your troubles start to disappear! New thoughts and ideas might pop up, just acknowledge them and file them away to revisit later. Then re-focus on the colouring page. You may also have childhood memories of colouring pop up; do the same thing, acknowledge them, (feel those good nostalgic feelings) and then try to dismiss the thought. Allow all thoughts and feelings to come up, but dismiss them just as quickly for best meditative results.
Choosing a colouring book with spiritual themes or mandalas is an excellent way to step up the spiritual benefit. Drawing and coloring mandalas is a spiritual practice that has been around for quite a while. Mandalas are geometric figures and patterns that represent the universe and they are known to promote positivity, inner peace and even help with healing!
Since we are a part of the universe ourselves, getting lost in a mandala can be a bit like exploring yourself. Psychologist Carl Jung was very interested in mandalas and used them with his patients to help achieve inner peace and a sense of Self.
If you are ready to start drawing your own mandalas, pick up a protractor and a compass! It’s pretty easy to create a simple mandala that would make the perfect drawing to color in. (Click here for a great article on How to Draw a Mandala). Other positive health benefits of drawing and coloring mandalas lie in practicing fine motor skills as well as training the brain and eyes to focus.
Another great reason to add colouring to your de-stressing routine is that it’s fairly inexpensive to get what you need to get started. There is a tonne of great adult colouring books out now that can be found online, in art stores, books stores and more. You can also find free pages to print!
Now when you go to pick out markers, you may want to do a little research first to see if they contain animal ingredients or are tested on animals. It’s hard to find information online regarding this, so I emailed a few companies to see what they had to say: Pentel of America said their products do not contain animal ingredients and they do not test on animals.
Windsor & Newton let me know that they also do not test their products on animals. Their pigment markers contain actual pigments and they would be obtained from either mineral or chemical sources. Michael’s Artists Loft brand is free of animal ingredients and is not tested on animals. Also, Copic markers and pens are vegan!
While it sounds like you don’t have to worry too much about markers and pens containing animal ingredients these days, you may want to double check with companies that they don’t test on animals. It’s always a good idea to check with any company you support regularly to make sure they align with your morals and ethics.
I really hope you will give colouring a try. It’s such a fun and easy way to alleviate stress and embrace your inner child. Whether you use it as your new mediation practice or simply as a way to pass time, colouring will benefit you one way or another. Grab your markers, get a good coloring book and enjoy!
Here’s a range of vegan themed adult colouring books:
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- Color Away the Stress – Adult Coloring Books For Vegans - December 18, 2018