Every night I hurry home from work with three things on my mind:
- What am I going to eat for dinner? I plan out my lunch and breakfasts every week but never seem to get a handle on dinner since it’s my smallest meal of the day.
- What kind of housework do I have time to do tonight? I work for 15 minutes in a different room in my home most weeknights to keep clutter and disorganization at bay.
- Will I ever get time to “just relax”?
Today’s post is going to focus on #3. Today’s post is going to focus on #3.
You may think of a relaxing evening as plopping in front of the TV after a long day’s work, and you’d be right to think that; sitting down, grabbing the remote and tuning your TV to reruns of Gilmore Girls or watching a movie on Netflix feels great…until it doesn’t.
I’ve done this many times, as anyone who follows me on Snapchat (find me ctdaytrips) can attest. I run home from work, make dinner, spend my 15 minutes decluttering/sorting/cleaning and then get caught up in 2-3 hours of Gilmore Girls binge watching. It feels good when I turn the TV on, and then after the first episode, I get the feeling that this is not what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s something else I could be doing to unwind. We all know that TV affects your brain negatively, sapping your happiness and possibly causing obesity. Fat and happy is one thing, but fat and sad is another!
Enter: Adult coloring books. I am not artistic at all. In fact, I loathe and fear arts and crafts so I’ve resisted the adult coloring book hoopla. But there’s a reason adult coloring books have exploded in the news: they help you to manage stress. Doodling, coloring and drawing (among other arts and crafts) have been found to be meditative and therapeutic.
Meditative? Once I read that, I was sold. I’ve been trying to establish a daily meditation practice for 2-3 years now. Coloring books seemed easier and way more fun than being silent and with my thoughts. So last week I downloaded this free Evelyn Henson designed coloring book and got to work.
Now every day after work for 30 minutes or so I drop everything, put on some music and color like I’m six-years-old again. And I’ve definitely noticed a change in my evenings. Instead of running in the door and frantically trying to get my cooking and cleaning done so I can “relax,” I now sit down right away and lose myself in my pages and pencils. After 30 minutes, I move onto dinner and cleaning and feel so much calmer. I love my new ritual so much I spent a good hour coloring over the weekend.
How to Get Started with Adult Coloring Books
This is an extremely budget-friendly hobby. All you need is a set of pencils, a sharpener, and something to color in. I like Prismacolor’s pencil set because there’s enough color variety to keep you from getting bored.
Code: Shop for your favorite Prismacolor adult coloring supplies at Staples with 20 percent off regular-priced products. Coupon code is 51563 and is valid in-store and Staples.com through 7/31.
When to Use Adult Coloring Books
The most powerful times in our days are the transition times: right when you get up, lunchtime, afternoon break, right after work, after dinner, and right before bed. These are the times you are ripe for making a change and the times when your mind starts to wander to thoughts of “what should I do now?” I find when you’re trying to create and establish a new daily habit these are the best time to use.
- I’ve been coloring after work, but I can also see this working really well for me during my afternoon slump at work. Instead of thinking about getting a latte and a cookie from the cafeteria, coloring (away from my desk) would be a nice break.
- Right before bed would work well for people who tend to look at their phones a lot at night. Blue light emitted form devices tends to through off your circadian rhythm. A calming hobby like coloring can keep you occupied.
As for me, I’m sticking to my after work routine for now, and this week I invited my neighbor/friend Ellen up to help me finish the free Staples coloring book. We’re calling it Monday Night Coloring Club.
This is a sponsored post. I received compensation, Prismacolor pencils and markers, and Prismacolor accessories from Staples in exchange for writing this review.