I remember many lazy childhood Saturday mornings watching cartoons, eating Cheerios and doodling in my favourite colouring books. Day dreaming, without a care in the world, I would colour meticulously inside the lines, bringing life to Disney characters, flower gardens and superheroes.
I was an artsy kid who grew up to be an artsy adult. So, when I saw articles pop up about the adult colouring book phenomenon, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. My mum surprised me with a copy of Balance: Angie's Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1 and I was so excited to give it a try.
I'm visiting home this week, so I sat beside my dad on the couch. He watched a recorded episode of The Tonight Show while I began filling in the complicated crevices with colour. It was just like when I was a kid. My dad poked fun at my child-like behaviour but I was blissfully happy with the simplicity of the activity. For over two hours, I coloured away. I didn't check my email. I didn't send a text. I didn't even pause to go on Facebook. I was determined to fill the first page of the colouring book... a task more time consuming than one might think. That's where the adult part comes in.
My particular book is filled with pages and pages of wheel-shaped designs, like intricate kaleidoscopes waiting to be coloured in. Others, like the popular Enchanted Forest or Secret Garden books, contain more life-like designs but still require an astonishing amount of detail and precision. Unlike the familiar doodles in children's books, the adult versions are time-consuming and complex. That is the beauty of it.
To me, the adult colouring book is like Sudoku for the artsy mind. It requires a significant amount of attention to colour and detail. It relaxes the brain while also giving it a bit of a workout. And it is rewarding to complete one.
As someone who is constantly on the go, on my phone or online, it was refreshing to take a step back and just enjoy something as simple as colouring. I'm not sure if it truly works as a de-stresser but it is certainly a nice break in my day.
Now back to my Netflix marathon.