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Mindfulness colouring: an engaging and relaxing activity that helps combat stress

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Mindfulness colouring: an engaging and relaxing activity that helps combat stress

Monica Ruiz-Noriega

I’m trying to make it a habit to take 15 minutes of my day and use that time to slow down, relax, and come out of the craziness of my everyday life.

A couple of months ago my 16-year-old daughter brought me a very thoughtful gift: a ‘mindfulness’ colouring book. This prompted me to begin practicing on a regular basis an activity that I’ve always enjoyed: colouring.

Studies have shown that colouring is an effective way to relax and reduce stress and anxiety, as well as help clear your head and make you more focused. So what better way to wind down every day than by colouring?

I’ve noticed that, while waiting at a doctor’s office, after eating my lunch, or while enjoying a cup of tea, other than reaching instinctively for my phone to check my email or read new posts on Facebook, I’m now spending that time colouring.

Colouring has also given me a helping hand when out for lunch or dinner. What better way to resist that deliciously tasting bread basket they bring you while you wait for your meal than by engaging instead in this relaxing activity? I have not only been able to resist eating the bread but I’ve also been able to relax a bit before I start eating, and thus I have been having better digestion. If you’re trying to skip dessert but everyone else at the table is having it, maybe engaging in this type of activity would help you to take your mind off the food and relax while others enjoy their dessert.

I have always been an advocate of not using electronics while eating. As a mother of three kids (two of them teenagers – and you know how difficult it can be to convince teens to disconnect from electronics) I always bring with me enough coloured pencils, colouring books, and blank paper for them to entertain themselves while we’re waiting.

I swear by my mindfulness colouring book (which you can find pictured above), but any kind of doodling or colouring can be beneficial. Do it before you go to bed to help you unwind and disconnect. This will get you in a more suitable state of mind for sleep and your sleep might be deeper and more restful. Do it before and after eating to help you slow down. Do it while waiting, before an exam, during your downtime at the end of the day, or any time you’re feeling at all stressed or bored. Who says colouring is just for kids?