Why Colouring in a Colouring Book is my New Favourite Thing
When I’m stressed, I knit. The click of my needles, the repetitiveness of the stitches, and the feel of the yarn in my hands is like a form of meditation. Insert needle, yarn over, pull loop through, slide the other needle out. Repeat. Over and over until the fabric takes shape and I’m less stressed. The movements calm me, my breathing slows, my shoulders relax and soon, I’m less stressed and ready to tackle whatever had me stressed in the first place. Sometimes, if I am tackling a big project for work, you will see my knitting bag beside my keyboard, there if I need to do a few stitches, just to take the edge off. But sad is a whole different ball game. I find it hard to knit when I am sad. If I make a mistake, instead of being part of the process, it makes me feel worse. Sometimes when I’m sad, I can’t even pick up my knitting, because I know it won’t help.
Then during my last pregnancy I was having a bit of a pity party. I was tired and sore; I hadn’t slept well the night before. I read an article on adults colouring and I was hooked so I stole borrowed my three year olds markers and printed some mandalas off the Internet. It was so soothing to feel the glide of the marker over the papers and to see the bright and vibrant colours take shape. Later, a few weeks after my son was born, I was out for my first girls night out and we stopped by a bookstore. There was an entire table of adult colouring books. Who knew that was a thing? I searched through all the books until I found one I liked, the apparently quite popular ‘The Secret Garden’ by Johanna Basford. With a box of 48 pencil crayons and my new colouring book, I set off home. Now I colour when I’m sad, and it perks up my day, but I’m also finding other times when colouring is helpful. If I am on a call, and I don’t need to take notes, I actually find that colouring helps me pay closer attention to what is being said. If my three year old is a little too hyper and we need a quiet activity, well, he and mommy can colour together. If my hands are sore from knitting too much, colouring helps me to relieve my creative outlet but uses different muscles so it doesn’t hurt.
And when I’m done, I’m left with something beautiful that is absolutely, and uniquely, mine.