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Coloring: Valuable for focus and clarity or waste of time?

Where do you stand on the whole adult coloring trend?

Let me start by going back in time ... here stands a college student at the store with her younger brother and sister (10 and 6 years younger) buying a coloring book. The cashier could safely assume that this coloring book was being purchased for one of these children. Little did she know that the coloring book was being purchased for the college student.

At that time in my life coloring was a way to clear my mind, de-stress, step away from the stress of college and recharge. Mind you these were children's coloring books. The whole adult coloring craze was not to come for many years.

Fast forward to 2012 -- adult coloring books are released and for many they laugh at the idea.
Fast forward to 2015 -- adult coloring has gone from a niche hobby to a full on trend.

So what is adult coloring?

Typically you will find mandalas (circular spaces with geometric designs inside) and artistic intricate designs. They typically have very small spaces to color.

Halloween Graveyard Scene.
What can the benefit of coloring be for adults than?

It can help with stress and anxiety in some people. It stimulates the brain and allows you to focus only on the moment, not all the thought rolling around in your mind. The relaxation that coloring provides lowers the activity in our brain that creates our stress emotions. It is very similar to mediation in this respect. So get out the crayons, markers and pencils and refocus -- even just for a moment. 

Not only does the physical act of coloring let you focus on the moment, but there are also psychological effects. Coloring taps into your imagination. It can take you back to a time where you (more than likely) had less stress, childhood. 

Here is a fun little tidbit for you. Carl Jung was one of the first psychologists to use coloring as a form of therapy. I would like to point out that although coloring has therapeutic attributes, it is not art therapy as some may claim. 

If you want more about the benefits of coloring there are TONS of articles and blog posts about it. 

Let's go back to the question I posed at the beginning of this post - where do you stand on the adult coloring trend? 

I find myself in an interesting place. I gravitate to the coloring books at the store. I open them and I breathe them in. Just looking at them I feel that stress lift. 

I think about actually coloring them in and I feel my stress rise. Here is why -- color schemes. If the colors don't work together I need to start over. Once you start coloring you can't just start over, it doesn't work that way. 

The color scheme attacked this one. I ended up reprinting and redoing (an option only available if you find your page online).

I am in a complete minority when it comes to the research. Research actually showed that doodling had no stress relieving properties. I find drawing the adult coloring page way more relaxing than coloring it! Maybe it requires more focus at the task on hand.

In my household there is an additional benefit of coloring -- connecting with my children in a low stress, no screen way. We are creating memories with that box of crayons. Not to mention how we are developing our confidence, imagination and creativity.  

We will even find ourselves like this ... 

Mommy, can you teach me how to do that?
If you want to learn more about "Color and Connect" click here. It will take you to a post talking all about my new coloring subscription service.  If you just want to shop coloring pages, click here to go right there!



Ch Ch Changes

If there is one thing that is consistent with Sara Hickman Designs it is that I change with the changes that head my way.

When I started out on this journey it was to make a difference. I wanted to empower teachers to make learning fun again. Academic does not have to equal boring, repetitive, or busy work. Somewhere along the way, I think we as teachers and parents have lost that. We teach them how to take a test. We are worried when they can't write their letters at 3. We tell them at the start of the year you have to have this score on this test to move on at the end of the year.

How does that make learning fun?
Who wants to spend their kid years doing an hour and a half of homework in the 3rd grade?
Who wants to have homework in Kindergarten?

Don't get me wrong not all of life has to be fun and games, but when they are kids -- they need to be able to be kids.

Studies have even shown the more senses you get involved while learning the more active the brain is absorbing the …

Monday Muse Edition 5

So I am totally in love with that is Steampunk right now. The earthy colors, the sumptuous Victorian attire, with the mix of hardness from the antiquated props and the ingenuity of a world that never was ...

I mean really top hats, ruffles, corsets, skeleton keys, gears, and cogs. 

I decided I would pull 3 similar, but different schemes for your weekly inspiration. They are all so beautiful in their own ways.

Seriously, how can I work this into my life without looking like I am wearing a costume?
See you next time! We are getting close to pre-season football ya'll. Fall is right around the corner!

13 Reason Why You WANT to be in the Cool Kid

1. Because being a cool kid is the 'shhpoopy' - as it is said around here.
2. Because being a cool kid gets you cool shhpoopy. (Like Fa La La Friday Graphics)
3. Because being a cool kid gets you free shhpoopy. (Like free coloring pages)
4. Because being a cool kid is something that everyone wanted to be at some point and time.
5. Because being a cool kid puts you in the know.
6. Because being a cool kid gets you attention.
7. Because being a cool kid is special.
8. Because being a cool kid is like being a VIP.
9. Because being a cool kid is way cooler than just being a kid.
10. Because being a cool kid gets you discounts.
11. Because being a cool kid is good for your health. (Coloring may relax you. Relaxing is good.)
12. Because being a cool kid is just way awesome.

and last but not least ...

13. Because being a cool kid is just cool.

So, I ask. Would you like to be a cool kid?

Fill out this form right here. I will hook you up with some free coloring pages!