by: Joanna Ring
There is something therapeutic about letting go and just coloring in empty spaces. You don’t have to call yourself an artist – coloring is for everyone!
When I color, I usually start by choosing my favorite color pen or pencil in that moment, or I’ll select a color that matches the kind of feelings I’m experiencing. I often start with blue or purple shades as they’re my favorite and make me feel calmer. Sometimes I’ll listen to an audio book or music while I color, and other times I choose silence so that I can treat the time of coloring as a meditative practice.
I often imagine my feelings flowing out of my fingers and into the color, seeping out onto the page. This process helps me recognize and express my feelings in a creative way, and seeing the resulting beauty helps me appreciate my emotions, even if they are negative.
Recent events in my personal life have caused my emotions to be heightened, and my depression and anxiety have grown exponentially. It’s easy, during these moments, to get lost in the darkness. My mind plays tricks on me, and my sense of safety is threatened. I decided to spend some time coloring and tried not to care whether I “stayed in the lines” or not. I just needed to let go and create, to allow the colors and the patterns speak to me. It’s a satisfying feeling to accomplish an entire coloring page and admire the results – to appreciate the colors you chose and brought to life.
Coloring helps me to heal. It allows me to check in with myself and take inventory of my thoughts and feelings, and it helps clear my often too chaotic mind. It takes courage to show up and feel your feelings instead of numbing them with distractions and bad habits. If you haven’t colored since you were a kid, or even if you’ve done it more recently, I encourage you to revisit the idea. You may find that it helps calm you, inspire you, and uplift your spirit. That’s why I still color. 😊