Unplug. Breathe. Meditate. All very relevant advice when it comes to being in the moment, reducing anxiety, and just getting to a general place of calm. Interestingly though, when people hear this advice…they get stressed! It seems people don’t know what to do when they have nothing to do. It can feel intimidating and causes resistance to practicing mindfulness, which is unfortunate since it really is a key component to living a well life.
What if I told you there is a creative way to practice a form of mindfulness and meditation where you actively participate? Cool, right! If you’ve been in a bookstore in the last year then you’ve seen the big display of adult coloring books, probably with some Zentangle books mixed in. Adult coloring books are just that and many are really beautiful and inspiring (check out the most popular ones by an artist named Johanna Basford). Zentangle is like a purposeful way to doodle, with simple instructions on how to get started on creating different designs and patterns. Big disclaimer with both of these, no artistic talent needed.
Choose whichever form motivates you and find a time where you can sit comfortably with as many or as little supplies as you prefer. Remember that this is an activity just for you; it is a judgment-free zone where anything goes. “Mistakes” are just another creative avenue to take with your drawing. As you go about coloring and doodling, you should find yourself aimlessly going moment to moment, enjoying the ability to focus on the here and now with no worries of what’s next. As you continue to practice, I encourage you to bring along a page or two wherever you go, so that during a free moment, instead of checking Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, you’ll be creatively meditating.
Now go and color yourself happy!