Monday 16 May 2016

Colour Me Happy

16-22 May is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. May is also Mental Health Month in the US.

Before this turns into a whole debate: 'colouring' is the British spelling, 'coloring' is the spelling in America (and some other countries.) I'm using the British spelling, because I'm British.

Adult colouring is officially a 'thing' now.

I personally think that that's fab. You know why? Because it's the world saying, screw it - this is fun, and fun is good.

Pleasure (that doesn't hurt anyone,) is good. Colour is good. Beauty is good.

Art (and it is art, no two pictures look the same when you're done,) is good.

Also, because it's good for mental health - really.

And not just the mental health of those of us with mental illnesses.

Everyone on this peculiar green 'n' blue orb of ours has mental health, just as we all have physical health. So everyone can benefit from a bit of a chillax, and a spark of fun.

Taking care of your mental health is a good thing, even if you don't have a diagnosed condition, just as exercise is good for your physical health whether or not you've had a health scare.

Of course there are, believe it or not, people who disagree with the trend being labelled as a form of therapy or meditation.

I personally think that that's more than a little pretentious of them.

If something helps you, then it helps you.

Only you can know whether you find it relaxing, or a form of self-expression, or a general mood-lifter.

They are not actually feeling what you feel. Do what works for you. (Which, incidentally, is my general advice for any mental health treatment, or leisure/pleasure activities.)

A lot of people say that colouring helps them with 'mindfulness' - I don't subscribe to the mindfulness philosophy; it just doesn't help me in any way.

I blame my slightly hippy-ish parents; they've inadvertently given me an aversion to anything Buddhism, yoga, or meditation-related. I just can't be dealing with it. It's probably pretty much my only way to rebel.

But if mindfulness works for you, then use it.

Anyways, I quite like the odd colouring-in session myself. Not as much as some people, but I do enjoy it.

Although, I rarely finish a picture or pattern because I have a habit of blending in colours and getting a bit 'artsy' - and then I get distracted by other pics, and decide to start another one.

But that's another great thing - no-one is telling me that I have to finish, or that it has to be done in a certain way.

That leaves you free to find out what you want to do, and what you think is pretty, or just fun, or whatever.

And sometimes, having even that small semblance of control in a situation where you feel unbearably helpless and worthless, is a tremendous plus-point.

Anyhow, here are a few of my favourite colouring books -

Sherlock: The Mind Palace
Amazon: UK - US

This is my favourite - it has a mixture of patterns and pictures, and you can colour in Benedict Cumberbatch's face (and also Martin Freeman's.)

What more could you want, really?
 There's also the opportunity to look out for clues in the pictures. The pictures themselves are in chronological order for the series - which is pretty cool.

So, if you're a rabid Sherlockian (and let's face it, most Sherlockians are rabid,) then I'm sure you'll love it.

I really love it - it gives me a chance to be creative and nerdy, at the same time.

Vintage Patterns: Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups

Amazon: UK - US

This is mainly a pattern book - but some of the patterns are nice and big and involve things like birdies :) You may have noticed, I like birds.
Also, when I eventually finish this, which may be never, I plan to cut out some of the patterns and use them as craft-paper for card-making.
I love card-making, but it can be quite expensive to get nice pattern-paper, so I may even sell myself a few bob in the process, and be all eco-friendly by recycling, or upcycling, or whatever its called these days (I'm not old, honestly.)

Harry Potter Colouring Book

Amazon: UK - US

Any Harry Potter fan will smile at this - and it's so artsy! It really is a beautiful book, and has a mix of pictures and patterns, including lots of magical-ily stuff ;)
And who doesn't need some magic in their lives?
So, if colouring's your thing, go out there and do it!
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  1. I do like to colour, but I find it hard to find time for it. It's like, I have a million things I should be doing, why am I colouring? I think that it really needs a proper time slot into your routine in order for it to be effective, at least for me. But that Harry Potter one is to die for!

    1. I tend to do it a bit at a time - I'm not really one to spend a long time on anything (except reading!) so I just do 10 mins here and there.

      And yeah, the Harry Potter one rocks.

  2. I color all the time. In college, when I feel really stressed, I usually break out my coloring book or if I don't have it near by, I'll draw and color on my arms.

    1. Ha, I have skin allergies so generally avoid putting too much ink on my skin. I don't think I'll ever have a tattoo! :)

  3. I own waaaay too many colouring books - I can't help it, I go through phases where I'm obsessed with one and colour it death before getting bored and wanting a new one. I have the Harry Potter one but I'm not a massive fan, believe it or not. :/ I prefer more detailed patterns and cartoony styling.

    1. Meh, whatever works for you :)

      I also have a habit of pressing too hard on the paper, so that it curls and crinkles. And of putting so much pencil on the page that it's actually smooth... oops!

      My favourite is def. the Sherlock one though - patterns, pictures, & the chance to partake in fangirling nerdiness XD

  4. Colouring books have definitely become more and more common and I'm seeing them all around all the time lately! I'm not really a colouring person but I am glad there is a method of calming for those out there who need it!

    1. If you're not a colouring person, then you're not a colouring person - and there's nothing wrong with that! :)

      And yeah, it's not a magic fix, but any weapon to make people feel better is good in my book! :)


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