Connecting to the child that exists within us adults has the ability to turn anxiety into excitement, fear to comfort and uncertainly to reassurance. Doing things that we used to do when we were very young, or remind us of being a child, brings more fun into our lives and gives a respite from the less enjoyable aspects of being an adult such as paying the bills or doing the washing!
I often think that parents must get a great opportunity to connect with their inner child by playing with their children and their toys! But what about those of us that don’t have children or the parents that want a break from their kids?! Well that’s where adult activities like colouring in come in! It’s no surprise that most book shops and online retailers are now selling a range of adult colouring in books when the benefits of colouring in can include relaxation, enjoyment, creativity, energy and pain relief. Obviously benefits gained from this activity are subjective and some might not experience all of these things. Colouring in, like many other forms of art, can be a way of channelling our emotions by the selection of colours we use and the pressure to which we apply the pen/pencil to the page. The style that we colour in can speak volumes too, for example, I often find that if I am in a rush I make mistakes and go over the lines! Unlike other enjoyable, relaxing activities like reading and writing, colouring in can be extremely social. It’s something you can do whilst being engrossed in conversation with another person. Sometimes it actually makes conversation better by bringing us to the present moment and demanding we focus on what the other person is saying rather than being distracted by things around us such as passers by and technology. Unfortunately many public places that have colouring in materials intend it to be for the children to use as a way of keeping them entertained when out with parents or caregivers, so I have to stop myself from pinching the kids stuff when I’m out! Fortunately though for those of us local to Brentwood there exists the Colouring Café at the Brentwood Theatre. Colouring in is so normal there that it would almost be rude not to pick up and pen or pencil and join in the colouring frenzy with everyone else. Everyone is so engrossed in what they’re doing that there’s no time to people watch and be tempted to make assumptions as one can be guilty of when staring out of a coffee shop window or looking round a restaurant or waiting room of some kind.
In conclusion, colouring in at a place like a Colouring Café is socially healthy, mentally healthy and also feeds our physical wellbeing.