Fitness Friday: coloring

My best friend encouraged me to take up meditation as part of my #powerof41 challenge. I must confess that I haven’t been diligent about finding forty-one minutes each week to devote to quiet reflection. I anticipated that I would resist this task. On the one hand, who doesn’t want to enjoy some peace and relaxation? On the other, just sitting has never been my strong point. Okay, the sitting part is easy. It’s the mindfulness, the calming of my racing thoughts, and the focus that I lack.

That’s why I decided to take part in another lunchtime wellness seminar at work yesterday. At first, I dismissed the idea of going to an adult coloring workshop. I know coloring is the latest thing, but when I look at the intricate drawings in coloring books on the market, I freeze. Sure, coloring doesn’t have the same pressure as drawing a picture from scratch, but I still have bad memories from elementary art class. I hated how going to art class made me feel: clumsy, uncreative, and stressed. Like PE but at a desk.

When the presenter from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Center explained the popularity of coloring, she pointed out that it appeals to so many people because you get to make creative decisions within a highly structured format. For yesterday’s workshop, she printed out several different mandalas for participants to choose from. After giving background info on the therapeutic benefits of coloring, she gave us thirty minutes and assorted colored pencils to use for the remainder of the session.

I had to chuckle at the amount of chatter. The presenter mentioned how coloring can be a mindful task in which one focuses on the picture one is coloring, the color chosen, and the movement of one’s hand. I guess the group decided the benefits of social interaction outweighed the need to just color.

Other than occasional exchanges with a coworker who went with me, I tried to concentrate on coloring in the mandala. I picked one color at a time to use. I thought about the force I was using as I shaded in the spaces. I was proud that my only distraction was wishing I had worn my glasses.

The consensus from the group seemed to be that coloring would be a great activity to add before, after, and even during work. Many people didn’t want to return to their offices. Several people mentioned that coloring would be a great addition to meetings to spark creativity.

Will I be going out to buy my own set of coloring books? Probably not. Yet, I can appreciate how calming this activity could be, especially if built into one’s daily routines. It was a great way to spend my lunch hour.

Are you into adult coloring? 



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