Pandemics are stressful (this statement brought to you by the Ministry of the Obvious) and so we’ve all been trying to find some way to deal with the ongoing make-it-end stress. Perhaps you’ve dusted off your yoga mat or you’ve discovered the joys of online Zumba. I’m sure you’ve heard or read the words ‘meditation’ and ‘mindfulness’ about a gazillion times over the past year and without a doubt you’ve seen the coloring books.
Coloring books used to be all the rage for the preschool set. The big pictures and chunky crayons were a staple in any house with a kid under five. And then all of a sudden, there were coloring books for adults too. Lots and lots of coloring books for adults. Detailed outlines of mandalas, ornate floral patterns with many twisting vines to carefully color with fine markers or colored pencils. Bookstores carried them, gift shops had stacks of them. For a while, they were everywhere, the gift you’d get when they couldn’t give you one more candle.
Coloring Books Were Everywhere
The tipping point came when I was waiting in line at King Soopers, glancing at the magazines at the checkout. In amongst all the People magazines was Taste of Home. Instead of the usual glistening food shots, the cover was a simple line-drawn coloring page. Perhaps the dwindling market for recipes that start, “one cup of sour cream, one cup of mayonnaise, three cups of sugar and four sticks of butter for a special cake all your neighbors will enjoy,” had prompted the publishers to try something different to attract readers. “Everyone likes coloring books,” they must have decided. “Let’s stick one on the front of the magazine and watch our sales soar.”
The Tide Began to Turn
I began to notice pristine coloring books in my organizing clients’ homes. They’d been purchased for stress relief but their untouched presence was stressful. Perhaps you have a couple of coloring books yourself?
I know, you started half of one page of them. Carefully rip out that page and donate the book anyway.
If you’re telling me that you love them, then challenge yourself to color a page by next Saturday. They’re there for stress relief, so use them for that – color outside the lines, make them all the same color, or scribble all over the page with the thickest red marker you can find.
Should next Saturday roll around without you finding the time to color just one page, then share the stress-relieving goodness by donating the coloring book(s) already. Someone else can try them and you’ve gained that little bit more peace and tranquility by letting go of something you don’t love, want or need.
If you have any children’s coloring books your kids have already used or aged out of, you could let those go too. Kids tear through those things and the fun is totally in the doing. Once done, there’s no need to keep them for posterity. Go ahead and throw out the crayon- covered ones and donate the ones they never got around to.