Wind down Wednesdays: Adult coloring books

With the rise of social media culture and the stress of college and work putting people under constant pressure, many young adults are bogged down by social life daily. One of the newest and trendiest ways for adults to wind down after a stressful day is to let their creative side show by using coloring books specifically designed for adults.    From “Secret Garden”

Adult coloring books differ from children’s coloring books because the patterns are designed to be intricate and allow people to use a variety of colors. They remind adults of their childhood and provide a comforting sense of nostalgia that reminds them of their carefree days of having no worries except which colors to choose. Similarly to the book used as a child, adult coloring books allow people to relieve stress and feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a picture.

The first adult coloring book, published in 1961, was a satire of business life called “The Executive Coloring Book,” which had captions underneath pictures such as “This is my suit. Color it gray or I will lose my job.” In 1962, Mort Drucker’s “JFK Coloring Book” spent 14 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. That year, sales of adult coloring books reached $1 million.   From “The Executive Coloring Book”

Today’s adult coloring books are not subversive or satirical, but are used to provide a therapeutic feeling. Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden” and “Enchanted Forest” coloring books have sold over 10 million copies since 2013. Many of Amazon’s top-selling books over the last couple of years have been adult coloring books.  From “Secret Garden”

Like other forms of relaxation therapy such as meditation and yoga, coloring lets people switch off their brains and focus on the moment, which helps alleviate anxiety. It is especially effective for people who don’t normally consider themselves artists, and feel that they are bad at drawing and sketching things themselves.

Picking up coloring as a hobby is easy and affordable. Books run anywhere from five to 15 dollars, depending on the size of the book. Amazon has a huge variety of coloring books in stock. They can also be found at craft stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby, bookstores like Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble, and general entertainment stores such as Hastings Entertainment – whose Longview location currently has one in stock based on BBC’s Sherlock television series.  From “Sherlock: The Mind Palace”

Although any medium of coloring instrument may be used, colored pencils are recommended over crayons, which are normally too thick for the detail needed, or pens, which can bleed through the paper.

After your items are purchased, all that needs to be done is to sit back and let your creativity take hold! Your stress levels will be reduced, and you’ll have a book full of wonderful art to show off after its completion.