There is a new trend you may not have noticed making its way across the desks of thousands of professionals across the country. Adult coloring books are the new “it” stress reliever for those seeking a creative outlet.
One of the first adult coloring books to gain traction in the public sphere was the Johanna Basford series. Her first book, “Secret Garden” has sold 1.4 million copies, and her second book “Enchanted Forest” quickly sold out of the 226,000 copies of its first print.
The coloring books designed by Basford and others like her are very similar to the coloring books that you or your children doodled in during childhood, but with a few exceptions. The designs are more intricate and require the doodler to see the big picture and have patience with small spaces. These key facts are why these books are being embraced by professionals in fast paced, busy careers. Coloring allows the artist time to stop and focus and take their minds off the stressors in their lives.
In a recent Parade Magazine article, “50 Shades of Happy: The New Joy of Coloring,” Alice Domar, Ph.D., executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston, is quoted as saying, “The creativity comes with envisioning the color selection and how it will play throughout the piece, while the tactical involves applying your decisions to the artist’s design. Both keep your right brain from taking over and wandering where it wants, as it does when you just doodle.”
Unlike yoga or other popular adult stress relief options, the accessibility and entry point with this new trend is remarkably low. A quick amazon search finds countless options in the single digit range and a nice set of markers or colored pencils (whatever your preference) for not much more.
The next time you need a moment to collect yourself and separate from the stress around you, may I suggest foregoing Facebook or your DVR and picking up a coloring book!