This time last year my mental health was not good. With the help of Dr. Google, I diagnosed myself with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Aside note, Dr. Google is not a real doctor and if you do have health concerns, it is best not to follow my example. Go see a real medical professional if you can.
I was sad all the time and eventually got to the point where I couldn’t leave my house because I had so much anxiety. I wasn’t doing any of the things I loved, no art, no tarot reading, no exercise, no reading, no socializing, just going to work –the atmosphere there was toxic– and generally feeling bummed out. I eventually saw a counsellor, who ultimately wasn’t the person for me, but she did make a great suggestion.
“Have you thought about colouring?”
At first, the skeptical side of my brain scoffed, then I started hearing people talk about colouring books. I saw them in stores. And suddenly, it seemed like they were everywhere. I didn’t have much spare money at the time, so I took to finding some freebies online. I put on some good music and coloured for hours. I not only lost track of time, but my stress levels decreased and I was starting to feel more positive.
Around that time, I decided to take a few weeks off work to go visit a friend, which was another saving grace.
When I came back, the seasons had changed from a wet and gray Pacific North West winter to a warm and dry spring. I was outside, playing softball, riding my bicycle, and doing all the things I loved again.
I stopped colouring because I had other ways of dealing with stress and other not so great feelings.
This winter has been easier. I have a toolbox now of great ways to be healthy in the winter. I still have moments when I feel low, but I know how to move forward.
This January, I decided to start making my own colouring sheets. Why not? I have a fine arts and design background. Much like colouring them, I really enjoy making the colouring sheets and getting to colour my own designs is an added bonus!
My colouring sheets are downloadable from my etsy shop.
Further reading on the subject: