Hello, my name is Mark…and I like to color.

I have come across a new “hobby” that is as surprising as it is relaxing.  I recently went to my nearest Barnes & Noble and was greeted with a display as I walked in for “Adult” coloring books.  Seeming to think this was a tad strange, I continued into the bookstore where the second table in the store was covered with adult coloring books.  At this point my curiosity was peaked and I started looking through the books.  These are not your old superhero coloring books that you used when you were young, these books were filled with elaborate designs.  Many of the titles were referencing stress relief for adults.  I continued looking at the books on the table and saw colored markers and pencils and realized, “this is no joke, this is a real thing“.

I went home and did a little research online and found out that I was late to the party.  What I had never heard of was being used as a tool to help out with stress relief, art therapy, etc.  I’ll admit, I was never the best colorer in school (I blame the crayons), but this new concept sounded appealing.  It’s no secret that I have anxiety and OCD, both conditions where a nice brain timeout is coveted.  I decided it was worth a shot and it gave me an excuse to by Sharpies.  I love ultra fine tip Sharpies! I went to Barnes & Noble and bought two different books that had these amazing looking designs and then grabbed me a pack of colored Sharpies.  I even spent 98¢ on a simple pencil box.

What happened next was unexpected: I started coloring and I liked it.  I truly enjoyed slowing down, picking out a marker, and peacefully shading objects in an elaborate design.  Over an hour went by and I completely lost track of time.  I can’t remember the last time that I sat in one place for more than an hour that didn’t involve a laptop or a business meeting.

If you haven’t checked out adult coloring or adult doodling, I’d highly suggest it.  I can honestly say I would have never thought I’d say those words, but it truly was a stress relieving activity.  Also, and this may be the most important part of all, I realized I am SO MUCH BETTER at coloring than when I was 4.  Score!  Mom will be so proud!