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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Stay within the lines

    Eugene Eric Kim
    Day 106 of 2015. Earlier this week, a friend shared an article with me about the popularity of adult coloring books. I reshared the article on social media. My friend (and fellow 365 project participant), Nancy White, was inspired by the article and put together this beautiful template. Now I have a new art project.

    Remember those lazy summer days as a child? Sitting in the living room with a grand box of crayons and a coloring book that held pictures of your favorite fictional character? The ease and peace that you felt as that carefree, colorful child. Now, even as adults, we can unwind from braving the curveballs of life through coloring.

    Coloring books for adults have become the hip new way to relieve mental and physical stress. One can find them prominently displayed in the front sections of booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Walmartand Target. They’re an alluring method to alleviate stress — their appeal is simple and creative. Adults now have the chance to channel their inner child while adding a bit of their wizened flare into the pictures.

    Psychologically, coloring helps the mind to focus on one matter, and can prove to be as beneficial as yoga and other exercises. Cindy Juarez, a psychology junior, has a great knowledge of just how beneficial coloring as an adult can be.

    “[Coloring] can be therapeutic to those who enjoy coloring just as some people use listening to music as a form of relaxation or meditation,” she said. “It really depends on the person and how they like to cope with their stress. Sometimes focusing on one specific hobby you enjoy doing can distract your mind from wandering.”

    “As for myself, I have enjoyed coloring ever since I was a little girl,” Juarez continued. “It helps me cope with my stress and anxiety … because I focus on what I’m doing in the moment. The type of coloring book also makes a difference for me … There are coloring books that can pique every individual’s interest.”

    Naturally, I had to feed my curiosity and try this new sensation out. Accompanied by Juarez, I joined a coloring session at the adorable Mostly Bookon Speedway Blvd. The store had a wonderful, peaceful ambiance.

    Mostly Books holds a weekly session titled Adult Coloring Hour, where any person can bring in coloring books and relax among like-minded friends. My experience here was peaceful, and I was fortunate enough to sit with co-owner and coloring enthusiast Bobbe Arnett. Arnett owns Mostly Books with her sister, Tricia Clappe, and expressed her sincere passion about her store and about the Adult Coloring Hour.

    “We did it over Thanksgiving,” Arnett said. “We had a coloring afternoon, and told people to come relieve your shopping stress, come have some quiet … They thought it was a great alternative. We love it.”

    After chatting with Arnett, I sat coloring with intense purpose. My brain stayed focused, which is usually quite difficult due to my ADHD. I found myself lost in a different world as I focused on staying within the lines. The process released my creativity as I added new colors to every different shape printed on the page. Enjoyable new-age relaxation music played throughout the store, adding to the experience.

    Terri Setteducato was a a fellow coloring participant. When asked about her experience with coloring, Setteducato lit up instantly.

    “I grab my coloring book during those tense moments in a movie where the bad guys are looking to kill one of the characters,” she said. “I can’t sit there watching it. Usually I get up and leave the room. But now, I just pick up my coloring book, and start coloring … that allows me to sit there and listen without having to watch the whole thing.”

    If you find yourself beaten down by the daily challenges of life, pick up some crayons and a fat coloring book — feel like that colorful child you once were.

    Follow Sammy Cherukuri on Twitter.

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