I get stressed sometimes. I’ll be the first to admit it. I have a handful of things I like to do to cope. I’m a people person so most of my coping involves talking to people.But when my mom is busy shopping, my friends are working, and my husband’s taking a nap, sometimes I just have to sit with the feelings inside. And that’s the difficult part.
Sure there are the typical coping skills we all here about, including taking a bath, lighting a candle, and taking a walk. But sometimes those just don’t cut it.
I few years ago I discovered something that really works for me: mandala coloring books. I know you’re thinking, “Jenmarie you’re a grown up.” Yes I am, and I absolutely have fallen back in love with coloring. And here’s why:
When I color in these books, somehow I feel more relaxed, less stressed, my thoughts move a little bit more slowly, and I can start to let all those nagging worries go.
The Times Union reported coloring mandalas “have been shown in clinical studies to boost the immune system, reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure, promote sleep and ease depression” (Carin Lane, Times Union, Mandalas may boost benefits of meditation, 12/29/12).
Can you imagine that your brain can de-stress, simply by focusing on coloring circles on paper?
Here are a few links to my absolute favorite books:
So what about children, will it work for them too?
Yes! Your child can definitely benefit from mandala coloring books. Mandalas help with a number of skills including, patience, focus and attention, handwriting, and self-esteem. Even sitting down with your child and drawing circles on a piece of paper can have a positive impact. Around the age of three children can draw circles.
Here are some good child friendly mandala coloring books:
And who says you have to get a whole book? Google “mandala coloring pages” and you’ve got thousands of options to pick from and print. Put in the word “kids” and there’s plenty of images friendly to your child’s capabilities.
Bonus activity for you and your child: Stained glass mandalas are mandalas you can color and then hang them in the window and they glow with the light. So not only can you zen out when coloring your mandala, you can put it on display to appreciate later when you need a breather. This can be an extra incentive for your kid as well. What child doesn’t like his art hung up and admired?
Bottom line: We all get stressed and we all have to deal with stress. Mandala coloring books and pages are an easy, inexpensive way to help you and your child relax and be calm this holiday season.
Please comment below: Have you or your child tried mandala coloring books? What did you notice about your thoughts and feelings while using them?
Jenmarie Eadie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State with a dual concentration in Children, Youth, and Families; and Behavioral Health.