All over the world people are struggling with stress: work stress, family stress, life stress. And this is exacerbated for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression etc. It’s easy to say relax, unwind. Not so easy to do.
As I worked with clients, both through hypnosis and coaching, I realised that people needed something to take away with them. Something for when I wasn’t around. Something they could do when they wanted to relax, unwind, de-stress. Something that wasn’t alcohol or pills.
I had started using colouring with a few younger clients, all male, who didn’t want to talk directly about how they felt. So I created mandalas and gave them coloured pencils. This turned out to be an excellent way to get them to open up while taking the focus off them.
From there, I started using colouring pages with other clients. Soon, grown adults could be seen marching out my door, clutching colouring sheets and pencils!
My clients are not traditional colourers, although to be fair, who is? The men in particular are not fans of paisley patterns or cute little animals. As one said, it’s hard enough walking around in public carrying a colouring book or going into a shop and buying one without actually sitting down and colouring something like a kid. So I made blocked patterns for them, designs taken from a section of a mandala and extrapolated.
Here is an image of a work in progress from one of my clients, taken from https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/cooldoodledesigns :
Sitting down with paper and colouring pencils or pens allows us to spend time on ourselves, relaxing, focusing only on the image in front of us. We can feel the stress slipping away as we switch off our phones, TV, landline, laptop, tablet, whatever electronic device we would otherwise be using, and just contemplate that picture. What colours to use? Which pens or pencils? For the perfectionists amongst us, starting with colouring sheets or pages is a great idea, because we can download and print off/photocopy multiple times so if we decide, two colours in, that we don’t like it, we can start again with a fresh page. Once we’ve developed a style, or gained more practice, we can move on to a book. This is the way I work with my perfectionist clients, who otherwise would never start, or stress themselves out further trying to create the perfect image before they even put pencil to paper.
So if you are a perfectionist, try starting small, map out what you want the end result to look like, and then set off on your journey. Remembering, it’s perfect as you go, not perfect as you go!