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Coloring books for adults as therapy? Have you tried this?


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I've noticed that there are a lot of stores selling coloring books that are geared towards adults. Have you seen them? I've read they can be therapeutic and make for nice gifts. What are your thoughts on coloring as an adult? 


Looking forward to reading your thoughts,



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I have four adult coloring books and I can honestly say they help me a lot! You really should get into them. They are definitely therapy for me. Some of them are quite challenging. But, I like the fact that they offer a challenge and that they can be used as decor in my house (I am not a great knitter). 

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  • 1 year later...

I purchased several books and a box of pencils while receiving chemo last summer, but it wasn't for me. Many people I know truly enjoy coloring, but for whatever reason, I couldn't get into it. 

If I start chemo again this year, or in the future, I'm definitely getting a pair of noise canceling headphones. The grinding and beeping machines really got to me last time, and the headset will add to my comfort level. 

I might also experiment with a small bottle of essential oil (discretely, so other patients aren't disturbed). Somebody gave me a small bottle of mint oil a few weeks ago to *help my migraines*. It didn't work, but I noticed it distracted me from nauseating smells. I might try it for the chemical smells that cause anticipatory nausea. 

I suppose I could try the coloring books again. Maybe markers instead of pencils? 

Edited to add: so many people enjoy coloring. They talk about how relaxing it is, etc. and there are a lot of really great looking coloring products out there, so I wouldn't hesitate to give one as a gift. 

Edited by Meloni
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  • 2 weeks later...

I received several coloring books last year while I was recovering from surgery and chemo.  Being the OCD person that I am, I immediately purchased a variety of markers and gel pens (I already had pencils).  I also purchased a magnifying lamp so I can work on the detailed pictures.  I find that losing myself in these books is a great distraction, especially during periods of high scanziety.  Find what centers you.  

I found that, during chemo, some peppermint essential oil on each wrist helped with nausea.  My local hospital now provides a piece of gauze with peppermint oil to patients after surgery to help with post-anesthesia nausea.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

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  • 2 months later...


I am seeing your post for the first time and my response may not be timely, but I have some information on "adult" coloring books. I actually took a class on in at a local Cancer Survivorship Conference I attended with my mom last year.  The person who taught it teaches art therapy and provided a lot of research to back up what she was saying. That being said, either coloring is for you or it's not!  Her message was that coloring can be very relaxing for some.  I personally love "adult" coloring books but never felt relaxed after coloring.  Her explanation was simple - she suggests not coloring the fancy coloring pages that are of traditional things (like animals, flowers, etc) for a few reasons...1) many times the coloring page is too involved and you are unable to complete the picture in the time you have to color, this can cause stress because the picture is unfinished. 2) When we color traditional things (like animals, flowers, etc) we tend to stick with the colors we have pictured that are associated with the thing (coloring an elephant gray, water blue, grass green, etc).  This does not allow our creative juices to fully flow.  So she suggests coloring Mandala shapes (google Mandala coloring pages and a bunch will come up free to print). Mandala shapes are symmetrical, which our brain likes, and can be quite simple.  The instructor's point was that simple Mandala shapes can be colored in as little as 10 minutes and there are no "pre-set" beliefs as to how we should color a Mandala; which allows our creative juices to flow.  I bought a small Mandala coloring book and do find that it is much more relaxing than the in-depth, fancy coloring books.  I actually do feel relaxed after coloring the shapes and can do it in about 15 minutes, which is about all of the time I have to relax!  

Hope this helps a bit, I found the information she gave very interesting.

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  • 4 months later...

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