Walk into any Barnes & Noble, Target or Walmart, and the first thing you will probably see is dozens and dozens of coloring books. You're probably wondering where this all came from, and why it's suddenly all the rage.
Coloring books have actually been popular for a long time now, but in just the past year is when this form of art has really skyrocketed into fame.
But sitting on the couch after a long day of classes and coloring in some flowers is not just a way to kill time--it actually has health benefits.
Believe it or not, coloring is an amazing way to improve your mental health. In a recent CNN article Marygrace Berberian, Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU, described the abundance of ways coloring can make you essentially feel better.
Coloring has potential to reduce anxiety, create focus and help mindfulness. It also allows you to be focused on something that does not cause you stress, therefore increasing your attention span.
These factors may not seem important to the average college student (no, it does not cure a hangover), but alleviating stress is crucial during this time period. The constant pressure to go to class, do homework, study and socialize can at times be overwhelming. Some nights it's nice to just sit back, listen to your favorite music, and be artistic.
While coloring does not have the same benefits as art therapy (i.e. private work with a professional art therapist), coloring is generally very low in cost, but reaps hours of rewards.
So, if I've convinced you that coloring is a good use of the small amount of free time us students have, the selection may seem overwhelming. Here's some of my top picks to get you started.
1. Flower Designs Coloring Book Volume 1, By Jenean Morrison
2. Sea Life Color By Number, By Creative Haven
3. Creative Coloring Inspirations, By Design Originals
4. 1000 Dot to Dot, By Thomas Pavitte
5. Scandinavian Folk Patterns