On Friday last week, it was World Mental Health Day, so I decided to share a post about my struggles with depression. I really do hope that me sharing what I’ve been through has helped some others who read it. Over the years I’ve managed to come up with some coping mechanisms that I can always fall back on to keep me occupied and make me happy. One of these is colouring in. I used to love drawing and colouring when I was a child and I sometimes wonder why I ever stopped doing it! Andrew bought me my first ‘adult’ colouring book for my birthday a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Since I started colouring in, other adults I’ve told about it have mocked me for the hobby, but it’s actually nothing to be ashamed of! I can while away the hours sat in front of the TV making beautiful patterns with just a book and a packet of pens. It keeps me from constantly checking my phone (social media was getting me down because I was needlessly comparing my life to others) and it is very calming to concentrate so intently on one thing. And I tell you now, you definitely need to concentrate to stay within the lines. Colouring books have changed since we were kids!
In case you feel inspired to give colouring a go, I thought I’d list out a few of the best books I’ve come across since I started collecting them. Some of them have intricate patterns, some are based on famous works of art – it’s just a case of finding what you enjoy to do and sticking with it.
As a side note – all the links I’ve put on here show the books on Amazon, but I’ve actually found there are some great colouring books in supermarkets at bargain basement prices! I shop in Sainsbury’s and some books are only £3 or £4. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re buying your veggies!
This book is from the same producer as the first one I ever got (which was The Creative Colouring Book For Grown-Ups). The patterns are really pretty and there is a really good mix of options – some big, some small, some floral, some paisley. The paper is thick enough so that pens don’t seep through and it’s white enough that colours look true. A good starter book as you get to grips with what you like.
This one is probably one of the more better known colouring books out there and is really popular. The pages are mostly filled with floral, garden designs (as the title would suggest) and there is also space to add your own doodles. The paper is rougher and seems better suited to pencils or lighter pens. If using pens, the colours can come out a little bit darker than on pure white paper and you need pens with a decent point to get into all the little corners. The illustration is beautiful and well worth the £7 or £8 it usually costs.
This book is quite similar to Secret Garden in its illustration style but its focus is on tropical animals and plants. There are some beautiful designs and lots of variety all in the same style. The drawings are quite intricate so a fine nib is needed! The paper is white and therefore better suited to pens I think. It’s also one of the cheaper ones out there.
OK so this one isn’t strictly a colouring book BUT I like to throw a curve ball in every now and then. Again, this was a series that Andrew first got me into and it’s super addictive. Each book has 20 dot to dots in and each book has a different theme. The cityscapes book is one of my favourites out of the ones I’ve done so far – it’s so much fun to see the place come to life as you draw and although it sounds easy and childish, it takes a lot of concentration to connect the dots! I reckon each one takes me at last half an hour of complete concentration to do. And it gives you good practice on drawing straight lines.
Do any of you enjoy colouring books? Have you come across any gems? I’d love to hear some more suggestions below! Do you find it helps with stress or cheers you up?