I am currently in a graduate mental health counseling program and so far, every single class has emphasized self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-care. At first, I though this was silly. It’s graduate school. Shouldn’t we be learning application, perfecting techniques, analyzing theoretical approaches?! I am starting to really realize the importance of self-care, though. During one class last semester, the teacher insisted on making time for some kind (any kind) of self-care activity. In a profession like mental health counseling, self-care is critical because 1) it prevents burnout, 2) it allows the counselor to remain in check and focused on the client at all times and 3) it allows for a happier and healthier career, and therefore, lifestyle. Self-care is important for everyone, though. Not just counselors.
She encouraged anything. Meditating. Exercising. Walking. Journaling. I still couldn’t find the motivation.
The semester ended, and I kind of gave up hope, brushing off the idea of self-care because I just don’t have time (that’s great for burnout, right?!). Then, I stumbled upon an article on my news feed that struck a chord. Coloring as a stress reliever for adults? Sounds kind of crazy. But the science is there, and there are even coloring books made specifically for the purpose.
Aurora University: Active Meditation and link to free mandalas
Huffpost: the Science Behind Coloring
And, because we all know I’m an Amazon junkie, check out all the options here. There are “funny” coloring books as well as mandala styles. The mandalas are recommended as it the repetitive motion that actually aids in active meditation and stress relief, but hey, if you’re coloring, you’re unwinding, and that’s always helpful.
Coloring Books for Adults
This is the one I bought: Between the Lines by Peter Deligdisch
It came in the mail today and I am extremely excited to get started. I hope that by taking a little time out of my jam-packed schedule to actively meditate and unwind each day I will find myself in a healthier and happier place. I encourage you all to find a self-care activity too, even for just a few minutes each day. And, if you want to try coloring but don’t want to buy the book, google free mandalas for adults. There are tons. 🙂
Good luck with your mental health and inner peace!