I would like to introduce to you a new column that we will be sharing each week. It is called The Bipolar Diary and will be place where we can share our stories of Bipolar Disorder, ways to handle this disorder and different posts that will educate you on what Bipolar Disorder is.
For the next few weeks, we will be sharing posts that were originally posted over at Melanie’s Blog. Enjoy!
I’m a terrible artist. Coming up with original designs is a challenge for me, but I can fill in coloring books like nobody’s business. (Alright, I’m mediocre.)
After the birth of my second child, I suffered from some severe postpartum depression, unlike anything I’d dealt with before. I was overly-emotional and extremely agitated by my children. Throughout this period of time, when I would manage to find a few moments to myself, I would color in my daughter’s coloring books for as long as I could. I didn’t know why, but it always helped me feel better.
To this day, I still use coloring as a way to relax and clear my mind. It’s also a great form of meditation, which I didn’t realized until just recently. But it totally makes sense. When I get in “the zone,” it definitely feels similar to the meditation “zone.”
I just love the act of filling in pre-made anything. Those standardized tests in school were like catnip to me. Perfecting the fill of each tiny circle, gazing over the beauty of the crisp, clean design; those are times I look back on fondly.
Fast forward to a few days ago when I was bestowed with the happiest gift my self-care-loving mind could imagine: An adult coloring book!
I’ve been dying to get my hands on an adult coloring book since I saw them come out a while back. When this one appeared on my doorstep, I was thrilled, to say the least!
The next morning my schedule would allow, I woke up extra early. First, I meditated, then quickly took up my new coloring book, paired with fresh colored pencils. The pictures were ornate and lovely, which made it difficult to choose just one, but I eventually found a design I thought matched my coloring prowess.
I had a difficult time understanding which colors “went” together, which was initially frustrating. But once I decided it didn’t matter, I just picked up whatever pencil was closest and colored to my heart’s content. I’m somewhat embarrassed about the result of those actions, but the principle of the behavior remains the same.
The calm and clarity I was able to feel while coloring carried over into my day. I was extra patient with my kids and was able to more fully enjoy my time with them without losing my mind. Maybe not for 100 percent of the day, but progress is progress.
I want to encourage you to grab any coloring book you can find, along with whatever coloring utensils you can round up, and just sit and color for ten minutes. You can even let your kids color with you and it’s a great way to spend time doing something that they want to do, which happens to be good for you, too.
Melanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle.