Christmas is a magical time of year. For me, it’s about getting to spend time with my loved ones, but also the joy in giving them presents that I hope they will love.
I don’t know about you, but finding those perfect gifts is becoming harder and harder each year.
So, if like me, you are majorly behind schedule on your Christmas shopping, you may be in need of a little destressing.
Colouring books vs colouring apps
Does everyone remember the colouring book fad that hit all bookshops about a year ago? You couldn’t walk 5 metres in Tesco without being surrounded by felt tip pens – and it wasn’t even back to school promotions!
Well, surprise surprise, I joined the fad.
I had heard that it was supposed to help alleviate stress by making you concentrate on the task at hand rather than all the other things going on around you. So I thought “why not?”
I remember I was struggling to sleep at the time, but had no idea why. Do you ever get those times when your brain just won’t shut up? I do, constantly. It’s not even about anything focused or even something that is plaguing me at the time (like work). It’s just a constant whirl of noise about nonsense – much like this rambling paragraph!
I was hoping the colouring would give me something to focus on and bring the rambling to heel. I mean, that seemed to be how everyone was selling them at the time. The Holy Grail of stress relief!
I don’t think I could have been more disappointed with it all to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, the book I bought at the time is gorgeous. The intricate designs are a delight on the eye. But I think that is half of the problem right there. The pictures are so pretty and perfect looking as they are, I didn’t want to ruin them. So instead of an unfocused whirl of noise, all I could think about as I was colouring was “what if I go over the lines? It will look so messy”. Eurgh.
In the words of the Grinch:
“Right that’s it! I give up!”
Fast forward to a month or two ago, I was watching the other half play a game on his phone. Chris’ phone is full of games. He is constantly downloading new games, just in case there is something showing on Netflix that only requires half his attention *insert eye roll here*. Quite a lot of the time though, I will watch him and eventually blurt out “Can I have a go?”
Which brings us full circle to colouring apps! (At last I hear you cry!)
I was really dubious about asking to have a go on this because I was so disinterested with the physical colouring thing. If you look at my phone, one thing you would probably notice is the lack of anything on there! I have barely any apps and no games on there whatsoever. Mainly because I have no memory, but also because I don’t want to be one of those people that stares at their phone all day! There has to be more to life than that.
From that very first picture I coloured in on Chris’ phone, I was hooked. I downloaded the app the next day, and I’m pretty sure I have been on it everyday since.
So much for there being more to life.
But I can’t help it – I love it! It’s just so easy to use. And the pictures are just as intricate as a physical book. I don’t have to worry about messing up the picture by colouring it in wrong; if I make a mistake all I have to do is tap the correct colour and away I go again!
There are a whole range of pictures on there varying in complexity. The more complex pictures generally have a lot more detail and contain a lot more colours. Basic pictures, which can take you between 5-10 minutes to complete, may only have 10-15 colours to build up the picture; whereas something more difficult can have up to 90 (or at least, that’s the must difficult one I have tried so far).
Each picture is made up numbers squares. All you have to do is click on a numbered colour and fill in the matching number on the picture. Then sit back, get comfy, and click away to your hearts content until the image starts to take some shape!
I literally sit there for hours colouring in some of these pictures – and it has made the world of difference. I feel more focused and happier at home because I’m not sitting there bored. If I have nothing to do, or something boring is on the telebox, then I colour!
The only downsides are the adverts (for the free app) and the way it likes to eat my battery charge. Sometimes my battery life just nosedives to the floor after using it for 10 or so minutes. I couldn’t use the app out and about if I didn’t have access to some form of charger.
So there we have it – my destress secret! If you find yourself worrying about nothing (or everything!) this Christmas, take some time to sit down and relax with a bit of colouring.
Do you have any destress tricks? Let me know in the comments below, as always, I would love to hear from you 😊
Until Next Time,