As the semester kicks into full gear, college students are once again trying to find ways to relieve the overwhelming stress and pressure that they face. Adult coloring books have become a new trend, providing therapeutic benefits that can help people of all ages calm their nerves after a long and stressful day.
To meet the growing demand, many publishing companies have begun to produce their own line of coloring books. Health Communications, Inc. (HCI) Books is a company based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, that puts out a series of adult coloring books called “Inkspirations.”
The “Inkspirations” series is in the recovery market, and it aims to help all kinds of people with books that are geared toward a wide range of consumers. Their products range from books that target specific audiences, such as women, animal lovers or gardeners, to books that appeal to adults at large.
UM students use adult coloring books as a way to decompress and relieve tension.
“I color so I can mentally relax and block out stresses for a while. Plus, I love art and I can create something cool while calming myself down,” freshman Emma Finn said.
College students are so not far off from the age when they used to color as children, so they are more likely to be attracted to adult coloring books. Coloring has a universal appeal because it allows even those who are not otherwise artistically talented to express themselves.
“Coloring is creative, like drawing, painting or playing music. A lot of people who don’t think they have artistic talent can feel like they are creating beauty when they are coloring,” said Kim Weiss, director of HCI Books.
More specifically, coloring can be beneficial to college students during midterms and finals by allowing students to take a brain break from studying. According to Weiss, some students multitask by bringing their coloring books to class so they can have something to work on when they are feeling stressed.
Coloring books can also help students who are coping with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Weiss said that brain activity while coloring is very similar to activity observed during meditation, a technique often used to help those coping with mental health issues to relax.
Many college students might be hesitant to pick up coloring as a hobby because it has a childish connotation or because they doubt it could be beneficial to them. Weiss advises those who are hesitant to go on the “Inkspirations” website or Facebook page to view the finished pages that other adults have created.
For those who do not want to invest in a whole book, many grocery stores have loose leaf coloring pages available.
If you’re feeling stressed this semester, crack open a fresh box of Crayolas, open up a coloring book and allow yourself to unwind.