How a coloring book helped me reflect…

Through my life I have loved coloring! As a child I had plenty of coloring books, in high school my friends & I would hang out and color, in college I kept coloring as a way to relax. It has been a few years since I’ve bought a coloring book. Recently, adult coloring books have really become popular, especially as a form of stress management.

I recently bought a new coloring book that has lots of patterns and floral designs. I’ll pick a page with a design that catches my eye, choose a color of marker, and color a few shapes. I don’t try to finish the entire page. I don’t plan every color as I go. I don’t worry about mistakes.

The other night I was coloring before bed and thinking about how calm I feel while coloring. I smiled to myself as I started to really think about the process of coloring. With teaching and other activities in my life I often worry about completing things. Sometimes I worry so much about getting something done that I panic about time management. Other times, I fear that I won’t be able to finish something so I put it off. I can also be a bit of a ‘perfectionist’ about things. With most things in life, I want a plan… and a detailed one at that!

I’m very aware of these character traits that I have. However, they weren’t present when I was coloring, and it made it more enjoyable. I am slowly learning how to better manage my time. I think I used to be afraid to lead training or apply to speak at conferences because I don’t feel like I’m an expert yet, that I’m not qualified (that perfectionist piece speaking up). I realize that I don’t expect my students to be perfect at anything, whatever place they’re at in learning I want them to continue to grow and share… so why wasn’t I expecting the same thing from myself??

So here I am blogging! I don’t type a blog and edit it a bunch before posting it. I don’t wait for the ‘just right’ idea. I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop right now typing away as I wait for my husband.

I am so grateful that I am actively trying to be a more reflective educator, not only am I learning more, but I’m learning more about myself!

Do you have an activity or hobby that helps you relax?


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