Category Archives: personal care

Six Reasons To Love Adult Coloring Books

Coloring for adults

When you first think of coloring, you might picture children with bunches of crayons excitedly coloring in books with their favorite cartoon characters. But there’s a growing trend of adults that enjoy coloring. This has brought about the release of more complex coloring sheets and books designed exclusively for adults.

Many adults have discovered that not only is coloring fun, it also has health benefits, too. As a form of self-care (and self-care is one of my “ingredients for a healthy life“) coloring books are right up there for a simple, easy way to take a break.  If you’ve been thinking about adding coloring books to your self-care strategy, here are some of the ways this hobby can help support better health:

  1. Stress reliever
  2. Elevates mood
  3. The Un-tech Effect
  4. Improves focus
  5. Anyone can color
  6. Highly portable

According to a study published in the Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, coloring in mandala or geometric patterns appears to lower stress and anxiety levels.  

When your body is stressed it produces cortisol.  In small doses this hormone can be beneficial, helping you get through a nerve-wracking speech or boosting your energy when you’re in the middle of a crisis such as a car accident. Too much cortisol over an extended period of time can lead to health problems. Problems like type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and anxiety.

While coloring doesn’t prevent you from producing cortisol, it’s believed to help lower your cortisol levels. This may be because coloring allows you to get into the creative zone and focus on something enjoyable, rather than worrying about your problems. This, in turn, can help you to relax and release the tension in your body.

One of the conclusions of the Art Therapy study was that “It seems that the complexity and structure of the plaid and mandala designs drew the participants into a meditative-like state that helped reduce their anxiety.”

Besides easing stress, coloring can also improve your mood. This could be due in part to the fact that no one is judging your art. In many ways, coloring is a freeing experience for adults. It may also be because coloring can lead to something called flow. 

Developed by positive psychology cofounder, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, flow is the concept of a highly focused mental state. When in a state of flow you are removing outside distractions.  Using coloring as something to create that flow, you let go of stress (as mentioned above) and are focusing the simple act of coloring. This can provide space which allows you to unwind.  Your flow state can then boost creativity, productivity, and positivity.

Let’s face it, our lives are immersed in technology. Your phone, your watch, your computer, tablet, and television are all highly technical and always pulling for your attention.  Even our homes are becoming smarter and more high tech. Doorbells, lights, heating systems, refrigerator, and more are requiring us to tap into technology. All of that technology interface can be overwhelming, overstimulating, and somewhat stressful. It feels like you are always surrounded. That’s because you are.

Yet with just your imagination, some paper, and a few coloring tools you can set aside some me-time and take a break from all that technology. Your brain will actually function better after a break and you’ll feel calmer too.

Another advantage of coloring is that it improves your focus. Many people find that coloring while listening to webinars or lectures makes it easier to absorb the information. Some of this may be due to an innate tendency to be a kinesthetic, or hands-on learner. But even those who aren’t typically kinesthetic learners may benefit. Many people find that keeping their hands busy, means their mind is less likely to wander.

Because coloring gives you better focus and more clarity, it can also be a good activity to do before you sit down to set goals or develop new strategies. Many highly creative people, such as Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, found answers to problems they were working on when they took a break and didn’t focus on the problem. The creativity required for coloring may help you think of new ways to tackle your goals and get the results you’re looking for.

Many people suppress their artistic impulses telling themselves that they simply aren’t creative. The truth is we are all creative. We all have that spark within us. The beauty of adult coloring books is that when you’re coloring it’s a no pressure situation. You’re not expecting to have your coloring pages hung in a famous museum. You’re simply coloring. And you don’t even have to color inside the lines if you don’t want to. You can make green clouds, pink skies, or anything your imagination can conjure up. It’s a totally personal choice of what you color, what colors you choose, and how you put everything together.

Coloring is one of those activities that can be done anywhere. There are even small books or tiny coloring kits that can be tucked into a purse or a backpack to have at the ready. Perfect for long waits at the department of motor vehicles or alone at a coffee shop. Wherever you are and whatever time you have available, coloring can fill in the gaps and give you a healthy break.

If you love to color and are looking for new sources of coloring material be sure to check out my ebook, Mira’s Marvelous Mandalas with forty-two ready to print beautiful mandala designs to bring you hours of creative fun and mindfulness.

Goats Milk Soap

four french hens soap

Recently I went to a health and wellness event at a retreat center in Montgomery, TX, Three Goats Farm.  Melissa Humphries, the owner of Three Goats Farm is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner and in the process of building her retreat center is connecting with holistic wellness providers of all kinds.  It was a great event and I can’t wait to see what else she offers out at the farm.

One of the people I met there was a lovely woman named Traci who runs Four French Hens, a skin care company.  She makes fabulous soap from goats milk (from the lovely goat-girls at Three Goats Farm), beeswax candles, bath products and more.  We had a wonderful conversation.

I was given a couple of bars of soap as a gift, to try them.  The scent is clean and, I know this sounds odd, delicious, even the unscented version.  I’m really enjoying using this soap.  Made from fabulous clean ingredients and naturally homogenized, it lathers well and is very moisturizing.  With just a few simple ingredients — Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sodium Lardate, Goats Milk, Lye, Essential Oils. Honey Oatmeal: Also contains Raw Honey, Oats — the allergen possibilities are lower and the chemical burden is very low.

As my long time readers know, I advocate eating clean and avoiding as many chemicals as possible in our food.  However I am also a big proponent of clean personal care products.  Our skin is our largest body organ, what we put on it gets into our system.  Making sure you have chemical free personal care products is an important part of health.  Enjoying a hand made, locally sourced product, in my opinion, is even better.  For those who don’t want to make their own soap (or don’t have access to such fabulous ingredients) this is a really good option.

Toxins In Personal Care Products

As many of you know I am passionate about helping people to understand what’s really in their food.  I teach the single most powerful thing you can do to support good health.  Read The Label.  But I’m here to tell you that reading the label shouldn’t stop at food.  Yes, I know it’s a pain in the patootie.  And shopping takes longer when you have to read the labels.  But over time you learn which things you do and don’t want to eat.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the Read The Label mentality also applies to our personal care products.  After all, our skin is our largest body organ.  It’s sometimes referred to as the third kidney for it’s ability to support the body in getting rid of toxins.  But the majority of what we put on it will be absorbed into our system and can have a body-wide effect.

Just as I encourage you to start step-by-step with food, so too, now, I’m encouraging you to take it one baby step at a time with personal care products.  After all, every positive change you are making is one more thing than you were doing before.  And, let’s be realistic.  If you try to do it all at once it will be overwhelming and quite probably frustrating.  So pick one thing, one ingredient from the info graphic below and work on getting that out of your home and your personal care routine.  Once you’ve mastered that move on to the next thing.  Baby steps.  I promise you, slow and steady is the way to achievable success.