Monday, April 26, 2021

Voices of Experience: Coloring As A Healing Tool in Grief

by Anne M. Gorman

When my husband of forty years died in 2012, I searched for whatever I could find that might help me with my grief. In 2013 I was introduced to the idea of mindfulness coloring for adults, in the form of Johanna Basford's beautiful coloring book, Secret Garden. I've since found this method of coloring to be a wonderful help in calming me and giving me something relaxing to do ~ especially since I live alone. 

 At first, I colored to pass the time, but later I began coloring every day because I enjoyed it so much. It became a form of therapy for me. One of my favorite ways to find pictures to color is by searching the Internet for printable coloring pages I can download and print for free. Over the years, as they became more popular, I've added more adult coloring books to my collection. 

Coloring books designed especially for grown-ups are available for sale almost anywhere today, from magazine shelves in grocery stores to favorite retailers online. 

Below I've listed some of the coloring books I have purchased over the years. Click on the title to read Amazon's description and review of each:

*** Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford

*** Botanical Gardens Coloring Book by Dot Barlowe

***Mandalas Coloring Book by Randell McVey 

***Color Your Own Monet Paintings by Marty Noble

***Happy Season by Damita Victoria

***Magic Garden Fairies by Marty Noble 

***World of Flowers by Johanna Basford

***Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford

***Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter 

***In the Garden by Lily Ashbury

***Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer by Sharon Seyfarth Garner

***Missing You by Nami Nakamura  

***Reflections of Love by April McCallum 

***Colors of Loss and Healing by Deborah S. Derman, Ph.D. 

Although it would be impossible for me to pick any favorites that I have colored, here is a sampling of my work:

I am so grateful to have discovered this wonderful pastime, especially now, in the midst of a pandemic that's kept us all so isolated and separated from one another for more than a year.

Today I color primarily for my own enjoyment, and I find that it still helps me to be calm, centered and focused on the present. In the early days I tended to use darker colors. I've noticed that I am coloring with brighter colors now ~ a change from early grief. 

© 2021 by Anne M. Gorman

Also by Anne Gorman:

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