The end of the school year is always a stressful time for me. I have not only all of my end of the year IEPs, evaluations, and progress reports to complete, but I also have all of my own kids end of the year activities and sports to contend with too. Some days it can just be completely overwhelming. Some days when I get really frazzled, I like to go out for a run and clear my head. But, taking a run isn’t always possible in my world, so I need something else to calm my nerves (besides a nice cold craft beer).
Five years ago, my husband had some pretty major health problems and ended up needing numerous surgeries, and finally, a kidney transplant. While I was in the waiting room the day he received his kidney, I was given a gift from some volunteers. The volunteers were from the Gifts of Art program at the University of Michigan. They gave me a brand new box of crayons and a coloring book. I loved to color when I was little, and truly had not done it in years. My kids were pretty little at the time and hadn’t really gotten into coloring pages yet. So, when I was given this gift, I was actually excited to try it out. I have to say that it was truly very calming for me. Because I had little guys at home, I needed my support people at home with them, so I was by myself most of that day. This was a great way to distract myself. There was something about putting the brand new crayons to paper and creating something without a lot of thought that really relaxed my mind. I think it was nice for me to feel like I had control over something during such a chaotic time.
Here is a page that I colored from this wonderful book:
Here are three sites where you can find some free coloring pages to help yourself relax and calm down for a few minutes:
I have also purchased a book from Michaels that I really liked that is full of Lotus designs. With that book, I also purchased some markers and colored pencils. I have really enjoyed that too. Here are a few examples of coloring books that you can purchase from places such as Amazon, Michaels, or book stores:
Here is a picture I finished from my book, and one that I am still working on:
So, the next time you are feeling stressed, go out an buy a brand new box of crayons, print off a sheet, and relax for a few minutes! Then, you can go to work and finish strong!