How do you unwind at the end of the day?

Are you endlessly scrolling Facebook, getting more and more stressed out by your aunt’s political views? Or do you zone out while re-watching Friends on Netflix with a glass of wine?

I’ve got a better way to relax and let go of your day. It’s time to give your chattering monkey mind something less stimulating to focus on as you transition from a busy day to a good night’s sleep. Let’s talk about the benefits of adult coloring and how to use adult coloring to relax.

You’re probably aware of the adult coloring trend, but maybe you’re not convinced of the mental health benefits of adult coloring. According to Cleveland Clinic, it does indeed “relax the brain” by giving it a task with very low expectations. Coloring only requires you to put pencil to paper. All the colors are open to you. You don’t even have to stay in the lines. Just let your mind focus on slowly bringing a picture to life while letting go of what happened during your day.

Another study in the Journal of Happiness Studies found another surprising benefit of adult coloring. They found a correlation between boosting creativity and boosting motivation! If you’re fighting evening cravings or skipping your morning workouts, coloring might be your new secret weapon. If nothing else, keeping your hands busy makes it harder to snack on pretzels and chocolate almonds.

Lucky for you August 2 is National Coloring Book Day! That means you have a whole list of FREE coloring pages to help get you started. Here are a few links to some great free adult coloring pages.

PopSugar Free Coloring Pages for Adults

Hello Giggles – RBG Coloring Book

If you want to order an adult coloring book or two, here are the ones I own and love:

You’ll also need some basic coloring supplies. Old school crayons will work for some pages but for fine detail you’ll want colored pencils with a good pencil sharpener and/or fine tip markers. I have multiple sets of pencils but here are the two I love: Huhuhero Marco Raffine 48 Color Pencil Set and Artlicious 120 Color Pencil set. They are much less expensive than Prismacolor sets but work just as well.

Now you’ll want to tune the world out with your favorite music, a podcast or a good audio book while coloring. These podcasts for walking also work well for coloring. I can also recommend this list of audio books to compliment your evening coloring ritual.

Now turn off the television and make yourself a soothing cup of tea. (Might I suggest Meadow Walk Herbal Tea from Plum Deluxe or Sleep Tea from Amoda tea?) Put your ear buds on and let your mind downshift towards a good night’s sleep.

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