Random Acts of Kindness Day

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day. A day to complete a random act of kindness. And while we don’t really need a day to be kind, it is fun to have these days to bring awareness. While the focus of the day is generally to complete a R.A.K. for someone else, don’t forget to include yourself!

As caregivers we are so focused on taking care of others that sometimes we put ourselves last. One way I take time for me is to engage in simple activities that do not require a lot of preparation. There is one I keep coming back to at various points in my life: colouring! I do not consider myself artistic, but I can colour!

More adults are reaching for the crayons, coloured pencils or markers. It’s a great way to decompress. It’s portable, inexpensive and has benefits. While you should just do it for fun, studies and professionals tell us the act of colouring is good for us!

Colouring is great stress relief. It helps soothe and relax the fear centre of our brain (the amygdala), improves motor skills, vision and focus.

Studies have shown colouring for at least 20 minutes lowers our heart rate and decreases feelings of anxiety. In studies, colouring more intricate designs, like mandalas, are more effective than colouring in a plaid pattern or blank page. ‌And that’s why for Random Acts of Kindness Day I am sharing a free mandala colouring page!

I started colouring again as part of a mindfulness practice. In fact, when I started this blog, I was looking to be more intentional with my mindfulness practice. And one of the activities I chose was colouring. In this early post Getting Back Inside Myself, I noted:

A quote from Deepak Chopra about maintaining a youthful mind, says to write down 2 or 3 things that you can do that are childlike. To bring back our sense of fun. Immediately what came to my mind was Barbies, colouring and riding a bike.

Colouring can be done anywhere. You can have a spot at home, but you can also pack your supplies and take it on the go – you can colour while enjoying time at a park, coffee shop, or waiting for an appointment. There are colouring apps if that is easier for on the go.

And while there are competitions for colouring, it isn’t by its nature a competitive sport. You can colour when and for how long you wish. You can decide what you will colour, what you will use to colour and what colours to use.

I love colouring mandalas, but there are so many fun colouring sheets and books that you can find something which really interests you – which in turn will help motivate you to colour!

A friend, who didn’t know I liked to colour, sent me a Schitt’s Creek Quotes colouring book! For those that don’t know about S.C., it was a show that aired for 6 seasons in Canada. I didn’t watch it when it was on t.v. because it didn’t sound funny. But I discovered it on Netflix during the first part of the pandemic and it became my routine to watch one episode a night. It was so funny! Laughter and great stories. A perfect ritual of self-care. And how incredible that now it is paired with another activity I use in my practice of looking after myself!

There are courses to teach you colouring techniques if you want to take things up a notch. There are also colouring groups and clubs on Facebook (and I’m sure other platforms) if you want to share or be inspired. But you can simply enjoy it as quiet time for yourself.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money. There are free colouring pages on the internet, and inexpensive books available at discount stores. While there are more expensive supplies, you don’t need them to get started. You can keep your colouring supplies basic.

Even if you aren’t interested in colouring, I hope you find time to do something kind for yourself. And if you need an idea for a R.A.K. feel free to share the page with someone else. Happy colouring!

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