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Coloring for Stress Relief: A Guide for Girls

Coloring for Stress Relief: A Guide for Girls
June 29TH, 2022
Girls doing crafts on a lawn
"Stress is a fact of life," according to the American Psychiatric Association (and every parent!). For kids, this stress can often come from school, friends, and family. As caretakers of girls, we want to be there to protect them and help them in any way possible, but sometimes we need to take a step back and allow our children to self-soothe. A creative activity like coloring can be a great tool to help the little girl in your life to relax, feel calmer and work out some of her feelings on her own or until she is ready to ask for help.
 
There are a lot of different things you can do to relieve stress. Some grownups like to go for a run or take a bath, while others may prefer to meditate or practice gratitude. But what about girls? While running or meditating are certainly options, chances are they might not go over well when suggested to a stressed child!! Instead, an activity like coloring can be a great way to help kids relax and de-stress while they have fun.

Why coloring is good for stress reduction

Coloring reduces stress because it allows the brain to relax–similar to meditation and mindfulness practices. While adults may be able to meditate quietly, children may have a harder time. This is why coloring is a useful tool to help kids practice mindfulness, which is known to reduce stress and build resilience to the stressors in our life. 
 
When children color, their focus on choosing colors and filling in shapes keeps them in the present moment. This leads to a decrease in anxiety and an increase in relaxation. The next time you see your child getting upset or frustrated at home, ask them if they would like to take a break and do some coloring with you instead. This is a great way to remove them from the stressful activity and give their mind a break so they can process and work out how they are feeling.
 
When kids color, they are using their imagination to create something new. Putting the crayon down on the paper and focusing on the lines, shapes and intensity of color can be a wonderful way to get your child to focus and relax. Using particular colors can help affect mood and emotions, too. 
 
Color can be deeply personal. We have our favorite colors, we have colors that bring us joy, and colors that bring out our nostalgia. The psychology of colors is fascinating, and allowing your child to explore their feelings through color may help reduce stress. 
 
Ask your child what they feel when they see certain colors. While certain colors are believed to evoke calmness, your child is her own person, and different colors may evoke different emotions. 

Coloring can help kids open up

Depending on the age of your child, coloring may relax them enough to open up and talk to you about what is causing their stress. This can be beneficial in helping them find some long-term solutions. 

 

For example, if they had an argument with a friend or a sibling, opening up about it could lead to a conversation about compromise and seeing things from other people's perspectives. If they are feeling down about getting poor grades on an exam, opening up could lead to a productive conversation about study habits. Having your child calm their mind and reflect while coloring may allow them to feel like they are ready to talk out their problems.

 

Kids are still learning how to cope with stress and manage their emotions. While adults have many options for coping with stress, it can be difficult to find something age appropriate for girls that will allow them to self-soothe while having fun. 

 

Coloring is an activity that girls of all ages can enjoy. Whether your daughter is 4 years old or 16 years old, coloring is a therapeutic activity that allows girls to process and work through their feelings. The next time your daughter is feeling stressed, try pulling out some inspirational coloring books and crayons and spending some quality time with her. You may be surprised at how much better she feels afterward!

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