June is Men’s Health Month, and unfortunately, research shows that men may not be valuing wellness as much as they should. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America report, only 52 percent of men say it is very/extremely important to manage stress, compared to 68 percent of women. Furthermore, men are less likely to link stress management to health problems.
One new trend is emerging to combat stress that I have embraced, and I’m not alone. Coloring book sales — yes, coloring books — have soared since 2015.
The popularity of coloring books by illustrators like Johanna Basford have shown that crayons aren’t just for kids anymore. These adult coloring books have intricate and detailed pages that will keep parents, teens, men, women, writers, account managers, and designers like me busy.
As a visual communicator, I use colors to be expressive, and coloring offers me a space to focus on my mood, self-reflection and mental health. Coloring books have given me much needed breaks from screens and a short, accomplishable creative task that I can make time for.
As an added bonus, research shows a link between creativity and productivity. Focusing on a creative activity and momentarily forgetting about other to-dos can lower stress levels and promote creativity. Jonathan Plucker, PhD, a psychology professor at Indiana University explains:
“As strange as it sounds, creativity can become a habit. Making it one helps you become more productive.”
So grab a coloring book or download some free Beyoncé-inspired designs online, and take a much deserved wellness break.