6 Times An Adult Coloring Book Saved Your Sanity

by Alexandra Antonopoulos

We turn to a lot of different devices for distraction, don't we? Well, when Instagram and a glass of wine just won't do, buying yourself an adult coloring book might be the logical next step. Oh, it isn't the logical next step? Sitting silently and making a piece of paint-by-number art is just something kids do, you say? Then you, my friend, have never found yourself at your wit's end since the advent of these nifty items, craving a little order and control with a side of pretty colors.

There are a ton of scenarios that require extreme patience, and certainly those that you simply have to get your mind off of. When distraction's the name of the game, snagging a coloring book from your local corner store can help you refocus in more ways than you may realize. Plus, there's something to be said about getting back to the basics and reconnecting with your inner kid. It can be calming and productive.

If you've been faced with any of the following six circumstances in recent history, you'll appreciate the notion that having an adult coloring book on hand at that time may have made you a much happier camper. Or, at least, a much saner one.

Enjoy, identify, and plan accordingly for next time.

1. That time your flight was delayed

Perfect For: Straight-up time killing.

Sitting on the runway for 90 minutes can be physically and mentally draining, but with your colored pencils and lovely naked mandalas begging for your creativity to dress them up, you'll be miles away from that upright tray table and "extra" legroom.

2. That spontaneous babysitting gig

Perfect For: Entertaining yourself for an indefinite amount of time.

You get a few free hours to yourself, and what happens? Your friend Julia asks you to watch the baby. You oblige, but this date she's accepted runs a little long... like three extra hours long, and suddenly you're stuck keeping yourself busy. Luckily, you thought ahead and packed your colored pencils...

3. That breakup misery that wouldn't die

Perfect For: Preventing you from becoming absorbed by sadness.

"Just don't think about him," they said; "The world is your oyster," they said. I ask, is the world really your oyster when your own mind is a prison? No, it's not. Instead of trying to occupy your brain with other thoughts, crowd them out with intricate patterns! Not only will you gain some perspective as you decorate that happy field of flowers using seven different shades of Burnt Sienna, but your hands will be too busy to even draft a text... and you can't send a text that's never been drafted, now can you?

4. That girls' night in

Perfect For: Bonding with your ladies.

You know what I'm talking about. The night where everyone's lamenting about their jobs and sad, sad love life over a bottle of Riesling and stalking their exes' Facebook feeds for each other. Between organizing everyone's Seamless order, rip a few pages out of your coloring book and suggest you all do your best to make a pretty picture. You'll laugh at how awful you are as artists, and then when your sushi arrives right on time, you can all pass out on the floor after lots of dumplings and tuna tataki.

5. That time you couldn't afford anything but crayons

Perfect For: Cheap thrills.

You just moved, or lost all your savings in a bad hand of blackjack in Atlantic City, and now you can't afford much to pass the time. Well, my friend, imagination is free! Take your mind off of your bank account as you huddle in your cold apartment, and forget about whether your rent is going to be late for the next two hours.

6. That time you got laid off

Perfect For: Even cheaper thrills.

It's OK, it's OK. Remember: It's not that they didn't want me, it's that they couldn't afford me. Distinct difference. Breathing in and out. Yes. I still have savings... although there won't be much left of that the longer it takes for me to find a new job... No, not thinking about that... Umm, where'd that purple go?

Sometimes, you have to get creative when it comes to entertainment, because the same old just doesn't cut it. Other times, the luxury of a million options is too overwhelming and it's nice to unplug and revel in the analog pleasures of our ancestors. Whatever your circumstances, there's definitely a reason to chill with a book full of blank pages every once in a while.

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