Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Colouring for a Healthy Mind

Have you heard of the latest craze - adult colouring! News outlets, articles and even store displays have been featuring nothing but colouring books! I have definitely been sucked into this craze. My colouring obsession started last summer when I purchased a $10 mandala book. I haven't hit the brakes on this one yet! I love colouring - I can't stop! I love choosing a new design, picking the colours, using different colouring materials and seeing the finished product. There's just something about fulfilling your inner creativity once you've completed a full picture that brings a sense of calmness and tranquility.

Speaking of which, there has been a lot of talk about how colouring is beneficial to the mind and soul. I'm not sure if there is any concrete stats or research complete on just how much colouring is beneficial to the human body and mind, but just Google 'adult colouring' and you will be sure to get a few results on the benefits of adult colouring. While I don't have solid evidence either on how beneficial colouring can be (I'm not a researcher!), I can definitely see how it affects my mind and body in a positive way.

Many of us work standard, routine jobs. There are very few of us that have a job completely dedicated to creativity. We get home and tasks generally are routine as well. It's not long before we feel the need to get the creative juices flowing. Colouring is a great activity for that! It's a creative outlet that allows you to express yourself through colour, pictures, patterns and doodles. Practicing in one creative outlet leads to fresh and new ideas. This affects spills over to almost every aspect of your life: work and personal.

We spend so much of our time consumed by technology and media that our minds all need a much deserved break at the end of a long day. Colouring allows for this. It allows for your mind to be focused on doing a simple and easy task. Instead of picking up your tablet and phone before going to bed, why not try colouring for a few minutes? It could probably make for better sleep as well.

The act of colouring can be really relaxing and can bring about a meditative state of mind. Being relaxed is very important to your overall health and how you feel as a person. I can't imagine how being stressed all the time would feel as well as all of the side effects to go along with it. Next time you're stressed, instead of pouring yourself a glass of wine, why not spend a few minutes colouring?

Colouring can also help when we're going through something difficult. I talk about stress in the point above but maybe you're going through a difficult situation like a loss or maybe you've just hit a wall. Colouring can take our minds off of the situation/difficulty at hand (just for a little bit) to re-focus our minds. It can be a great way to cope. I've read many articles where individuals are using colouring to overcome or deal with a difficult situation in their lives.

(The finished picture is on my Instagram!)

Being an adult can be difficult and sometimes all we want to do is revisit our childhood. Colouring is a great way to do so! I think it has become so popular because it brings individuals back to their childhood. Not only is it a flashback to the past but it's a way to fulfill that inner child in all of us. I think at some point every adult experiences this yearning at least once in their life and colouring can be a great way to address it! As much as we all have responsibility and lives to lead, it's important to 'play' as well.

Well there you have it -  my opinions on colouring and how/why you can colour yourself to a healthy mind. Let me know if you're interested in having me share my finished colouring pages.

Do you colour? What have you coloured so far? And why do you like colouring?


Thursday, 4 February 2016

How Cleaning Can Be Effective Exercise

For most of us, tidying up and general cleaning is a weekly, or daily occurrence. Sometimes, it takes a huge amount of motivation for me to get up and start cleaning. One thought that has made cleaning easier is that I can incorporate exercise into my cleaning routine.  I love to stay active when I am at home by walking or standing. Think about it - lifting things, rapid movements and physical activity while tidying and cleaning can only aid you in making you more fit! Here are some ways that tidying and cleaning can be an effective use for exercise.

  • Putting objects away requires lifting, walking and climbing stairs. Instead of placing an object in it's place, think of it as a weight. Maybe do a few squats or bicep curls before putting it away. (Pump that iron!)
  • Carrying your heavy laundry basket up and down several flights of stairs can definitely make you sweat. 
  • Pushing a heavy vacuum around adds weight to your step. (And makes your carpet clean!)
  • When carrying items up and down stairs, take a little extra time to repeat the process. 
  • To add on to my point above, step up and down continuously on your bottom step for 1 minute. 
  • When cleaning underneath a bench or bed, do some push ups!
  • Take out the mop and bucket and get mopping! It's a good arm work out.
  • Get down and scrub the bathroom tub. Again, really great arm work out. 
  • Scrub the toilet while doing a squat. Not only are you getting an arm work out but you are working your inner core. 
  • While folding your clothes, try balancing on one leg or do a runner's stretch. 
With so many options to engage in physical activity while tidying and cleaning, there's more motivation to make the process a little easier. Tidying and cleaning is not my favourite thing to do, but by incorporating exercise into it, I can transform a dull and boring chore into an activity that adds to my overall wellness. I am always looking for creative ways to add steps and movement into my daily activity. 

How do you incorporate exercise into your daily household routine?