By Denise Daub
While perusing amazon.com looking for a book, I came across something I had never seen before, adult coloring books. Maybe you have heard of this… it is a very big thing now. Supposedly, taking time to sit and color can be relaxing and help relieve stress. It can also have meditative qualities.
I know, I know who has time to color….or exercise or meditate for that matter. I don’t know there is something intriguing and whimsical about sitting down and coloring.
If you are interested, just go to amazon and search “adult coloring books” and you will find many different ones. The first one that I seen was entitled Color Me Happy, which inspired me to write this post. Unfortunately, this book is out of stock as of the time of writing this post, but there are lots of books on different subjects like stress and balance and themes such as animals and flowers.
I plan on ordering one of these coloring books and am going to give it a try. Maybe you want to give it a try and color yourself happy!
by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN
At 4:00 AM on a spring morning my eldest sister sat up in bed, looked out the window and discover that a gentle rain was falling. This was such wonderful news! She raced to get dressed and eat a quick breakfast. With glee she plopped herself in the middle of her ever growing garden and began one of her favorite gardening activities — weeding.
I was not born with the passionate gardening bug that my sister was blessed with. But I do have my own solitary pleasures that fills me with delight, joy and satisfaction. However none involve waking before dawn while sitting in the rain and mud. But I will rise early and brave the cold before sunrise to be the first on the slopes skiing the first sensational run on perfectly groomed snow.
Mark Twain defined fun as the thing that you do when you don’t have to do it. For many of us having fun involves other people. But what about those times when you don’t have another? I’m an avid tennis player, but tennis is hard to play without a partner, (although not impossible with a good tennis wall, tennis ball machine, or a solo session practicing my serves).
When I was a child my father would come home from work, change into his play clothes and go out to hit golf balls. In 45 minutes he would hit hundreds of balls about 100 yards, walk to his designated target area while collecting all golf balls, then hit them to the next designated target area. Inclement weather did not deter him. In fact, a local newspaper took a picture of Dad bundled up in his warm clothes hitting golf balls despite several inches of snow covering the ground. Hitting golf balls was my father’s solitary daily pleasure with the added benefit of improving his short game and score.
What is your solitary pleasure? It might be a physical activity like yoga or hiking. Or it could be hand crafting like carpentry or needlework. Maybe it’s memorizing special poems or writing your own lyrics to familiar songs.
Whether it’s a walking meditation or a drumming session, here’s a hint to improve your Mental Health & Happiness. Now is a great time to start cultivating a solitary pleasure. For those of you who can’t even imagine carving out 15 minutes of solitary time, NOW is the time to develop your relationship with yourself that is sorely needed. Learning how to meet your need for fun alone is a lifelong habit worth nurturing, growing, and promoting.
by Dr. Nancy Buck
Have you ever watched a child who is really engaged in imaginative, solo play. Her total concentration is involved in her game with very little awareness of anything else that is going on around her. She is single focused and in a meditative sate, engaged in a positive addiction.
Have you ever arrived home from your evening commute wondering how you got there? Obviously you were driving and must have been aware of the traffic around you, but you have no memory of it. Your mind was off somewhere else, in fantasy or problem solving. You were in a kind of meditative state, engaged in a positive addiction.
You may have had the same kind of experience while gardening, mowing the lawn, praying, washing dishes or windows, walking, hiking, or hitting golf balls at the driving range. You were practicing what Dr. Glasser wrote of years ago called Positive Addiction.
In his book, Positive Addiction, (1985, Harper Collins),Glasser recommended engaging in a repetitive, boring, non-competitive activity for about 30 minutes a day. Doing this helps a person build mental and emotional strength. At the time “runner’s high” and benefits of daily meditation were just being investigated in other quarters.
Give it a try. See if you can develop your own form of positive addiction building your own mental and emotional strength.
by Dr. Nancy Buck
As a mother of twin babies I was always sleep deprived. During the early months of care I spent my waking hours feeding, burping, bathing and diaper changing one baby only to be followed by the same routine with the next baby. It felt as though I barely sat down for a breather when I would hear hungry cries of coming from the first baby. And so I would start the routine all over again. Caring for an infant is surely an act of love and devotion.
As my babies got older the days became more fun. Our time was spent not only sleeping, eating and eliminating but were filled with great adventures and play. However, lunch time was always followed by an afternoon nap.
Whether my children needed a nap or not, I put them down to “rest.” I always needed a nap!
They are both now grown men and fathers. However, my need for a daily nap has not diminished. I’m betting the same is true for them and for YOU!
If you believe napping is too sloth-like and something you could never admit to or indulge in, then call it something else. Close your eyes, turn off your phone, and if you are in an office or cubicle put out your “Do Not Disturb” sign. Tell anyone who asks that you are meditating. Or claim this as your “creative problem solving” time.
Twenty minutes is all it takes to renew and revitalize you. Trust me, this is a much more effective and self-nurturing solution than indulging in one more cup of coffee or power drink that is filled with caffeine! There is now plenty of research to support this notion if that is what you need to convince you.
Why should kindergarten students, puppies and high powered executives who have the ability to lock the door and lay their heads on their desks be the only ones to benefit from this essential habit. Napping daily is an effective strategy for improved mental health & happiness for all!