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In the age of safe spaces and trigger warnings comes another new trend to the college repertoire: coloring books. This fall, campuses nationwide are offering coloring books to students to help them de-stress.
At American University on Monday, its counseling center provided coloring sheets in honor of Healthy Campus Week, noting on its Facebook page that adult coloring books “can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues.” Conditions cited include obsessive-compulsive, eating, anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as anger management and substance abuse issues.
“The time and focus that adult coloring takes helps the individual remove the focus from the negative issues and habits, and focus them in a safe and productive way,” the AU center stated.
Likewise, the University of Wyoming offers an “Art-Well” program, designed to “color your stress away,” its website states, adding “Coloring pages and colors are provided. We offer scheduled Art-Well times, but if you can’t make those, come to the Wellness Center Zen Den any time on your own.”
On tap at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is “StressLess Days.” Held monthly on Wednesdays, the university will provide coloring in addition to other “crafts and games” to help students unwind.
According to Northcentral University Professor Mary Jill Blackwell, “Coloring is like meditation because it encourages engagement with the present moment. When we focus on the present moment, we do not worry about the future, ruminate about the past, or engage in negative self talk.”