There's a way to find hope. It might start with crayons.
I'm not the only one who watches the news (or my Facebook feed, Twitter, AP news alerts, MSNBC, etc.) and feels my blood pressure rise, right?
It's a rough world out there right now. But artist Andrea Pippins has a solution:
An adult coloring book!
But this isn't just any coloring book. Instead, it's art that allows people to, as Pippins says, "see the beauty and light in themselves."
You probably know that the old standard activity for kiddos — the coloring book — has become new again for adults.
When asked about the psychological benefits of coloring, Marti Faist, an art therapist, told the Baltimore Sun, "I've watched people under acute stress, almost panic-attack levels, color and have their blood pressure go down very quickly. It's cathartic for them."
But Pippins' coloring book is even more special, timely, and profound than the gorgeous mandalas your friend from work is probably coloring.
Pippins created the Freedom coloring-book page to take therapeutic coloring to a new level.
The page is made to help us deal with tragedies, process our emotions, and think about how to move forward.
It's both a coloring book and a journal in one.
It has prompts like:
And it's free to download!
So today, print that thing out. Then unplug. And shut down those screens.
Now get your crayons, y'all, and let's talk about news cycle self-care, shall we?
Pippins wants to empower folks and help them process their feelings in the best way.
"I strongly believe that when we allow ourselves to feel what's happening and then put pen to paper some thoughts on how to make change, something happens," she says. "Ideas began to emerge and we start to see some solutions, and also feel that change is possible."
When the news is tough and feelings run high, it's easy to just shut down and shut in.
But reaching out and connecting is often the best way to heal.
In an interview with Mequilibrium, psychologist and stress expert Andrew Shatté said that the more you expand, reach out, and form connections to friends, neighbors, your community, and the world around you, the less alone you'll feel.
"The bigger your boat, the less likely you’ll capsize."
Pippins' coloring-book page provides a much-needed place to begin conversations.
They could be conversations about ourselves, our feelings, our country, or our hopes and fears.
As Pippins told Upworthy: "I just hope folks, especially kids, find peace in doing the prompts. To recognize that even in moments of despair we have a voice and can take action. "
So if you haven't downloaded it yet ... what are you waiting for?
Print out a bunch and drop 'em off at your favorite local hangout, or just keep one all to yourself! *runs to printer*