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Use Coloring to Calm the Chaos



Managing Stress Through Art

After last week’s school shooting in Florida my nerves are shot. I think we have a lot to worry about just being parents, but situations like this can really drive us into overload. The worry is non-stop, the questions keep coming and then there’s the anger that this is something we even need to worry about. I loved school as a kid. I enjoyed learning so much and as a social kid school was a great place to form friendships. I remember practicing safety drills for tornadoes and fire evacuations, and we evacuated for one bomb threat (calling in fake bomb threats was all the rage in the 90s). But dodging bullets wasn’t something I had to practice.

I try to keep the news and media coverage away from my kids so they don’t worry. I know they are discussing drills at school and practicing being safe, but they aren’t hearing about one school shooting after another. I want it to stay like that for as long as possible. They don’t need to live in a bubble, but they aren’t old enough to process all of the world’s chaos yet. As of right now I’m the one carrying that stress for them. And that’s OK.

For me, art has always been a tool to manage my stress. Getting lost inside a project helps me disconnect from my worries for a bit and I can engage my energies in something more fruitful. So, this week I changed up our evening routine. The last activity of the night is grabbing our coloring books and crawling into my big bed for a coloring session.   We fluff up the pillows, we curl up with a blanket and we color with our pencils. This has been a relaxing and warm way for us to connect and spend time together. It feels like pushing a literal pause button on the chaos of life.

I get to hear all about my children's day, their thoughts and feelings on life. It is really amazing how less muddled I feel when I take the time to de-stress. I’m sure it feels the same for my kids. I especially love that it keeps me off of social media filling my brain with too many details than I can process. I still worry, and I still lie awake at night seeking answers to too many questions. But I look forward to those 30-40 minutes each night to connect with my kids. And it gives me hope.

How do you help your kids connect to their calm? 

Related: Helping Your Kids Cope Through Art

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 



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