Business Tips: Promote Stress Relief with Coloring

While it may go against time management recommendations, sometimes you just need to sit down, pop the top on a box of crayons, and color as a grownup. When you pick up a crayon, marker, or colored pencil, the power of stress relief is in your hand; coloring “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress,” says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala.1
Using stress management techniques can help you relax and deal with stress. Incorporating a variety of coloring opportunities can help your employees, customers, and patients master this important life skill as well:
*Make coloring pages available in the waiting area. Being able to color while waiting for a prescription can help patients relax, even for just a moment. “When we focus on a particular activity like coloring, there is a de-stressing effect simply because we are focused on it and not on our worries,” says Ayala.1Mini coloring pages are available to keep costs down and can be ordered online or printed in-house; individual mini packages of colored pencils are also available for individual use to keep coloring utensils sanitary.
*Stocking coloring books on your pharmacy’s shelves could lead to additional sales. Coloring books for adults have become a trend and there are many adult coloring books on several best-seller lists. Stocking colored pencils, crayons, or markers makes your pharmacy a one-stop-shop for stress-free gift giving, both for the shopper and the recipient.
*Have a staff coloring party as a de-stressing, team-building exercise, or set aside a little bit of time each week for staff to color. There is little room for imperfections in a pharmacy, so “allowing oneself to ‘create’ in the artistic endeavor means that you are loosening up all the tight muscles in your mind and body that restrict and constrict you in everyday life – leading to stress. Coloring/art gives you permission to free flow and not go for particular outcomes (a source of self-imposed stress),” says Psychologist Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. Coloring can help lead to productive discussions focused on stress relief along with team strengthening because it may be possible to verbalize and work through factors that led to stress after coloring. 2
*Host a “Bring-Your-Own-Book” coloring club at your pharmacy in honor of Stress Awareness Month to attract new business to your store and to promote stress relief “one page at a time.” “Adults who color might like how they are carried back to their carefree youth and the age of wonder,” says psychologist Craig Travis.3 “Adult coloring is a creative venture without the need for artistic flair. One simply needs to color within the lines in order to get the desired effect,” says Dana Dovey.4
Below are three links to free coloring pages with abstract, symmetrical patterns designed with grown-up stress relief in mind2 to share with staff and customers. Please click the image for a PDF download.
1Santos, Elena. “Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress.” Huffpost Arts & Culture. The Huffington Post, 13 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
 2White, Mary Gormandy, M.A., SHRM-SCP, SPHR. “Adult Coloring Pages for Stress Relief.” Health. LoveToKnow, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
3Ward, Allison. “Grown-ups Find Coloring Books a Break from Stress.” News. The Washington Times, 13 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
4Dovey, Dana. “The Therapeutic Science Of Adult Coloring Books.” Under The Hood. Medical Daily, 08 Oct. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2016. 

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