Why is Colouring Therapy Good for Chronic Illness?

Colouring Therapy for Chronic Illness - Benefits and Kindle AppsAnyone who follows me on Twitter will know I’m not a blokey-bloke. I don’t relax or do things in any manly fashion. Part of it is character-based – I’m a more sensitive kind of person and I suck at anything that’s manual (e.g. DIY or gardening!). But in recent months I’ve also taken to colouring. I usually do this while going through Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Fibromyalgia. As I have a massive problem with hand pain, doing traditional colouring is pretty much impossible. So instead I have Colouring Therapy using apps on my Kindle Fire.

Why is Colouring Therapy Good?

While a lot of patterns are ‘girly’ (featuring flowers, hearts and swirly patterns!) I have found colouring therapy really beneficial, so here are some key reasons for me.

  1. Colouring Eliminates Multi-tasking:
    If there’s one thing that fries the brain than multi-tasking. It is far better to just focus on one thing at once and do it well. Colouring takes up the whole screen and enables you to push other tasks to the back of your mind.
  2. Colouring is Creative: although my day job has an element of creativity, most of it is analytical. Filling in shapes is probably more creative than you would think. You choose a bare pattern but then the colour combinations you use are for you to decide. The end result is down to your choices, meaning the same pattern can lead to very different results.
  3. There’s No “Right” Answer:
    The only bad pattern is one you’re not happy with. Unlike a game where you have to win, the aim of colouring therapy is to relax and enjoy. No aims or goals.
  4. Digital Colouring is Easy on my Hands:
    Due to the prevalence of touch screens, colouring is a matter of press-and-fill. Undoing part or a whole pattern is at the push of a button. This means that using my Kindle for colouring rarely aggravates my hand pain.
  5. Easily Share Your Artwork on Social Media: most apps nowadays have a sharing option. I have enjoyed sharing my colourings on Twitter. Even if they get no response, at least if I lost my Kindle I have a record of my colourings! And losing my Kindle is a possibility with Fibro Fog!
  6. It is Complete Brain Down-Time: my work, and to some degree playing SWTOR or LotRO involves thinking, or reacting quickly. Colouring Therapy can be taken really slowly, which allows me to relax and rest.

Which Free Kindle Apps Can I use for Colouring?

I have tried a few apps, but can only reccommend a couple of them. Some colouring apps are either overly complex, buggy or are filled with ads. So here are the two free colouring apps I recommend for Kindle Fire:

  1. Colorfy: this app is totally free and contains no ads. But bear in mind that the number of free patterns is restricted – as are some colour pallets. They make up for this by having a “Vote for Tomorrow’s Free Pallet” feature which changes each day. Find Out More >>
  2. Zen Coloring CBook for Adults: this is part of an “Actually Free” movement. There are no in-app purchases at all. It is supported by ads, but only seems to be when you launch or re-launch the app. This colouring therapy app has an almost unlimited choice of colours. Although it has set pallets you can edit any colour. And they have tons of “Actually Free” patterns. It runs slower than Colorfy, but one this app loads it’s fine. Find Out More >>

Some of my Colouring Therapy Creations:

TL;DR Colouring Therapy for Chronic Illness

Colouring is a relaxing distraction from pain and the stress of working with Fibromyalgia. I can drown out other ‘noise’ in life and just colour away. Colouring helps calm my brain down after a day of multi-tasking and it doesn’t aggravate my hand pain. So once or twice a week I will continue to colour!

Can you recommend any other colouring apps? Or do you find colouring (either digital or with pen/pencils and paper) helpful yourself? Share your ideas and experience in the comments!

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Fibro Jedi

A 30-something Shadow Jedi, married and have a small daughter. By that I mean "young", not just "short". I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia andI play LOTRO, SWTOR and FFXIV and blog about two of them. Social Media has connected me with so many people and some of those have become amazing friends too! As a hobby I am relearning drawing, which you can see on my DeviantArt profile.