A New Way for Nurses to Relieve Stress: Coloring

Written by Madison School of Healthcare On Monday, 02 May 2016. Posted in Nursing

A New Way for Nurses to Relieve Stress: Coloring

Any nurse can attest to the fact that the profession can be stressful. Changing protocols at work to manage. Demanding patients and doctors. Trying to figure out how to keep work, school, and family in balance. It all starts to add up.

According to the American Nurses Association, the “effects of stress and overwork” is the top concern of nurses. And, according to a survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing, 62 percent of nurses have thought about quitting their jobs because of stress.

While everyone wishes there was a magic wand to make all the stressors in nurses’ lives disappear, it just doesn’t exist. But, there are a lot of ways to manage stress. Meditation, breathing deeply, asking for help, and laughter are all proven ways to relax and decompress. Now, there’s a new technique to add to that list: coloring!

The Benefits of Coloring for Nurses

In recent years, the trend in adult coloring books has taken off, with a lot of different coloring books being published. There are even clubs and online communities, like this Facebook group, started by nurse and wellness blogger Joyce Harwell, dedicated to adult coloring. A lot of the popularity of coloring can be traced back to coloring’s health benefits. The act of coloring, like meditation and practicing mindfulness, encourages focused activity. Since the brain tends to be able to only concentrate on one thing at a time, coloring pushes all other worries and anxieties to the side.

Using coloring as a stress-relieving activity comes from the approach of art therapy. Art therapy helps people explore and process their feelings and reduce anxiety through making and creating artwork. It’s said that the famous psychiatrist Carl Jung prescribed his patients coloring to calm them as early as the 1900s! While every day coloring can’t be considered art therapy (which involves working with a trained mental health professional), it does have many of the same benefits.

College Students Coloring

There is some extra good news for nursing students! Recently, the benefits of coloring among college students were studied by researchers at the University of New England. These experts looked at the psychological effects of coloring on college students the week before their final exams. The group of students who colored showed reduced signs of anxiety, while the students who didn’t showed no changes in stress levels.

Nurse Coloring Book Pages

All of these studies prove the benefits of coloring for people who experience high stress, like nurses. Madison School of Healthcare is offering free downloadable nurse coloring pages!

The stories on the coloring pages come from real nurses. They show the happy, the sad, and the bizarre moments that happen every day to nurses.

Download the pages and create your own piece of art! Then, when you’re done share your masterpiece on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #ColoringWithNurses.

Help us honor hardworking nurses everywhere! Download the nurse coloring pages.

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Madison School of Healthcare

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