6 Unexpected Ways to Recharge for the New Year
Try: Coloring books for adults
Why it works: We've seen them everywhere, and you probably have, too. Magical gardens, faraway cities, aquatic creatures, woodland nymphs and (almost goes without saying) Game of Thrones–themed books can whisk you away from your grown-up problems while you color inside the lines for a few minutes. Yes, it sounds a little silly and overly simplistic, but before you ignore the trend, consider the potential benefit: These books focus your attention on a very simple task to help crowd out negative, stressful thoughts, says Joe Taravella, PhD, a clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor in the department of rehab medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York. The task doesn't require the same level of creativity as traditional art therapy (which is part of what makes art therapy effective), but that's also what makes it accessible. "There can be some anxiety with art therapy for people who don't consider themselves artistic," says Taravella. "They worry about what colors to choose, what to draw or paint, how it will come out. Coloring is just coloring." Consider it the new knitting.