Distraction Therapy

Distraction Therapy was first mentioned to me by an Occupational Therapist after my surgery but when I asked her for ideas (expecting her to have loads up her trained professional and experienced sleeve) she basically shrugged at me and googled ‘meditation’ o_O

So it is worth sharing snippets and suggestions amongst ourselves, methinks.

I find that sometimes, especially during a flare up of my FM, when the pain pills aren’t quite enough, sleep isn’t happening, and I am either too ‘foggy’ or bored or just plain restless for other things to occupy me – there is something I sometimes turn to as a distraction.

I have actually ummed and ahh’d a bit over posting about this, because I imagine there are people out there who might find this amusing, silly perhaps. But I saw another post about it the other week and decided Stuff it!! I will write about it.

Well over a year ago now, when I was hunting in a shop for items to do with this, the shop assistant I asked for help from admitted she does this too as a way to wind down before sleep 😀

I used to use this with my 16-21 yr old learners who had ADHD as a way to calm them and as a break from “learning”, and it worked like a charm. Peace and tranquility would descend in the previously noisy room; they would become absolutely focussed on what they were doing, even the lads, and there would only be an occasional quiet exchange of words and smiles.

So, what am I talking about? You might have guessed from the photo that WP sticks at the top of the post in the Reader. But if not, I am talking about colouring. Yep, with pencils, crayons or in my case Spectrum Noir craft pens and Promarkers, and one of the many colouring books or ‘doodle design’ books around, you can successfully lose yourself for however long you want or need.

There is a definite calming effect, so it’s helpful when you are tense, and it is a brilliant distraction from pain. And if, like me, you can’t draw for toffee, it still allows you to be creative with pen and paper in a way that is otherwise just not possible. (I am rubbish at things like card making – put a combination of paper and glue in my hands and I produce something worthy of a toddler :p )

The pic below is the result of one of my distraction sessions taken from a book designed especially for adults.

I used the set of Promarkers I got for Xmas to do this one

I used the set of Promarkers I got for Xmas to do this one

The only drawback is that you need to place a piece of card behind the page you are working on, otherwise the pens leak through, and you can’t use both sides, despite there being designs on every page. But many of the designs are repeated.

I think the book was about £4.00. You can also find ones that are made to look like stained glass windows, with black outlining around transparent paper that you colour onto.

From the same book

From the same book

See - it even says for Grown-ups on the front LOL

See – it even says for Grown-ups on the front LOL

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34 Responses to Distraction Therapy

  1. What a cool concept! My son once got so involved in his coloring project in kindergarten that he worked all through playtime, but I never thought about using this as a calming technique.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moongazer says:

      It’s surprising how you can ‘zone out’ while doing it. For my learners, they worked best with short, almost bite-size chunks of actual learning and so (depending on the group) I’d break the day up with different activities. This was a great end of the day one for them.
      I also think that, as well as a distraction from pain or stress, that there’s a comfort to be found in what we tend to think of as a child’s activity, even for the most ‘grown up’ of adults 🙂

      Like

  2. Certainly not silly at all, and I wouldn’t laugh at you, it just makes me want to hunt out my colouring books and give it a go. Haven’t done colouring in a long time! I love the pattern type books that you show in your blog. I also have some fairy ones. You are right they do have a calming effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Moongazer says:

    😀
    Yay!! That’s really made me smile 😀
    You really do need to hunt them out, you know 😛
    I have a fairy one too, but its so very detailed I’ve never felt dextrous enough to try it. But I recently discovered you can get extra fine nibs to put onto promarker pens, so they will make it much easier. I need more than 2 though lol

    Like

  4. I just wanted to ask you if it was okay to reblog this. Of course I would give you credit. I have also been thinking about this as well and I would put your post in and then add my two cents. I will make sure there is a clear division yet I didn’t want for people to feel that distraction is out of someones reach because they couldn’t or didn’t want to paint. Let me know if you are game friend. No pressure though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Moongazer says:

    Of course you can! That’s no problem at all 🙂 Thank you. It’s quite an honour, in fact; especially on a post that I let sit in ‘drafts’ for a couple of weeks.
    The little reblog button will put it all onto a post for you, then you add your bit 🙂

    Like

  6. merbear74 says:

    Okay, I want that book! Thank you, I always loved coloring when I was a kid. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. magickmogwai says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who likes colouring. I hadn’t done it for ages until I was recommended a good colouring book by someone I follow on Instagram and it really does help. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dodgysurfer says:

    Interesting. And funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Moongazer says:

    Phew!! I was hoping that’s what you meant 🙂
    Then I would have to take the black pen off you……and give you pink instead lol
    Google “free mandalas” – there are a good few available – print one out, but yourself an inexpensive set of pencils and give it a go 🙂

    Like

  10. Pingback: Calming Influences | Lani Longshore's Blog

  11. Reblogged this on Finding Out Fibro and commented:
    Distraction Therapy and Art Therapy, rolled into one happy technique for doodling away the pain. I really do love this idea and immediately decided to go buy a few of these coloring books for adults!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. loobyloucreations says:

    Hi I too have fibro among what feel like a million other problems! But I just want to say keep colouring! I have lots of colouring books and I love them all. They are a great distraction especially when your gabepentin and pain killers and hear pad are just not helping take the pain away! Gosh I even get giant Disney colouring sheets and colour them in and glitz them up with sequins and glitter and all sorts!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Moongazer says:

    Hiya! Thank you for commenting 🙂
    It’s great to hear from someone else who benefits from this 😀
    There are some fab books out there – my littlun and her fiance bought me a new one at the weekend and it is seriously detailed. Each page will take a lot of concentration which helps with the distractiion.
    I’m sorry to hear you have FM alongside other problems. Fibro by itself is bad enough ((((hugs))))

    Like

  14. annj49 says:

    Loved the post 🙂

    I looked for the book, The Gorgeous Colouring Book for Grown Ups, on Amazon, because I thought I would rather like that, and almost fell over in shock at prices!
    Two prices listed : $132.95 and $343.41
    That’s crazy!!!!

    There is also listed The Creative Colouring Book for Grown Ups, listed at $12.24. Might be able to do THAT one!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This sounds promising for you! I know when I am creating, it’s as if I leave the world behind for a little while. I have never tried to use it to distract myself from pain, or illness, but I can see where it might work

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moongazer says:

      The beauty of colouring for distraction from pain is that there is minimal active thought required whereas when you’re creating something you’re focussed but also actively thinking about your design, technique, trying to make sure its perfect etc. With the colouring your mind is free from all those ‘mini stresses’. If you knit – its the difference between making a stockibg stitch blanket and turning the heel on a sock 😀

      Like

  16. alfgarnet says:

    Omg , your a angel, what a lovely concept, never would of thought that in millions of years, live in pain 24 /7, insomnia, and with memory shot, what a great idea, not sure can get that book in the u,k, but will. Look, thanks once again xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moongazer says:

      You’re very welcome. I’m happy this post has found another person who can benefit from it 🙂
      You should be able to get it coz I am in the UK too 😀

      Like

      • alfgarnet says:

        Been googling and saw one book , art therapy ,mandalas, by Sophie Leblanc,published by jacquiline small , that looks realy good ,,

        Liked by 1 person

        • Moongazer says:

          Ooh I’ll have to go have a look at that one.
          There are a fair few mandalas available online that are free to print out. If you google “free mandalas” you’ll probably find some quite easily.
          The Works had my book in stock before xmas, so it might be worth looking at their website.
          Waterstones also sell a few adult colouring books and have a website.
          There’s also ebay and amazon.co.uk you can try.
          I would send links but they’re on my pc downstairs 😦

          Like

        • Moongazer says:

          Oh my word! That Sophie Leblanc one looks amazing! Thank you for that – its def going on my wishlist 🙂
          I also found this on amazon (hope this link works ok)
          http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1843178699/ref=pd_aw_sim_b_2?refRID=0499G0SNPHJQQK7WVH38

          Like

          • alfgarnet says:

            Thanks for. Like that. Book out. Of. Stock at. Moment but will keep in mind. , and yes what. I saw of Sophie’s book looked amazing , deffenately a must. Gave Me. Thinks and put a carboard under pages and hopefully felt won’t leak through,plus didn’t look that dear either

            Like

          • alfgarnet says:

            ART THERAPY – MANDALAS COLOURING IN AND MEDITATION …
            lobsterandswan.com › arts & crafts
            8 Aug 2014 – Art Therapy Mandalas with illustrations by Sophie Leblanc. … Art Therapy Mandalas Vintage coloured pencils … My new online store …

            Liked by 1 person

          • Moongazer says:

            I’ve just lost myself on amazon for the last half hour LOL Sophie Leblanc has brought out lots of books. Some are in french but that doesnt mattet 🙂 my wishlist grows ever longer.
            If you want to use coloured pencils I recommend good old Crayola. They do a pack of 50 which varies in price depending where you look but I found them on amazon for about £8.50 plus postage.

            Like

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