If this is the time of year for you where you need a good distraction more than anything, I thought I would find some alternative activities for you to get you through the month!
The following will be my personal suggestions, and other ideas I have come across. If you follow my blogs, you will not be surprised that the first thing I can think of is to get out of town! Avoid the holiday shopping madness and escape to an exotic destination, not to spend a specific holiday with anyone, but just for your own personal enrichment. Perhaps take an exciting "alternative holiday" where you volunteer and give back to a specific group or community. I will recommend books at the bottom of this post from the library that can be borrowed with specific ideas for destinations.
The other activity that I have personally started getting into is the adult colouring trend. I now own all of Johanna Basford’s books: Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest, and Lost Ocean. She is a Scottish illustrator who uses pens and pencils to create illustrations, predominantly in black and white outlines, which can be coloured in with pencils, crayons, thin markers, or pens. The drawings are very intricate and detailed, and the act of colouring in her drawings, finishing them or adding to them yourself or finding hidden treasures among them is completely therapeutic (at least for me). There has been some fuss in the media over her books, and art therapists have recommended the act of colouring to soothe nerves and lessen anxiety, tension, and stress.
This is a completely addictive activity (if you like this sort of thing and enjoy creative activities). I can see the holiday season being the perfect time to stay at home and stock up on these books (and other adult colouring books on the market) and quietly colour to your heart's content while others are busy pushing through the huge holiday crowds at the malls.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful to get through the month of December. These are just my personal suggestions, but please feel free to share in the comments below some of your personal favourites! Whatever you end up doing this time of year, stay warm and enjoy!
- Question and Answer session with Johanna Basford
- Toronto Public Library now has Colouring Book Program you can attend as well!
Daniel Rotsztain is a freelance artist, writer, and cartographer. Throughout 2015, Rotsztain visited every public library in Toronto and illustrated their exteriors, releasing the collection online.
And please see the following related materials that can be borrowed from Toronto Public Library.