The past 12 months have been rough for just about everyone. The pandemic, 2020 in general, the winter storms that hit the country over the past few months… An unfortunate wave of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental struggles have forced themselves into many of our lives. But did you know there is an easy way to help combat those struggles? You can find it on the table of Bubba’s Fish Shack.

Of course, spending time at Bubba’s Fish Shack with family and friends while eating delicious food is a great place to start, we were referring to the table itself. Or more specifically the butch block paper you find on the table. Sure it is there for a purpose that goes deeper than keeping the kids occupied between ordering and having your food brought to the table, but in this case, we are referring to the images on that paper that some of us enjoy coloring in. It may seem silly but coloring has several mental health benefits!

Coloring can help relieve stress. Certain coloring activities help relax the section of the brain that gets activated when you feel stressed or scared. This same section of the brain can be stimulated positively by coloring complex images like mandalas. A 2005 study found that this dramatically reduces stress and anxiety levels and can be especially helpful for those that suffer from PTSD or depression.

Coloring is like exercise for your mind! Coloring activates the parts of the brain that are responsible for logic and creativity. It is a good exercise for your brain because it uses both sides of the brain at the same time. This helps promote coordination and motor skills.

Coloring is a form of meditation. Let’s be honest, sitting on the floor with your legs crossed in a silent environment doesn’t work for most of us. But sitting down to color a complex image sounds fun. How many times have you caught yourself zoned out and doodling at the top of a page during a meeting? That is meditation! Allowing your mind to get lost in the focus of coloring an object can be a form of meditation.

Coloring can help you make new friends and reduce social anxiety. Have you heard of a “wine and paint” party?  Well, some communities are taking it one step further and are forming coloring clubs that promote social interaction and discussion between members of the community all based around coloring.

Coloring helps put your mind into a more positive state. This is sometimes called “thought swapping” or switching out a negative thought with a positive one. This an extremely common way to battle stress.

Another way coloring helps you control active stress is the “Self-Soothing Technique”. Frequently used for infants and young children, self-soothing is something we can do as adults as well. We teach children to self-soothe as an essential coping method and how to combat tough experiences. Coloring can do the same thing for adults. Coloring helps you combat tough experiences without getting wrapped up in the accompanying emotions.

Coloring also helps you slow down and relax. The world today has become a rat race. Rush to work, rush home, rush the kids here and there, don’t forget to do this, hurry up and do that. It’s a wonder we don’t have smoke coming out of our ears. Being able to take your time on something that doesn’t judge you on your performance is very freeing and refreshing.

We know that you prefer to be spending time with friends, eating at Bubba’s Fish Shack, but we also know that not all of our friends live locally. We love our guests and treasure our friendships with you. So if you ever find yourself in a position where you just need to chill out and Bubba’s feels too far away, sit down and color yourself a picture!