Troian Bellisario loves coloring: ‘it’s a cheap, great hobby’

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Troian Bellisario has a new interview in Wondermind’s email newsletter. Wondermind is Selena Gomez’s mental health platform and covers a variety of topics directly related to mental and emotional health and fitness. Troian, her husband, and one of their children currently have covid and she took some time to speak to Wondermind about how politics affects her, what she does to deal with depression, and knowing her limits and boundaries. Her answer about dealing with frustration and depression is not what I expected: coloring.

How she feels about her activism efforts: It’s a constant ebbing and flowing. I constantly find myself in an apathetic depression. I feel like I can’t affect enough change. I feel like when I desperately care about something and I try to fight for it out in the world or, you know, support people, I constantly feel like my efforts are falling short. I think the only way to actually deal with that is to accept those moments of frustration and then to take a breath and remind myself that I am actually incredibly privileged.

How she deals with frustration and depression: Honestly, baking. And since I have young kids, crafting. Don’t overlook coloring! Don’t sleep on coloring, everybody. It’s a cheap, great hobby. Meditation is a really big one for me, and that goes back to not trying to push away the feelings of frustration or depression or anger or whatever’s coming up for you, but really just accepting them and taking a few minutes to sit with them and be like, Oh, wow, that’s where I am, because you can’t wish feelings away. You have to actually integrate them and understand that you’re feeling them in order to ever hope to feel something else.

Learning about limits and boundaries from her kids: They’re teaching me a lot about boundaries and a lot about limits. I’ve always operated as if the limit does not exist [laughs], and I will just push myself and push myself and push myself until I have nothing left to give and my body collapses or [I] get sick. I am a 36-year-old woman that is very much still at the intro level course of setting boundaries, and I need to constantly be working on it. When I fall back and I’m like, Oh man, I did not set that boundary with that person, and I’m letting them walk all over me, I’m giving myself the grace of being like, Hey, but you’re noticing. That’s a step, you know? Maybe next time we can actually hold to the boundary that you intend instead of just silently resenting that they don’t intuit my boundaries and then respect them.

[From Wondermind Email Newsletter]

Troian talking about “apathetic depression” and feeling unable to affect change exemplifies what a lot of us are feeling, I think. Her recommendations for how to deal with those negative feelings are solid. Adult coloring books had a moment there. I like the idea of them since I’m not artistic enough to draw something from scratch, but I can color inside the lines. Maybe I’ll find a cool one for myself to see if I like it. I think this is pretty solid advice — take up hobbies that get you out of your head and use your hands, but still let you sit with your feelings. Quiet hobbies, if you will, that don’t involve reading (or doom-scrolling). I need to get some of those. The rest of what Troian says rings true. So many people either don’t want to or don’t know how to set limits and boundaries for themselves and end up running themselves ragged. There is such a thing as “toxic positivity” and I think currently people are encouraged to have multiple irons in the fire and do for others at all times, often at their own expense. It’s important to know your limits so you’re not running yourself down because you can’t help anyone then, not even yourself.

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15 Responses to “Troian Bellisario loves coloring: ‘it’s a cheap, great hobby’”

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  1. Lucía says:

    Always here for my favorite Liar!

  2. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    And don’t dismiss simulation games lol. My farm and restaurants keep me so calm. It’s ridiculous, but it works. And coloring does to, only I love using different mediums for applying color to paper (or things). The best advice I gave a friend kinda changed her life. We went garage sale hopping, bought some cheap pieces of wood furniture and transformed them for her new baby’s room. I’ve been doing this for years, and it makes me so happy.

  3. Case says:

    I also love to color to wind down. I have coloring books and also color on my iPad — both ways are super relaxing and fun.

    • Babz says:

      I have several coloring apps on my iPad, and they provide a great stress reliever. I can listen to the news while coloring, and I don’t get as upset as I would without doing it. I lost my closest cousin – more like a sister as we grew up together – last year to covid. During the time she was in the hospital, and after her death, coloring was my go-to grief coping mechanism. My mom used to color with me when I was a child, and I get a sense of closeness to her after all these years.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      I do Pixel Art, Nonogram, and Cross Stitch online and also have some coloring books and LOTS of art supplies.

  4. Nicegirl says:

    I can relate to what she’s saying about boundaries and I really like the idea of giving yourself grace with ‘failure’ and some ‘try try again’ encouragement.

  5. Christine says:

    I rediscovered a love for puzzles. My MIL buys them from thrift stores and passes them on to me when she’s done, and when I’m done I offer them on my neighborhood FB page.

  6. Gelya says:

    I love to color. I agree it really helps with anxiety and depression. I get into a meditative state when I am coloring. Diamond painting is relaxing too. I had to laugh she called coloring a cheap hobby. My coloring area is full of coloring tools from high end to cute things from Dollar Tree. My coloring book collection is worth over $1,000. 🙂

  7. Zantasia says:

    She seems like someone I would want to hang out with. Love reading articles about her.

  8. Mary Tosti says:

    Coloring, lego, puzzles… all great for my anxiety/depression. Also, crosswords and word searches. Quiet things that relax me.

  9. butterflystella says:

    Another adult who colors here. I do the coloring games on my phone as well as actual crayons and books. Very enjoyable and relaxing.

  10. jferber says:

    Me, too. I get coloring books meant for adults (hate the overly elaborate ones with seemingly thousands of small segments to color differently). I found a great coloring book that is fat-positive and it has so many pages I still haven’t finished it. I also have a great one about fantasy fat women astronauts. I like the unusual ones, I guess, and ones that are women-created and feature women.

  11. Fig says:

    I don’t do much coloring nowadays though I agree they are a cheap hobby (instead of adult coloring books I get the cheap childrens ones from the Dollar Tree or 99 cent only stores))

    I highly recommend knitting for anyone looking for a quiet hobby. It’s rhythmic and comforting AND you get something useful out of it. I’m currently working on a pair of lounge socks for my sister.