The Anxiety Coping Technique That Turned Into a Passion Project


You may be thinking, really, another coloring article? But hang in there with me, and let me tell you my story as I reflect back on Mental Health Awareness Month.

About two years ago, I started having anxiety attacks. I felt like I was in a chronic state of stress at work. And to top things off, my partner and I were planning our wedding. Prior experiences had been stressful, but the attacks were new for me; the tight chest, the shaky feeling I had on the inside while finding it hard to move, the migraine after. It was scary and I didn’t know how to help myself or how to tell those who cared about me what I needed for support.

It got to the point where I realized I couldn’t get through this alone — sometimes that realization and acceptance is the hardest part — so I sought out help from a professional. Along with therapy, I tried a range of different coping strategies and now use a combination of them to manage my anxiety. I took a meditation class, I started walking outside more and I started coloring. Coloring became one of the most successful coping techniques I developed. And for a while, I was grabbing every adult coloring book I could find and going through packs of markers like it was my job.

Back at my actual job, I realized I needed a project for myself to feel reinvigorated. Science outreach has always been my passion, but over the years, that passion got farther and farther away from what I spent my time doing at my 9 to 5 position. One night, while coordinating patterns and colors, I had a lightbulb moment for a side hustle.

I thought, what if I designed a coloring book that celebrated women in science and technology careers? And with that, “Super Cool Scientists” was born. “Super Cool Scientists” features 22 amazing women in science, technology, engineering and math careers. A community of people from all over the world have come together in support of the coloring book idea, with a successful Kickstarter campaign and positive feedback to follow.

It’s hard for me to express the deep gratitude I feel for everyone who has supported both me and the project throughout this process. I’m grateful, not just because their support helped get the book designed and published, but also because their support validates something that is so connected to my anxiety. It helped me realize my journey of learning to live with anxiety can also have a positive side. Coloring helped me calm down and it also helped spark an idea that reignited my spirit. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock via shironosov 


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Anxiety

Fitness girl lifting dumbbell in the morning.

How Weightlifting Eases My Anxiety

Throughout my life, I’ve unsuccessfully tried several different gyms and workout routines, never quite finding the right fit for me. I always had the desire to get in shape and go to the gym, but I continually considered it a chore that would only heighten my anxiety. I had never in my life considered weightlifting. I [...]
"Woman with long colorful hair hanging upside down. Face/body, hair and background are on separate layers. Each hair strand is an individual object. Easy to change colors. Cropped via clipping mask. Extra folder includes Illustrator CS2 AI and PDF files."

The Breaking Point That Told Me I Needed to Get Help for My Anxiety

I think I’ve always been an anxious person. Always seeking the approval of others, worrying and overanalyzing everything. Going the extra mile to please everyone and apologizing for everything — even when it wasn’t my fault. So many thoughts and questions with no safe answers to give me peace of mind. I wanted to seek [...]
Friends chatting on bench

When Anxiety Is Your Best Friend

Anxiety is my best friend. When I was a young girl, I met someone who changed my perspective on life. She was my friend, someone who was there for me in ways I couldn’t explain. We were attached at the hip from the very beginning, and it remained that way for some time. She was [...]
yellow converse stepping up over rock

47 'Little Signs' You're Recovering From Anxiety

We talk a lot about what it’s like to be in the throes of anxiety — the panic attacks, racing heart, spiraling thoughts, overwhelming fear and sometimes, irrationality. But seldom do we talk about what being “in recovery” for anxiety looks like, or what it even means. This can leave many people wondering what signs [...]