Troian Bellisario loves coloring: its 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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