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One Weird Way to Relax On the Plane

There are many ways to distract yourself on a flight: Read, watch something, listen to music or a podcast. But if you’re seeking a more dynamic activity—one that keeps you busy and imparts a least a small sense of accomplishment—we have an idea.

Get some crayons. Get a coloring book. Get coloring.

You may have already heard about the millennial-fueled adult coloring book craze, which various media outlets have covered over the past year. We’re talking about adults using coloring books—not adult-themed coloring books (though those do exist).

Coloring helps cut stress, experts say. Psychologist Antoni Martínez tells the Huffington Post, “I recommend it as a relaxation technique. We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state. We can also use it to connect with how we feel, since depending on our mood we choose different colors or intensity. I myself have practiced that. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow.”

Related: Stop Manspreading on Planes

Think of it as a little art therapy while you’re stuck in a plane seat.

Since coloring is an acceptable pastime for adults now, you can find plenty of designs appropriate for your advanced age group. There’s no need to resign yourself to black-and-white outlines of Disney princesses and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (unless that’s your thing). There are lots of adult-coloring books for sale at bookstores everywhere. Here is a Ryan Gosling coloring book. Here is the Hipster Coloring Book for Adults. Here is a Star Wars coloring book with accompanying 3-D glasses that is certainly not for adults, but no one is stopping you from wearing 3-D glasses that have the Star Wars logo on them on the plane. YOLO.

As far as crayons go, we recommend traveling light with a modest set featuring mostly primary colors. A small pack of good old Crayolas is a good bet. This eight-pack set costs $2. Or just steal your supplies from the hostess station at a local Red Robin.

Would you color in a coloring book while on a plane?

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