April 7


Stress Relief in a Paint Kit for Fibromyalgia

By Sue Ingebretson

April 7, 2020

benefits, brain, chronic illness, fibromyalgia, health, Kits, paint, paint-by-numbers, painting, qigong, relaxation, Stress, stress-relief, tai chi, Winnie's Picks, yoga

Can you brush away stress? It’s possible if you use a paintbrush and a paint-by-numbers kit. Craft kits can help with relaxation, stress relief, negative thoughts and much more. For those with fibromyalgia, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, and other lifestyle challenging issues, this is very good – and entertaining – news.

Have you ever used a paint-by-numbers kit? I’m excited to share my review of Winnie’s Picks Paint-By-Numbers Kit product. As a chronic illness blogger, they graciously gifted me a kit to try and I can’t wait to share my review with you.

Stress Relief Paint Kit for Fibromyalgia

First of all, let me say how happy I am to bring this product review to you. The pairing of a product and the message of stress relief happens far too seldom.

There are many stress-relieving techniques,

but very few stress-relieving products.

Let me clarify, there are few stress-relieving products that I would consider reviewing. Other than practices such as prayer, deep breathing, moving meditations (tai chi, qigong, yoga, etc.), and connecting with nature, there aren’t a lot of “tools” or products to use that can induce a relaxed state.

I look for products that are high-quality, highly effective, and reasonably easy to obtain by most of my Rebuilding Wellness community.

Fortunately, this product qualifies hands-down on all counts.  

Stress relief for #Fibromyalgia with fun, crafty #PaintByNumbers #Kit Click To Tweet

Stress Relief in a Tube

It’s kinda weird to think of stress-relief coming in a tube. But in this case, it does. From my experience, the product tube from Winnie’s Picks isn’t an industry-standard mailer.

I’ve purchased other paint by numbers kits for myself and my children over the years and they’ve always come in a small box or a flimsy plastic bag. The canvas is therefore folded, crushed, and often irreparably wrinkled.

It’s obvious that the kits I’ve used in the past were meant to simply pass the time and the final product wasn’t designed to be a lasting treasure. And, they certainly weren’t high quality enough to give as gifts (unless, perhaps as a white elephant type).

Because the Winnie’s Pick’s canvas is neatly rolled, there’s really no prep work necessary to get started. You can lightly iron your canvas first to make it completely flat (it does want to curl since it’s been rolled) but it isn’t necessary. I didn’t iron mine. More on usage tips in a bit.

For now, let’s get to the stress-relieving benefits next.

Painting Your Way to Healthy Benefits

I can totally geek out on this part. The topics of stress, relaxation, the brain, and the impact on the chronic illness body is my jam.

After all, I’ve written books on the subject, including my own activity book which provides also provides the benefits listed here (I’ll share more below).

Potential Health Benefits of Coloring, Painting, and Crafting

Here are just a few of the health benefits you may anticipate: [1],[2], [3]

  • Reduction of stress and anxiety.
  • Inducement of feelings of calm and relaxation.
  • Potential to improve quality of sleep.
  • Improved hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Improved focus in a relaxing and easy way.
  • Improved positivity through quiet mindfulness.
  • Fosters a break from technology.
  • Brain health benefits from going into a meditative state.
  • Exercise of both the left and right sides of the brain.*
  • Slows over-anxious brain activity, enhancing the ability to problem-solve, seek reason, and concentrate.
  • Improves self-awareness – regulates breathing, stabilizes heart rate, etc.
  • Can stimulate positive childhood memories of getting lost in a simple happy activity.
  • Exercises important synapses in the mind that can stimulate memory and positive thoughts.
  • Provides an intentional and pragmatic way to “take a break.” The body needs time to relax, rejuvenate, and repair.

*By enhancing the function of both sides of the brain, this type of activity is unique. It doesn’t just boost levels of creativity. It stimulates the creative side of the brain, for sure, and it also stimulates the logical side which has to do with overall planning, organization, and following a pattern or directions.

How to Start Using Your Paint-By-Numbers Kit

The directions that come with the kit are fairly sparse. I suspect that’s because most of it is self-explanatory. And, they possibly don’t want you to feel cramped in your approach – like, there’s only one way to do things. My take-away is that the production of this piece can be as unique as you are.

My canvas came rolled up and pristine. Wrinkle-free. I chose to wrap it around a piece of cardboard and secured the edges with some painter’s tape (since my hubby is in the construction industry – both duct tape and painter’s blue tape are in abundant supply. I think painter’s tape is a better choice as it’s removable.)

There are several brushes to choose from and I use them based on the size of the area I wanted to paint. Since I’m right-handed, I selected a main color from the upper left-hand corner and started there. The rest is in-process (I hope to update with finished pics when I’m done.)

The paints are smooth and not gloppy. I haven’t had to thin any of mine yet, but I’ve read that it’s okay to do so if needed. I make a point to secure the lids of each color when I’m done and keep them all in an air-tight Ziploc bag. I also have a paper plate handy while I paint so I have a place to put down my wet brush when needed.

You can find more directions and tutorials with the links provided.  

A Myriad of Kits to Choose from at Winnie’s Picks


The one main challenge I had was narrowing down my choices to just one kit. Fortunately, I can (and have) ordered more from Winnie’s Picks.

There are so many categories of kits to choose from – florals, pets, animals, abstracts, landscapes, and cute vintage images too. There’s also a category of easy kits for beginners.

If you prefer, there’s an option to create your own image. You can submit a photograph (pets, grandchildren, vacation scenes – you name it) and have a custom-made image completed just for you.

Check out this blog post to get some ideas on how to go about selecting a photo for your custom-designed paint by numbers kit.  

So, why do painting kits help with relaxation? Here are a dozen things to consider.  

12 Reasons Why I Think Painting Kits Kick Stress to the Curb

Just think about it – how many stress-relieving techniques do you know? If asked, you can probably list at least 5 off the top of your head. But, have you tried them? Are you doing them consistently now?

That’s likely a very different thing.

When it comes to stress-relieving activities —

It’s common to not do

what we think we should do.

Instead of feeling defeated for not following through with your yoga practice or feeling stuck about starting a meditation routine, consider the tips below.

Here are the reasons why I think painting kits overcome natural resistance to consistent relaxation practices. These key points share why this fun crafting practice can help you get on track and stay on track when it comes to stress-relief.  

  1. It’s bigger than a breadbox. When you have your canvas stretched out over cardboard or laid out on a table, it’s not easy to forget. We may forget to do deep breathing, but we’re not likely to forget something we see often. (Don’t overlook [pun intended] how powerful this is when it comes to how our environment influences our tendency to take action.)
  2. No real skills needed. All you need is some way to hold a brush. Pretty simple, eh? (You, technically, don’t even have to be able to read. Talk about a low threshold for gaining access.)
  3. Reasonable price. Again, there’s a low threshold for access. The ready-made kits are offered at a fair price and even the custom ones – while more expensive – are still within reason.
  4. Fast delivery. Friendly service. Winnie’s Picks prides themselves on these foundational principles. So, if there’s any concern, reach out to them and ask.
  5. Built-in Motivation! Have you ever started a project and not finished it? (I won’t ask you if you won’t ask me.) Unlike so many other stress-relieving practices, when you do a paint by numbers project, you actually SEE your progress. As your creation come to life before your eyes, your brain gets a natural hit of dopamine. You feel a lovely sense of accomplishment. Accomplishment naturally leads to motivation which prompts you to continue. This means no effort, no willpower, no extra oomph is needed to keep you going. Before you know it – voila! – you’ll be done.
  6. Tangible Results. Again, unlike other stress management techniques that bring on “feel good” benefits, this one brings “feel good” and “looks good” benefits together. You get to actually see and hold your physical project.
  7. Benefits from Day 1. Most other skill-building activities take practice and repetition to complete. The goal is to stick with the activity until the desired result is achieved. The goal is the desired result – the finish. In projects such as paint by numbers, the feeling that you’re accomplishing something begins on Day 1 and continues to build day-by-day. Yes, finishing is great, but you can feel good about your progress all the way through, each and every day.
  8. So portable. The project and all the supplies are still mobile enough to be carried wherever you choose. Work on whatever surface suits you and the time of day. No worries. Catch the afternoon sunshine in your kitchen or work in the quiet of another corner of your home. Whatever suits your mood.
  9. Predictable results. It can’t get clearer than this. You actually have a picture of what it will look like. WYSWYG — what you see is what you’ll get. Unless, of course, you totally go rogue and forgo the directions and instead use eeny-meeny to choose your colors. Or, if you spill your green smoothie on it. Odds are that’s not gonna happen. So, you already know how it’s going to look when you’re done – fabulous!
  10. Can’t meditate? Do this instead! This (and other creative endeavors) can be used as a meditative practice. All the benefits of meditation and a beautiful end-product to boot!
  11. Take the pressure off. Don’t fret about your next special gift-giving occasion. Choose to either paint something meaningful yourself to gift to someone or wrap up a kit to give. Whether it’s a favorite scene or a custom image, your recipient will value this one-of-a-kind present.
  12. Let your inner Van Gogh have a go. For those of us who can’t really paint or draw freehand, paint by number kits can help us to feel as if we can. In this case, faking it is highly encouraged. Your beliefs (or disbeliefs ) in your creative talents don’t matter. All that matters is that you’ll discover a sense of accomplishment as you go along and a sense of completion when you finish.

My Own Contribution to Crafty Stress Release

I mentioned earlier that I’d written my own books on stress management (and much more).

Get Back into WhackYou can pick up my recent book* release, Get Back into Whack on Amazon. You’ll discover all sorts of tips on stress-relief, relaxation, and brain health inside this powerful book. 

Chronic Coloring CoverAnd, even more relevant — check out my pretty mandala coloring and activity book.* You can find out more information in this blog post that shares what’s included in this fun and super-affordable book.

You can find my activity book, Chronic Coloring on Amazon.

Here’s to you completing your own paint-by-numbers project soon. Be sure to let me know how it goes!

*Book links include Amazon affiliate program links. Through this program, I may earn a few pennies from your Amazon purchases and I’m grateful for every single one!

[1] https://www.beaumont.org/health-wellness/blogs/health-benefits-of-coloring-for-adults

[2] https://www.colorit.com/blogs/news/85320388-amazing-benefits-of-coloring-for-adults

[3] https://www.developgoodhabits.com/benefits-adult-coloring/

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson