Say what you will, but I love puzzles! Most people I tell this to think this is odd – especially since I prefer to do them by myself. Family and friends marvel at the pieces before me when I first dump them out and usually comment about how they would not have the patience. And of course, there are the friends who think I belong in a retirement home. But I love puzzles for so many reasons.
Firstly, it’s just so cathartic! Being able to take something from utter chaos to order is weirdly satisfying if you can be patient throughout the process.
It’s also a great way to have some me-time away from a screen. Usually, I play a podcast or YouTube conversation with someone I enjoy, but it’s all just background noise for me, as I play around and do something tactile. Also, for those of us who don’t always learn with our hands, it’s a great way to waken up other senses.
Puzzling can be a good gateway to mindfulness and flow when we totally zone in and get invested in making it happen.
Then there’s the cognitive benefits. Occasionally you have to problem solve when you realize you put a piece in the wrong place. In this last puzzle, I had to take out two whole sections to see where I went wrong. And then there’s the initial strategy, too. Like many others, I begin with the border to frame it all together. Then, I colour codes to the best of my ability. And yes, sometimes I “cheat” a bit and categorize by letter (because the makers of trickier ones usually alphabetize the pieces on the back).
Regardless, it’s a peaceful activity that helps me slow down when my mind is racing. If the day or week has been stressful, I can look forward to something calm by putting together a beautiful picture from what was once a jumbled mess.
So, give it a try! Put something together and see how you feel.