A large portion of the last 18 months has been spent inside adapting to our new lifestyles. The hour-long daily commute turned into walking from bed to kitchen, in-person meetings became virtual, and schooling happened at home. Even the weekly date night became ANOTHER Netflix film on the sofa.
Looking for ways to cure boredom and getting creative when doing so has been a daily struggle.
There’s no denying that the pandemic has been confusing, challenging and sometimes a strain on our mental health. Although often hard at times, finding an escape was the only way to make the days go a little bit quicker. And, for many, it wasn’t just self-boredom that needed busting. Living with little ones and trying to provide enough entertainment to fill the day is often challenging, pandemic or no pandemic!
With strict measures in place, we were forced to find ways to pass the time indoors. Some people became star bakers, mastering a sourdough loaf and banana bread. Many took to journaling as a way to process their feelings, and others found enjoyment in a good old-fashioned jigsaw puzzle.
Puzzles date back to the 1760s when mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. Puzzling is by no means a new invention; they have been used as educational tools and games for years. But the interest in puzzling during lockdown has indeed surged, and not just from children. And it’s no surprise, as well as being a great boredom buster, jigsaw puzzles have been proven to have several health benefits too!
The Health Benefits of Puzzling
Finding a distraction that doesn’t involve staring at a screen for hours can be challenging. Puzzling is the perfect way to pass the time, de-stress and practise mindfulness. It also has excellent health benefits too; let’s take a look at a few.
- Improve cognitive and visual-spacial reasoning.
- Improve short term memory.
- Great meditative tool and stress reliever.
- Spark imagination and creativity.
- Great family activity.
- Reduce chances of Alzheimer’s.
- Increase concentration.
As you can see, there are several benefits to sitting down with a good jigsaw puzzle; improvements can be seen in both mental and physical health.
Types of Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles aren’t only for your 74-year-old Nan to sit down with on a Sunday afternoon or your toddler to practise their fine motor skills. Puzzles vary massively and are a challenge for everyone; you’re sure to find a style of puzzle that you love just as much as they do.
So which puzzle should you choose?
2D puzzles are the most common style that you will find. They come in a variety of pictures, patterns and designs to suit everyone. Typically you will find that 2D puzzles range in difficulty and are available in 500 or 1000 pieces. However, this can be higher or lower. The Guinness World Record for the world’s largest puzzle is recorded at just over 40,000 pieces!
Puzzle patterns arent always floral gardens or species of birds. How about tackling our Looks Like a Kardashian Puzzle - 1000 Piece Puzzle with the pop culture enthusiast in your life. Or the Who's For A Latte - 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle as the perfect Christmas gift for a coffee lover.
3D puzzles add an extra level of challenge and are considered more difficult than 2D. Typically made of foam to secure the structure, 3D puzzles are perfect to complete as a family and have positive effects on social relationships. This jigsaw puzzle style doesn’t need much floor or table space as they are built up rather than out to create a rewarding finished result.
Colour In and Custom Designed
Colouring in puzzles has only black and white pieces, allowing you to get creative with the colours once complete. Although generally slightly trickier to put together, it gives you double the satisfaction after completion.
Another excellent choice of puzzle is the custom design. Many companies allow you to send in a chosen photo to be turned into your very own custom jigsaw puzzle. This gives you the freedom to create any puzzle that you wish! A beautiful personalised gift for a loved one, perfect for any occasion. How about turning a wedding photo into a special anniversary present or challenging the kids with a puzzle made from a family dog photo? The possibilities are endless!
Jigsaw puzzles provide entertainment and a sense of accomplishment, all whilst escaping the realities of the outside world. And you’re not alone with love for them. In fact, if you enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle, then you share a hobby with Hugh Jackman, Kylie Jenner and the Queen! We like to think that she’d enjoy our Floral 1000 Piece Puzzle.
It’s no wonder that so many people enjoy a jigsaw puzzle. Completing the challenge of a puzzle not only brings joy from the feeling of achievement, but it has been proven that it increases the brain production of Dopamine. The neurotransmitter regulates mood and optimism and enhances feelings of motivation and concentration. Activities that increase the levels of Dopamine are said to have addictive effects. So it’s no surprise that it’s so hard to walk away from a puzzle!
So next time you’re looking for a new hobby or a way to relax and improve your mood, challenge your brain and bring the family together, why not try one of our beautifully designed jigsaw puzzles. An ideal gift to add to your Christmas list or to buy for a loved one.