Why the humble jigsaw is making a not-so-puzzling comeback with its serious mental health benefits.
In a world inundated with digital noise, a quiet revolution is taking place. It's one that doesn't involve algorithms, endless notifications, endless scrolling, or gram-worthy snaps of your brunch. Instead, it promotes addictively mindful moments, order amongst the chaos, hours of screen-free family fun, and a challenge over which you can most definitely prevail. Puzzled?
JIGSAW PUZZLES ARE MAKING A REMARKABLE COMEBACK AND IT'S A COMEBACK THAT EXTENDS WELL BEYOND YOUR NANA'S FORMICA TABLE.
Originally invented in the early 1760s by a mapmaker, jigsaw puzzles (or dissected maps as they were known) are making a remarkable comeback - and it's a comeback that extends well beyond your Nanas Formica kitchen table. Often overlooked in our fastpaced lives, The Puzzling Comeback,' as we like to call it, is a response to our hyper-connected, screen-saturated existence. It urges us to carve out time (that might otherwise be spent scrolling or binge-watching) and gain some much-needed balance and calm in our lives. Sound too good to be true? Let's unpack some of the pieces.
The family that puzzles together ... doesn't fight!
Getting kids off their screens (and ourselves) is no mean feat, and in an effort to instil some old-fashioned family fun, typically, board games spring to mind. But often, you'll find rivalry rife and tears and tantrums abundant. Jigsaw puzzles are an easy and inexpensive way to unplug for kids and adults alike; they're cooperative and social, and allow you to be fully present while spending some serious quality time with your fam - that's a win-win-win!
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, IT'S MIDNIGHT, AND YOU'RE STILL HUNTING FOR 'JUST ONE MORE PIECE'.
Let's get mental.
While you're soaking up that meditative state, you'll also be rewarding yourself with some serious mental health benefits. Puzzling is a complete workout for your brain (engaging both your creative right side and your logical left), and just like hitting the gym, the more you work it out, the stronger it gets. Flexing these muscles boosts your problem-solving skills and helps with focus, patience, concentration and mental speed. And when those pieces click just right, your brain cheers you on with a hit of the feel-good hormone dopamine - an instant optimism and mood booster.
Get Zen, but make it fun.
Yep, we all know we probably should be starting the day journalling what we're grateful for, downing a glass of warm lemon water and meditating for 10 minutes. But life gets busy, and mindfulness practices aren't always that easy. Sitting down to a jigsaw puzzle is an accessible way to bring some Zen into your day. It's calming, tactile, and engrossing, and before you know it, it's midnight, and you're still hunting for 'just one more piece'.
IT PROMOTES ADDICTIVELY MINDFUL MOMENTS.
Puzzle together, puzzle alone, puzzle 'til midnight.
Kids, friends, partners, parents or nanas; puzzles transcend generational barriers and encourage us to move away from the isolation of screens and favour connection instead. And if they claim they're not into puzzles, challenge them to walk by your part-completed puzzle without searching for a piece to add - they have a gravitational pull like nothing else. Best of all, if you want to do it on your own while listening to your favourite podcast, that's fine, too!
Get your puzzle on.
What are you waiting for? Set your phone to silent, pour yourself a cup of tea (or your favourite tipple), pop on your slippers and get your puzzle on - you won't regret it.