When I was a young boy (really stretching the memory cells now) I played many games. Some of these were by myself as I was an only child. I was given a few jigsaw puzzles as presents and enjoyed the challenge of completing them.
As I grew older there were many other distractions and I lost interest in jigsaws completely. For over half a century I forgot all about their existence.
All that changed in March 2020 when two events happened simultaneously. My mental meltdown and the spread of Covid. My OH realised I desperately needed something to occupy my time. She spoke to a few friends and a very kind lady delivered three jigsaw boxes leaving them outside our front door.
Over the last 30 months we have had a jigsaw on the go most of the time. Winter months in the dining room and moving to the conservatory in the summer light.
For me jigsaws have delivered two great benefits. Firstly in the immediate aftermath of my meltdown they acted as a wonderful distraction technique. They provided my mind with something to do rather continually dwell about my terrible MH. Secondly they have provided relaxing hours compiling pictures with and without my OH.
I realised some time ago that jigsaws were beneficial in treating poor MH. In fact my research has confirmed that jigsaws are a great meditation tool and stress reliever. They keep the brain active and reinforce the connections between brain cells, improving mental speed and short term memory.
Some facts that you may not know about jigsaws:
* The first one was invented by John Spilsbury around 1760.
* The jigsaw with the greatest number of pieces had 551,232 pieces and measured around 48ft by 76ft!
* The largest commercially available jigsaw has 54000 pieces is called “Travel by Art” and sold by “Grafika”.
* In the late sixties the “Rolling Stones” sang the Jigsaw Puzzle song.
We are fortunate because we have a market stall nearby that buys and sells jigsaws. They charge £5 for an almost new one and give back £2 if you return it to them.
I have one small health warning about these puzzles. If I am finding one difficult and am making very slow progress, sometimes I can get frustrated and my anxiety level can increase. I am fairly self aware so I will stop and do something else for a while.
I would love to hear about your jigsaw experiences and if they help your MH.
A Moodscope member.
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