The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 11, 2020 1:00 am

No puzzle about what to do

Activity is perfect winter activity to do alone, with others


During the blustery cold days and cozy nights at home this winter, there's no better time to rediscover the simple pleasures and quiet joys of indoor activities that help you relax and reconnect with family. Over the winter, families everywhere are eager to unplug, get away from screens, and spend quality time together.

One great activity to help you do that is puzzling, which you can enjoy alone or with friends and family.

Research showed that 1 in 2 Americans puzzle at least once a year. A study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Ravensburger found that American adults puzzle for a number of different reasons – from millennials looking for an escape from their digital world to seniors who like activities that help them stay mentally fit. Perhaps also not surprisingly, 3 in 4 of those surveyed said that they puzzle most during the winter months.

Here are a few of the benefits of taking a little time in your day to work on a jigsaw puzzle.

'Me' time

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, especially after the holiday season has wrapped and the coldest winter months set in. This time of year, it's more important than ever to be checking in on your self-care habits and creating a sense of wellness in your life. Jigsaw puzzles provide a relaxing, tactile and meditative outlet that is sure to keep the winter blues at bay. You can choose a picture that is sure to bring you joy once it's completed – from a beautiful piece of art or a cultural icon such as a 3D replica of a double-decker London bus – puzzling gives you the opportunity to bring your favorite things to life in a fun new way.

The results are all positive – puzzling helps you de-stress, improves your memory, and boosts your problem-solving skills.

Puzzling on your own lets you choose how often and for how long you enjoy the activity. Leaving a puzzle in progress on a kitchen or dining room table lets you complete your puzzle at your own pace and reminds you to pause and take a moment to slow down every so often.

'We' time

In the Ipsos study, 7 out of 10 (69%) respondents who puzzle saw it as a family tradition activity, and 59% said that they like to do puzzles while they're on vacation or over holiday break.

Jigsaw puzzles can be a fun and effortless way to reconnect with family and friends of all ages. When everyone gathers around the table to puzzle together, it offers opportunities for relaxed conversations and connection with each other, away from the formality of a meal or structured activity. 

Working on puzzles allows everyone to unplug from technology, slow down and live in the moment together. In fact, 84% of those surveyed said that they usually puzzled together with others.

Why do people like to puzzle, whether alone or together? Those who regularly puzzle said that their main reasons are relaxation (59%), fun (57%), stress relief (47%), and brain boosting (42%) – all of which are especially important to maintain during the short, cold winter days.

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