Things are crazy at times, stress seems to be coming at me from every side these days and what I need to be able to do sometimes is turn off my brain. I need to stop the wheels from turning and NOT think about the bills needing to be paid, or another doctor’s visit, or hubby’s work problems, or family issues, or any of the myriad of things that can cause me anxiety or sleepless nights.
One way for me to do that is by working on a puzzle. It doesn’t have to be a difficult one, it can be a simple puzzle that takes barely any time at all. But the act of sitting down and using my brain to figure out where the colors and shapes fit together shuts out most stresses and anxiousness if only for a few minutes at a time. It’s an escape, even if only a short one, from the everyday stress-inducing annoyances of life.
Having 5 or 10 minutes to sit down and work on a puzzle is essential for me. When I’m working on a puzzle I get so engrossed in what I’m doing that there’s no extra space in my head for the outside pressures. All of these pieces will end up fitting together somehow and making a beautiful picture and what is required of me is just some time, fine motor skills, and a little brain power.
Even if I’m not feeling well and lying in bed most of the day I can still grab a tray full of pieces and put a small bit of the big puzzle together. It clears my head, it helps me relax, and it makes me happy. Even rearranging the pieces on the trays or condensing from 2 trays to 1 is calming for me in a slightly OCD way, and helps me to get out of my head and turn off my brain.
In short, puzzles are slightly like xanax for me, keeping me calm when the world is upsetting, and giving me a small respite from the pressures of life. As long as I have a little me time – preferably with a puzzle – things should be ok. And if they’re not ok, at least I assembled a pretty picture to look at. 🙂