• Mike Douglas

Taking a Break To Puzzle

It really does feel like a heavy constant flow of work and tasks from late January to July with a number of mental health related events, activities and awareness days. And that’s great, but sometimes you just need a break.


It has been amazing to see engagement and support grow for mental health and I’m delighted by the new support mental health charities and projects are continuing to gain. I have also been delighted by some of the recent podcast episodes/ conversations I have been fortunate enough to have. They have been so varied, it’s been super interesting, insightful and fun to be part of those conversations. Alongside these, I am also preparing the Mental Health Blog Awards 2022 with our Community Leaders. Again something very exciting but also draining. I mention these things because I was delighted and slightly relieved by a recent email.

I was skim reading through my emails when I read an interesting offer from Wentworth Wooden Puzzles regarding reviewing their Mini Mindful Jigsaw Puzzles. After having worked a number of evenings and 2 of the last 3 weekends, the excuse to just stop, have no screens and chill with a puzzle seemed like a great idea to me.

‘Stopping’ is something I really struggle with. It’s been something I’ve shared and written about before over the years, and it remains a difficultly for me. The fact I needed an “excuse” (my own words there), to just take a few moments to do something calming and relaxing I think says a lot for where I still am in terms of managing my wellbeing. I wonder... I think a few of you may also know this feeling too.



Last weekend I sat down to have some mindful puzzle time. I had been sent two puzzles, I picked the one I thought was prettier (and easier) to do first. One of the first things I thought was the puzzle pieces are so well made and there’s some beautiful special pieces too.

This first puzzle (Rainforest) took me around an hour, but I did stop to take photos and just enjoy the break from everything. You could complete this puzzle much faster if you really wanted to. But that was not the purpose I had while completimg this puzzle. It was just a lovely experience. I’d totally do this again after a month or so. I have also looked on the website for other similar puzzles and the 'Into the Beach' and 'Machu Picchu' both look like I'd enjoy them. They could be getting added to a wish list.



The second puzzle (Fractal Geometry), well. This one was different, being honest this one wasn’t for me. It was too hard for my brain, or the way my brain works. It took me just under three hours, over two sittings. And it felt like hard work, haha. That said Laura had a go with the puzzles after me (Laura loves a puzzle), and although she really enjoyed both, she notably preferred this second puzzle and completed it in around an hour. I think potentially Laura enjoyed this one because it was more challenging and had more of an element of patterns about it. Potentially the exact things that made me enjoy it slightly less.



My takeaway is that it’s worth considering what design you are likely to enjoy and find relaxing, if that’s your purpose of puzzling. Definitely have a look at the Mini Mindful Puzzle page to see the different images and pieces. I would also add, a mini is a great way to trial puzzling. It is not something I would usually be drawn to, but I really enjoyed the Rainforest mini. It nicely fitted the line of leisure, pleasure and task for me (I usually need there to be a task).


From the two we tried there is a notable difference between how relaxing I found them. Though Laura was more balanced, enjoying them both. I think it's going to come down to personal preference. Do you want a challenge or something softer (in my mind more pleasurable). I'd definitely recommend taking a look at Wentworth Wooden Puzzles. Personally I loved the Rainforest Mini Mindful Puzzle and the idea of the Mini Mindful Puzzles. They feel very accessible in price, size and I think really fitted my purpose, of having some time to switch off and just take a break. If you fancy something more in depth there are larger puzzles on the website to look at. If you are more a Laura and less a Mike, there's some beautiful 1,500- 2,000 piece puzzles to choose from.

Thanks to Wentworth Wooden Puzzles for sending me the Mini Mindful Puzzles to review; for creating some beautiful designs and reminding me it's good to take a break once in while. You can find out more about them via wentworthpuzzles.com/all-mini-mindful-puzzles. All of the puzzles, mini or larger seem to have the same beautiful sturdy pieces. Plus they are sustainable made, which you can read about on their site.

If you haven't puzzle much before or would currently consider it as a relaxing or mindful activity, I would really recommend trying the Mini Mindful Puzzles and seeing if this is something you could add to your own wellbeing tool kit/ activities.

 

Please note: This post includes sponsored content; I was provided with two free mini puzzles to review. However, Wentworth Wooden Puzzles have not seen this post before it is published, nor have they instructed me on what to say. The views, experinces, thoughts and insights expressed in this post are my own.