PIECE OF MIND

Reader's Digest US|April 2020

PIECE OF MIND
Jigsaw puzzles aren’t just fun. They can also relieve anxiety, especially when you put them together, well, together.
Caitlin Agnew

While out shopping for Christmas presents in 2018, I bought myself a jigsaw puzzle on a whim. It was an unusual buy, one that I now recognize as an attempt at dealing with that particular stress many of us experience during the holidays. Don’t get me wrong—I love seeing my family. But holiday get-togethers have a way of putting any personal shortcomings at center stage. This cheery pink puzzle had everything I felt I needed to distract myself in one box. And at $20, the price was right. Why not?

As soon as I started on my puzzle, I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for. Instead of my usual latenight Netflix binge, I was sorting its 1,000 pieces well into the wee hours. I finished it in just a few days. I felt possessed by the soothing, methodical action, almost like I’d been hypnotized or spent hours meditating.

Robyn Breen, a dance instructor at Misfitstudio in Toronto, knows the feeling. At a family gathering years ago, Breen was reintroduced to puzzles and fell in love with their soothing effect.

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April 2020