Puzzling through the Pandemic

by Paul Edmunds on December 21, 2020

Jigsaw Relief

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the way many of us live our lives - and for far longer than we anticipated. Therefore it is to be expected that it is also affecting people’s mental health.

There are lots of ways to make a mental health problem more manageable, and regularly completing jigsaw puzzles is just one method that has proven results. In fact the sales of jigsaws during the COVID-19 situation have boomed with many manufacturers reporting that they sold out! Even before lockdowns trapped us all at home, the power of puzzles to completely absorb us and help us relax, was seen in the 132% year on year increase in sales in the UK.

So what is it about puzzling that people have loved so much and is it really good for you?

Puzzling reduces stress by occupying and engaging the mind to create a sense of calm and serenity (SPBH.org, 2017). As a puzzle is pieced together, external worries and stress decreases as the mind focuses on an activity that is both meditative and satisfying. 

The beauty of a jigsaw is that it can be an excellent solo activity but can also bring people together when solved in a group. There’s nothing like leaving a puzzle out on the side to entice someone to find a home for at least a couple of the pieces! 

I love puzzles and find them really relaxing. I have done many in lockdown, and very many during the last few weeks of closures when I needed to quieten my mind in the midst of our #MakeRetailFair campaign.

This year Paul and I have taken some extra time and attention seeking out the most beautiful puzzles. Not only do they make the perfect gift for people (and for yourself) but we also believe that they may be the best craze for our teenagers too!

Mucha Angela Harding Moomins Gustav Klimt
Another recent survey I read said that half of 14-24 year olds reported Instagram and Facebook increased feelings of anxiety (BBC.co.uk, 2018). With these stats growing every year, people are recognising the importance of having a regular digital detox and dedicating time to take a mental break away from online pressures to refocus the mind. And jigsaws provide just that. I can certainly vouch for that myself.

Here are all of our puzzles listed online. But don’t forget that the Exeter and Tavistock stores are open so you can come and see them for yourself.

 Rainforest Animals JigsawAvian Friends JigsawChristmas Chorus JigsawDogs With JobsLlama Rama JigsawRainbow Butterflies Jigsaw

Please share your pictures of your completed puzzles with us - we’d love to see them! Tag us on social media or post them on our social media pages.