As people practice social distancing and spend more and more time at home, many have picked up hobbies they may have never thought they would be interested in. The most popular hobbies include baking, knitting, tie-dyeing – some have even learned dances that have gone viral.
Another increasingly popular stay-at-home activity may as well be the most interesting one of them all: jigsaw puzzles. Throughout the past couple of months, many puzzle manufactures have reported increasing sales and even puzzle shortages. As it turns out, puzzle mania isn’t just a product of boredom – there seem to be psychological reasons for the craze. We can’t help but wonder, why and how do jigsaw puzzles manage to comfort us during such hard times?
First of all, jigsaw puzzles offer a sense of control. Since the beginning of 2020 there has been a sense of lack of control and chaos – puzzles give off the exact opposite feeling. If we spend enough time and effort on jigsaw puzzles, we control the outcome that leads to a sense of relief once we’ve completed them. You are in full control of the task – you can do it solo or with a group, you can spend hours on end putting it together, or a few minutes at a time – it’s all up to you!
Another reason people are turning to puzzles as a sense of comfort is that they provide a clear purpose. Puzzles can provide a clear goal in a time where people feel useless and are unable to map out future adventures and plans. Completing a jigsaw puzzle also allows you to see the progress you’re making – you’re engaging both the logical part of the brain and the creative side. Last but not least, for many, doing a jigsaw puzzle may feel like a sort of mediation – time tends to melt away. So, what’s the next puzzle you’re going to put together?!