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  • Samantha Liu

Your Summer 2021 Hobby: Puzzles

Before Covid-19 turned everything online, there used to be a table in my high school’s

library with an unfinished puzzle. Usually, I overlooked the table and went about doing my other

work. One day, I sat down at the table and decided to try to piece together the puzzle—I was

instantly hooked. I spent the rest of my free periods in the library trying to finish the puzzle that I

began. In the most stressful of moments, doing puzzles helped me sort out my thinking and gave

me personal time. With Summer rolling around the corner, I promise that doing puzzles will be

your next craze because of the following reasons:


1. Works both sides of the brain

One of the best parts about puzzles is their ability to exercise both the left side of your

brain and the right side at the same time. By working the left side of the brain that is more logical

and rigid in practice, you will be able to use basic cognitive functions to sort through the pieces.

By working the right side of the brain that is more creative and intuitive, you will be able to use

the pieces that you sorted to attempt to assemble the puzzle.

When working on both sides of the brain, you can give your brain a mental workout that

will be able to improve problem-solving skills and your attention span! With both sides of the

brain working together, you will also be able to exercise your logical and creative skills. So not

only are you having fun, you are giving your brain a little workout to improve your overall

function.


2. Improves short-term memory

Another advantage that puzzles can provide is the way that they can improve your

memory. Since quarantine, I feel like my memory has become extremely short. Sometimes, I

would go on my phone for the specific reason of searching something up, and then I would

completely forget and go on social media for a while. After being on the app, I start to remember

that I went on my phone for a reason and, through a few moments of backtracking through my

thoughts, I miraculously remember what I wanted to search up twenty minutes ago.

If you can relate to my experience at all, then puzzles can help! By constantly keeping

your brain in movement, puzzles create interconnections between brain cells where mental speed

improves. When this mental speed becomes stronger and faster, it will be very easy to improve

your short-term memory.


3. Great stress reliever for when you want a break

Most importantly, solving puzzles are a stress reliever because there is no pressure for

you to finish a puzzle. Of course, the longer you take to finish the puzzle, the more chances there

are for you to lose some pieces. However, you can prevent this by buying a puzzle mat where

you can roll up the pieces and your current progress.


By understanding that this hobby has no time limit, it really highlights that there should

not be any stress associated with solving puzzles. In a world where we are constantly pressed

with deadlines, your hobby should not have one either. Solving puzzles can help you sort through

your thoughts by helping you focus on something outside of work or school. As you get more

into the puzzle, you will start to realize that your stress leaves you while you are with the puzzle.

Puzzles have always been a favorite hobby of mine. Through these reasons for why you

should pick up puzzles as a hobby, I hope you have realized the true benefits of puzzles. So take

a break, unwind, and solve some puzzles this summer!

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