COVID Normal Puzzling

by Catherine Eagleson

Puzzling activities such as crosswords, codewords, sudoku and trivia quizzes are all wonderful for keeping us engaged and focused, individually and in a group.  Research shows that these educational and engaging pastimes have never been more popular during our months of COVID lockdown.  They boost mental stimulation, as well as improving general knowledge and (digital) literacy skills.  It is natural to feel anxious in these  uncertain times, but engaging your brain by sitting down and focusing on a puzzle can help.

Puzzling : a ‘COVID Normal’ activity

We have proved that distance is not an obstacle when wanting to catch up with friends and family during lockdown.  Solving puzzles can be enjoyed while catching up via Zoom. Puzzlers can be in a different room, a different house or a different country!  A puzzle can be loaded on to a shared screen and puzzlers can participate to enjoy some mentally stimulating social interaction.  While we are keen to get out more, there are some activities we can still enjoy in the Zoom Room. We are socialising and staying safe at the same time.

Adopt an intergenerational puzzling approach

It is important to remember that during this time older relatives may be living on their own at home, or are are in aged care with the limited contact with family and friends. In the current climate, it is likely they are unable to see people face to face, but puzzling on Zoom make it possible.  Puzzles are wonderful intergenerational games.  Take the opportunity to involve them in these types of activities.  On one hand it can open up a whole new world for them, and on the other, it will allow them to search their memory and general knowledge, and pass it on.  If they don’t already have an iPad/computer, set them up with one, that is installed with Zoom.  During a care visit, show them how to log on.  Once they have mastered this, include them in family Zoom puzzling get-togethers.  It will be great fun for everyone!