*Paid partnership in collaboration with Gibsons*
Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well.
I’ve grown up in the Digital Generation; albeit, and luckily, not during my early years, but the rise of MSN and instant messaging was rife during my teenage years, and as I’ve gotten older, social networking sites have exploded, and we are all able to connect with one another at the touch of a button.
Relaxation, downtime, and ‘switching off’, now regularly involve a scroll down your Instagram or a two hour long WhatsApp chat, and whilst these have their benefits and enjoyment in their own rights, in 2019 one of my resolutions was to put my phone away more, and take up some form of activity that doesn’t require being plugged in, and you don’t have to switch on and off.
When I was younger, I absolutely loved puzzles and found them so therapeutic. I would literally sit for hours and do them; how I wish I could go back in time and have stuck with the puzzles and not got involved with boys…how I wish.
Anyway, I digress, as per; Gibsons, which is a family owned company (and 2019 marks 100 years of them!), have launched their adult puzzles as part of their White Logo Collection. They’re all made and designed in the UK, and there’s no plastic wrap around them – just paper tabs to reduce plastic waste.
Downtime nowadays is seen as an evening spent glued to Netflix, or having a snoop through your ex’s Facebook – and whilst that’s all well and good, and believe me I’ve spent many an evening in that way, I think it’s important to try and break away from screentime sometimes, and wind down in a different way.
Over Christmas, you tend to break the games out with your family and friends – you sit for hours playing board games, card games and charades, and you have the best time, You have fun, you laugh, you feel like you’ve relaxed and torn yourself away from your phone – and it made me think, why don’t we continue this past Christmas? Why do we tend to save this relaxing, carefree time for a few days a year? Why not carry it on throughout the year, and make time for an activity that doesn’t involve pressing any buttons?
The vast majority of us have to use a computer or laptop everyday for work, some of us all day long, and so when we then get home, we sit on our phones all evening – in 2019, I wanted to make a change, and start introducing some mindfulness into my life, and begin it with a healthy dose of digital detoxing.
The puzzle designs are striking, contemporary and innovative – they’re not like your typical puzzle scenes, or at least not like the ones I had growing up – I am aware this was many moons ago, and times have moved on since then! Why am I sounding more like my mum the older I get?!
Now, as we are all aware I am the clumsiest human on the planet, so me and an 1000 piece puzzle on my slippery dining room table is not a match made in heaven, so luckily Gibsons puzzles are the thickest puzzle pieces on the market, so slot into place perfectly, meaning I am hopefully not going to be in a situation where I’m finding puzzle pieces stuck to my feet for the next 6 months – I mean, let’s be honest, I probably still will, but a girl can dream can’t she?
I’ve had so much on lately; lots of deadlines with a holiday coming up, and trying to be in 10 places at once; I’ve found it extremely hard to switch off, even when reading before bed, with the words not really going in. The puzzles required such a level of focus that I found my other stresses taking a backseat whilst I was in total concentration; my friend came round for some drinks and ended up sitting and helping me, and for the first time in years we found ourselves in silence, not being distracted by phones, and just sitting trying to piece it together.
An 1000 piece puzzle is a fairly sizable puzzle, and at first I was thinking ‘Where do I begin?’, but I remembered what I used to do when I was younger which was find all the corners first, then group things together in the same colour. I started with the bottom left hand corner which is the blue and white cushion, and worked my way upwards.
The artwork is by British artists – the Avocado Park Puzzle is by Jelly Armchair who also produce great greetings cards, which I love. The pieces are so detailed and in depth, and the colours are really vibrant – it actually helps with putting the puzzle together because each piece is bright, so you can easily group the colours together.
I’m on my way to hopefully shaping my 2019 to be a much more chilled one – less phone time (we’ve all had the shock of our lives looking at our screen time percentage haven’t we?!), more chill time, and a big old digital detox. Whether it’s adult colouring books, a crossword, yoga, or a Gibsons puzzle, whatever you do to practice your own version of mindfulness this year, I hope it helps you create a calmer mindset.
All my love BGP xx