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Piece by Piece: Lessons Learned from Puzzling in Quarantine

In the early stages of quarantine, I was eagerly searching for things to do that didn’t involve staring at a screen. One of my favorite things became puzzling with my parents, typically vintage and landscape designs.


Below, you’ll read 5 ways I can apply puzzling to life outside the relaxed hobby for National Puzzle Day.


1. Have patience.

It can be daunting to see different pieces, or in this case obstacles, laid out in front of you with no idea where to start. The first thing is assessing what all needs to be done; and remember, it can all be done in good time because people don’t usually tackle all their tasks at once.


2. Work together.

Although some people consider puzzles to be a solitary activity, I think puzzles and life become more fun when you have others along for the journey. 


3. Celebrate victories—big or small.

In this pandemic, it can seem like being restricted doesn’t allow you to accomplish anything of note. But simply waking up and doing what you need to do to be safe is a major accomplishment. So, look at each goal you achieve like it is another piece closer to the big picture. 


4. Don’t be afraid to take a step back.

If you get hyper-focused on one aspect of your life, you could get blinders on and fail to notice how much you’ve already accomplished. When you’re feeling fatigued and out of it, admire how far you’ve come and try not to stress about how much further you have to go.


5. Every piece will find its place.

The puzzle creators are not out to get you; they will not give you pieces that do not belong. So just know that whatever you’re trying to achieve or overcome will happen in due time… it’s all part of the bigger picture. 


I hope this short, introspective article helps you feel at piece with the puzzling thing that we call life.


My name is Hannah Hippensteel, and I like to say I'm a Chicago city-slicker, but I'm actually from the 'burbs. I'm currently a senior at Winona State with a major in mass communication-journalism and a minor in sociology. Catch me enjoying all Winona has to offer: the bluffs, the incomparable Bloedow's Bakery, and not to mention, Minnesota boys. With a goal of working at Teen Vogue, Seventeen or Glamour magazine, I'm soaking up every opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse and share my personal voice!
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