7 Puzzles for Teacher Self Care

If you follow me on Instagram, you know one of my favorite self care activities is puzzling. People are always asking me about it, so I thought I'd share how I got into it, as well as a few of my favorite puzzles.

What can I say? One day you're a normal 20-something, and the next you're spending all your free time completing puzzles while listening to audiobooks. 

What actually happened was that my therapist assigned me the task of doing "nothing" twice a week, which seemed impossible to my pre-self care self. Around that time, I visited my in-laws in their retirement community in Arizona and helped complete a jigsaw puzzle. I got surprisingly sucked into it-- finally, I was doing my "nothing" homework!

After that, I always had a 1,000 piece puzzle going on my dining room table. It's the perfect de-stressing activity when you get home from school. Pop on an audiobook and just work on putting those puzzle pieces together. 
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I've done a lot more puzzles than this (seriously, 1 every three weeks or so for the last year and a half), but these are my favorites. I hate anything vaguely Thomas Kinkade-y, and honestly, the longer it takes the better. All of these are 1,000 pieces and can be purchased on Amazon. All links are affiliate links.

1. Avian Friends The grid makes this one pretty simple to complete, but there's a few challenging bits with similar patterns on the different birds.

2. Lady with a Fan (by Gustav Klimt) I complete The Kiss puzzle first, and I enjoyed it so much that I did another Klimt! This one is quite a bit easier, but still challenging. I also think the lady looks a bit like me!

3. Birducopia (by Charley Harper) The big blocks of color make this puzzle an easy one, but I enjoyed the unusual elongated shape of the puzzle and of course Charley Harper's signature style.

4. Succulents I love house plants, so this was a fun one! I normally don't like photo puzzles as much, but all the different plant textures and shades of green make it a fun challenge. 

5. The Kiss (by Gustav Klimt) This is probably the hardest puzzle I've completed! But I really enjoyed getting to know the intricacies of the painting and the patterns within it. Just be prepared for a bit of a long haul with the big brown patches on the sides! Also, pairs well with The Golden Compass trilogy audiobooks, in case you were wondering!

6. Twelve Sunflowers (by Vincent Van Gogh) This is one of my favorite paintings and one of my favorite puzzles as well! When you first start, it seems impossible because it's all gold and pale blue. But as you work through the pieces you notice all the different shades and it's actually quite fun to put together.

7. Your World When I look at a puzzle I instantly remember what audiobook I listened to as I completed it. In this case, it was Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. Kind of a weird pairing I suppose, haha. Anyway, this is a pretty easy puzzle but a lot of fun to put together because of all the quirky animals. 

If you're looking for a monthly reminder to practice self care, check out my self care subscription box for teachers, Teacher Care Crate.

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