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Self-Reg Restoration Strategy or Chore?

I find jigsaw puzzles to be a great tool for restoring energy. They remind me to focus one just one thing, slow down my breathing, and usually make me feel rested and re-energized. The other day I was struggling with a puzzle and I realized it was increasing my stress level. Why had this puzzle gone from restoration strategy to stressor?



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Joe Persia
Joe Persia
May 15, 2023

Love this topic of 'Restoring" Lisa. Especially as different as it looks for each of us. It's been a very important part of my journey as a strategy much more so than as a chore as well.

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Lisa Cranston
Lisa Cranston
May 05, 2023

Interesting question. I think that focusing on the pieces and where they go, and seeing the puzzle come together is relaxing. Part of doing a puzzle is knowing what to expect - you do the frame, fill in the pieces, and the puzzle comes together. This puzzle became stressful because the pieces wouldn't go together and stay together. Instead of seeing the puzzle coming together, it kept falling apart. When things are going 'wrong', like they were with this puzzle, then for me, that becomes stressful instead of restorative.

Afterwards, I got out another puzzle that was much better made, and completed it instead!

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Aviva Dunsiger
Aviva Dunsiger
May 04, 2023

Lisa, I really appreciate your reflection here and how you were very aware of how much stress this puzzle caused you, so you wanted to try to illuminate the possibility of it causing stress for someone else. I’m thinking a little bit about the ”self” part in Self-Reg. Is it possible that this puzzle could be calming for others even though it was dysregulating for you? Or would the issues with the puzzle have triggered anyone who used it? I’d love to hear your thinking.


Aviva

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Aviva Dunsiger
Aviva Dunsiger
May 06, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Lisa! This really helps clarify things. It sounds like this puzzle -- at least, as a puzzle -- might not be right for anyone.


Aviva

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Lisa, I love your exemple of when a strategy which is supposed to be restorative, is not anymore and actually is becoming a stressor. This make me wonder and ask…what is restorative for you in this strategy? I can see that usually it help with slowing your breathing but here in this exemple, it is not. Is it because you are loosing control of some sort? The completion cannot happen as planned? The pieces are harder to manipulate and have a mind of there own here… I feel your frustration 😵‍💫

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