Back when I was in my teens, one of the beliefs I held together with my peers was that we won’t be able to get married when we reach our adulthood unless we win a game of Solitaire.
Thus, for the whole summer when I was sixteen years old, I set about learning and trying to win this game using a set of playing cards I found lying around and the family’s desktop computer at home.
If you guessed that I eventually won, you would be right, thankfully so! (I’m now in my forties, by the way, and I’ve been married for fifteen years, whew!)
Just a little patience…
Solitaire is a genre of card games which involve arranging the cards in a systematic order, and most often played by a single player. It is known in Europe as Patience, because playing it is an exercise in patience.
It is both a game of skill and a game of chance, with the aim of building sequences of cards by number and by suit.
The most well-known variation of the game, and the one I always play, is called Klondike. This was the game included in the Microsoft Windows operating system back in the 90’s, coinciding with the time when I was trying to learn the game. With this computerized version, Solitaire has provided untold numbers of computer users hours of entertainment as well as taught them how to use a computer mouse. (See how much my age is showing here?) 😜
Perfect for an introvert like me
People are often surprised when I inform them that I’m an introvert. At first glance, I may seem friendly, at ease with other people and loud-spoken.
However, I do often feel the need to take a break from external stimulation and be more introspective, getting lost in my thoughts, imagination or plans.
This is most likely the reason why I enjoy blogging so much. It’s something I can do on my own and at my own pace.
In a similar vein, playing Solitaire is highly enjoyable for me. It helps me to stave off boredom by stimulating my mind without stressing me out.
Other ways that playing Solitaire helps me to de-stress include:
- Giving me a sense of goal-setting and accomplishment. Since the object of the game is pretty simple, I can focus my attention towards achieving it. Once I win a round, it helps to bolster my confidence and gives me the push to apply myself to my other tasks.
- Giving my mind a break. Playing solitaire gives me something simple and concrete to focus on. One could say that it can even bring me to a calmer and more meditative state, which does wonders for relaxing, getting rid of anxiety and making sound decisions.
- Helping me to think more strategically. While it is simpler (and considerably quieter) than most games, solitaire requires the application of a well thought out strategy, as opposed to just laying cards willy-nilly. Playing this game allowed me to notice patterns, be patient and think a few steps ahead.
- Making my “alone-time” a lot more enjoyable. I often feel the need to take a break from other people, or from overly stimulating situations so I would usually hie myself off to a quiet corner or a separate room to be by myself. Playing solitaire affords me with an enjoyable way to pass the time while I savor my solitude.
Now, I don’t go around carrying a pack of cards nor a whole desktop computer setup with me so luckily, I can play Solitaire anytime I want so long as I have internet access and a device with a web browser, thanks to Solitaire.org.
Solitaire.org is a website that offers hundreds of browser-based games which can be accessed through both desktop or mobile gadgets, absolutely for free. We don’t need to sign-up or register so there’s no need to keep track of login credentials. It does not require us to download any apps, thus saving precious storage space in our devices. It also does not serve in-game ads, allowing us to enjoy our chosen games without distracting or annoying interruptions.
Aside from Solitaire, my favorite games in this site include Tetra Blocks (a Tetris-inspired game which is very inspiring when trying to figure out how to fit things in my closet) and Word Search (quite fitting for someone who loves words as much as I do).
So whether I’m passing the time between Zoom meetings, giving my brain a break from a complex problem at work or just getting ready to go to sleep, I can just go online and play my favorite games for a bit while keeping stress at bay.
How about you? What’s your go-to life hack when battling stress? Do share your tips in the comments section!