I before E except after C.
How to be polite
Math. Reading. How to write a thank-you.
Growing up, they taught us a lot of things--but they didn't teach us this one thing: Adult life is hard. Really hard.
I think somewhere in our 20s, most of us realize that keeping up with all of the responsibilities, worries, and finances of adult life is exhausting. Add to that the pandemic we have been handling these last few years and the constant changes, most of us are facing anxious, stressful times.
There are, of course, many ways you can try to alleviate these stressors, for better or worse. Some of us turn to self-help books or meditation. Some of us try exercise (and some of us struggle to stick with it). Some of us have picked up a habit of a glass of wine every night or other comfort foods to help us relax. There are all sorts of ways to check out from "real life" for a little while. I think the most important thing, though, is to actually do it. We all need and deserve down time. We all need to quiet our minds and simply have lighthearted fun.
One thing I've turned to in the pandemic? Online games. There's just something about escaping for a while and playing a game. It's even better if it's free. I love that it's something I can squeeze in for a few minutes if I want to focus on something else.
I think sometimes in adult life, we forget something we knew so well in childhood: playing is fun. Below, check out some of my favorite free games I've been hooked on lately. There's something for every type of gamer.
1. If you like search and find games
I love a Where's Waldo? kind of vibe to a game, so this Hidden Objects game has been a great distractor for me during the pandemic or stressful days. It's engaging enough to help me forget about all the worries stacking up but also relaxing as I click through the levels. There's a sense of accomplishment when I clear a level, which does the mind some good.
For this Hidden Objects game, you get several choices of backgrounds. I started with the Chinese temple. There are ten levels total, and each level has three rounds of play. There is a traditional find the object level, which must be completed within ten minutes. Shown below, you have items to find and get points for finding them. Then, the same background has a find the number level where you find numbers 1-31. Finally, you have to spot the difference. If you can accomplish all of that within time, you can move to the next level.
I love that the levels get challenging and give me something to work towards. Also, from a practical standpoint, I don't have to download the game. A few clicks, and I'm in.
I appreciated that the first level was easy enough for me to get used to the game but still had some challenges. I will say the number rounds are very challenging for me. The numbers really blend in (I am partially colorblind, so that might be why). I tripped up on these rounds several times.
2. For the Word Smith
As an English teacher and a writer, I'm all about word games. Truly. Sometimes, a good old crossword can be really great if I want to escape the world a bit but still feel like I'm doing some learning/working my brain.
However, my favorite type of game is definitely a Letter Scramble. I love trying to find as many words as I can in mixed up letters and seeing if I can beat the clock.
The version I've been playing (link above) is really fun because it's not your traditional word game. The letters fly out as you play, which is both exciting and distracting. It makes it harder to think because you feel the pressure of making words before the time runs out AND before the board fills up. If you let too many letters pile up, it can get really confusing. However, you do get more points for longer words, so I try to let some pile up. You also get points for how much time you have left (each level gives you a number of words you have to make, 20, 30, 40 for example).
3. For the logical mind (with a sense of humor)
If you are a logical mind with a sense of humor, The Daily Dog Pooh Game is perfect for you. This game of logic is sort of a spin on Sudoku. The rules are simple, but I found the game to be quite challenging:
*Each cell must have a dog or a poo
*You can't have more than two dogs or poos in a row (or above each other in a column).
*Each row and each column must have the same number of poos and dogs.
This game was so tricky, but I got really absorbed in it. I like that the rules are simple so I can really focus in on the logic part of it. I also like how it made my brain work in a different way. If you like puzzle games (like Minesweeper) this one would be your go-to.
Let me know if you try any of the games, and what you think?
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