Game on and bring on the wellbeing

During the challenging times that everyone is facing, it is important to keep spirits high, keep focus and try to smile. Obviously, some people are out and about performing their usual roles and keeping our great country rolling along, and to them we are eternally grateful; the rest of us are also playing a vital role by staying home and reducing the spread of Covid-19. Everyone’s contribution is beyond significant currently and everyone has a different experience and coping mechanism to help get through this period as unscathed as possible. There are no rights or wrongs but sharing positive experiences may help.

I am a single Mum to 4 nearly all grown up children; two of whom live at home with me still and we have two dogs, a cat, a Guinea pig and a shark! Our home is busy and happy, and we are very fortunate that, most of the time, we enjoy each other’s company.

I am an absolute, genuine fan of games; all games whatever their objective, outcome or level of difficulty. As a family we have always played games, sometimes specific board games and some we have made up on the spot, often the more comical the better. Firm favourites in our home are Monopoly (we own, possibly every version!), Scrabble, (making up words is our forte) and, mini sleuths at the ready with Cluedo.

Our love of games is so much that during these challenging times, we have had a six week Lockdown Monopoly Championship, followed by a four week Mixed Games Championship. Every Saturday at midday everything stops, nibbles are prepared, the table is set and the board game organised. Depending on the game the laughter, shouting, chanting and sometimes deep concentration ensues for the next few hours. We have developed our own chants, much like being at a football match or other sporting event. Trivial Pursuit resonates with ‘Piece of Pie, Piece of Pie, Piece of Pie’ whenever someone correctly answers a question and during Monopoly if rent is to be paid, we all sing to the player, ‘Fuming..., fuming…., fuming….’. You probably had to be there, but it is very funny.

Although this started out as an innocent ‘get together’ activity 10 weeks ago, it very quickly became the focal point of every week. Capping the number of weeks, the championship would last for and offering a £20 prize for the winner, gave a real sense of competition. As the weeks progressed, the chat about Saturday started earlier and earlier in the week, with friendly banter for days beforehand and a little scheming and plotting to ensure that I didn’t win.

The point to all this, I believe is that without it, our lockdown experience would have been very different. Like everyone, we have had our struggles, insecurities, wondering what might be, but we have been lucky to have each other. Having a focal, essentially gave us validity, as we didn’t have our day jobs, but more importantly, it gave us precious time together. We had a shared experience and built on it weekly and sometimes daily. It gave us a routine and something to look forward to and it gave us much laughter.

Laughter, I believe is the biggest joy of all, it creates happy atmospheres, makes memories, is truly contagious and increases wellbeing.

Alice Murray,

Chief Giggler

Giggles and Games –

FB Twitter Insta @gigglesandgames

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