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Top Classic Board Games Everyone Should Have

Board Games are the perfect way to have a great time with your loved ones. There are various types of board games for two players or multiple players. Board games stimulate critical thinking, competition, teamwork and always bring a lot of fun.

This list will introduce some of the most popular classic board games that might interest you:

Scrabble

If you love word games, you have got to try Scrabble! This game can be played by two to four players. At the start, each player will receive a number of plastic letter tiles that can be placed together on a 15x15 grid game board to make up words.

Since each letter is worth a different point value, you would need to analyze to see which letter combination would bring the most points. The possibilities are endless and one great way to master Scrabble is to practice with an online word unscrambler which can help you hone your word making skills. It's great to get your mind thinking and calculating.

Furthermore, kids are able to learn a lot more words while playing this Scrabble which is great for their vocabulary. Whenever a player runs out of his or her tiles, the game ends and whoever gets the most points wins.

For this game, you may want to have a dictionary, a pen and paper nearby to record the scores of each player!

Chess

One of the most historic and well-known board games is chess. Playing chess helps players to train various skills such as strategic thinking, problem solving, creative thinking and pattern recognition. That's the reason why even after 1500 years, chess is still one of the most widely played board games all over the world. This is a two-player game in which each player has 16 pieces to maneuver on a 64-square board.

Each of the pieces (pawns, rooks, bishops, knights, a queen and a king) has different strength and characteristics. The queen is considered the most powerful piece, and the game ends when a player checkmate's the opponent's king in every direction or the king has no other place to go in order to survive.

In order to win this game, you really need to think hard and strategically before making any move. It's a great game to train your mind and your patience.

Monopoly

Introduced in 1935, Monopoly is also one of the oldest board games to date. In this real estate game, players buy and trade property with the goals to buy as much property as possible in order to create their own monopoly.

You also need to bankrupt your opponents and make other players unable to pay your rent in order to win the game. Just like real-world real estate, this is also a game of risk and luck. Beware that this game can take a long time as you need to bankrupt the other players one by one!

Go

Go is another ancient strategy board game created more than 2500 years ago in China and is still played in many parts of Asia today, as well as in the US and various Western countries. In this two-player game, the ultimate goal is to surround more territory on the board than your opponent. Each player is supplied with unlimited stones, one player will use white stones and the other used black stones.

Once placed on the board, a stone cannot be removed unless it is surrounded by the opponent's stones on all orthogonally-adjacent points. The ultimate goal is to form as many territories as possible on the board and capture your opponent's stones by completely surrounding them.

Go may have simple rules but it is considered the most highly complex strategy game, as all moves are possible at all times. A game of Go can also take quite long to finish. Unlike other board games, in Go, a player can still turn the game around even near the end. Due to this difficult to predict and unexpected nature, Go is one of the most interesting mind games ever created.

Clue

If you love Sherlock Holmes and detective stories, you will love Clue (or Cluedo) - the classic murder mystery board game. In this game, you will need to hunt down clues to figure out the murderer, the location of the crime and the weapon used.

The more players there are, the more exciting and difficult the game will be as you also need to spy on your opponents, what clues they are using and what they are doing. Both the clues and your opponents' responses will help you connect the dots.

If you are looking for fun alternatives to video games and the internet, you should definitely try some of these classic board games with your kids and friends. Board games are not only fun but are also a great way to sharpen many skills that are useful in real life.

5 min read
Health

3 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress Each Evening (Instead of Reaching for Another Cocktail)

When we envision a person who is suffering from substance use disorder (SUD)—defined by having a history of past misuse, experiencing increasing mental health symptoms, or having a family history of addiction—we often picture someone waking up and instantly grabbing their first drink. However, in my experience working with those battling SUD for nearly a decade, I've learned that everyone's relationship with alcohol looks different and having a few too many drinks at night can be just as dangerous.

The time of day, amount, or type of alcohol one drinks doesn't define if they suffer from SUD or not—it's the compulsion to drink. By focusing on healthy stress relievers and implementing them into your daily routine, you aren't just avoiding another glass at night, you are curbing any inclination for SUD that you may have.

While you may feel the desire to reach for another drink after dinner and putting the kids to bed to relieve some of the stress you incurred that day, there are other things that you can do that are much more beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.

Risks of Reaching for Another Drink

Reaching for another cocktail or glass of wine can feel like a great way to relieve the stress of the day at the time, but over time it can actually lead to the opposite. Excessive drinking is known to lead to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders such as increased risk of family problems, altered judgment, and worsened sleep quality. These can all lead to increased stress and create a continuous cycle I have seen in many of my patients, which often prove difficult to break.

Increased alcohol consumption can directly impact an individual's mood and temperament, too. In my patients, I've seen a connection between increased alcohol consumption and irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities that previously brought that person joy—activities that people should always put time into, especially right now during the pandemic.

While drinking in moderation doesn't have serious implications for some, others are already at increased risk for SUD. One drink per day is considered moderate for women, while eight drinks or more in a single week is categorized as heavy drinking. It's important to monitor your intake—whether you are at increased risk for SUD or not. It is all too easy for one glass to become another, and then another. And if you keep reaching for just one more drink, you can start to build a tolerance, as it requires more and more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This can result in dangerous, addictive habits that will alter your life, and the lives of those who care for you.

Three Healthy Ways to Relieve Evening Stress

Stress relief from alcohol is short-lived, but choosing healthier, alternative stress relievers can provide long-lasting benefits for both your mental and physical wellbeing. At Wellbridge, our team not only focuses on treating addiction but also on teaching healthy habits to support ongoing sobriety. And many of these learnings can be implemented to avoid addiction by handling stress better as well!

Below are three healthy stress relief ideas you can implement into your routine:

  1. Mindfulness exercises can be a powerful and mentally stimulating stress reliever. Throughout our therapeutic program at Wellbridge, we provide different opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. For example, breathing exercises, such as box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, mindful walking, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you're looking for entry, guided meditation, check out this YouTube channel where experts post mindfulness exercises each week.
  2. Human connection is invaluable. Whether it is your spouse, your children, a friend, or even a therapist, connecting with someone else can be a great way to relieve stress. The additional perspective that another person provides can also help us feel that the anxieties and stressors we are experiencing are more manageable. If you are feeling increased stress from loneliness or isolation, reach out and schedule a Zoom coffee hour with a friend, or call a loved one to check-in and chat.
  3. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever as well, for so many reasons. Not only can it help us get our mind off of stress, it enables our bodies to release endorphins and provides long-lasting physical health benefits. Physical activity doesn't need to be a full-blown workout if you don't feel up to it, or simply don't have extended periods of time to dedicate to a longer exercise regimen. Even a short walk or some stretching can go a long way towards improving your mood. I enjoy following guided, online yoga practices for both mindfulness practice and physical activity.

Despite my years working in this space, I am no stranger to giving in to stress. However, I've learned that by allotting myself a little time each morning and evening for activities that set a positive tone in my life—like meditation, journaling, and exercise—I've been able to better manage my stress and feel more prepared for heightened periods of stress. Do I manage to set aside personal time every morning and evening? Definitely not—life happens! But by doing our best to take regular time out for ourselves, we're all certain to be in a better place emotionally and mentally.

Putting Your Mental Health & Wellbeing First

It's important to also recognize that it isn't just stress that causes us to reach for another drink at night. With the added pressures and responsibilities of women in today's world, having another glass of our favorite drink at the end of the day can often seem like a quicker and easier option than other healthier ways to relieve stress.

However, it's essential to put your mental health and wellbeing front and center in your priority list—something that many women struggle with. But just like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. By focusing on implementing small, healthy habits and making them a seamless part of your daily routine, you ensure that you can show up in all aspects of your life and for all the people in your life.

If you are struggling with increased stress, be specific and honest with your support system about your need to preserve your mental wellbeing. Prioritizing your needs will help you be there for other people you care about in your life.

I always refer back to a quote from a Dar Williams song—a song about therapy no less! "Oh, how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself." Talk about your needs with others and find time to develop healthy coping habits. And if you feel as though you've already created an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, discuss that relationship with a medical advisor to learn if advanced treatment is the right option for you.