So, for this month, a lot of us are finding that we have extra time throughout the day to ourselves, and, somehow that is not as encouraging as it might normally be during mid-terms and finals. I have been doing my best to stay organized and productive by learning some new skills, so here is a list of skills that you can learn right now from the comfort of your own home while you’ve got some extra time.
1. A New Instrument
Just last week, I found out that Fender is offering three months of free online guitar lessons! But not just guitar: they also offer classes for bass and ukulele. But act fast, as this is only available for the first 500,000 people to sign up.
They have quick, daily lessons and loads of different options for you to learn. But don’t worry, if you’re too late for that deal, there’s plenty of other teachers on YouTube to help (most likely for any instrument).
Give it a go and see how you feel about it. Practice and make the best of this time spent at home.
2. A New Language
This one is a great thing to have in your back pocket when things pick up again in the world. If you’re hoping to travel somewhere new or even just having a helpful worldly skill, learning a language is a great thing to do. Apps like Duolingo are free and widely available for your language-learning needs.
Meditation is something I have been practicing with a lot recently to help deal with the stress that the entire world is experiencing right now. While it seems like it might be a simple and basic thing, it is a learned skill that I have found to be very beneficial. When I started, it was under the recommendation of guided meditations, which can be found on paid apps such as Calm, or on YouTube for free.
If you’ve got random ingredients in your pantry, why not try making something? Just yesterday, I tried to follow a Lauren Lopez recipe from her Instagram story for a fruit crisp. Did I fail? Epically. Instead of frozen fruit, I used whatever other fruits I had. (My frozen fruit was very expired and I’m very disappointed about it.) I threw it in the pan with her oats mixture (forgot the cinnamon) and let it bake for way too long. Honestly, I had a great time with it and don’t even mind that it didn’t turn out great.
Alternatively, I made some incredible fajitas and whipped coffee (do not consume together) that were fun and delicious. (Head over to my food writing class’ Instagram to see the coffee.) Give a fun, new recipe a try and see what happens. Maybe it’ll be the best success that hurls you into your new life as a celebrity chef, or maybe it’ll be a burnt and sad fruit crisp. Either way, it might be fun! (Also, I think everyone can benefit from knowing at least a few staple recipes in the kitchen).
If you don’t have paint lying around, that’s fine—we can say drawing. Either way, do the artsy thing. Look up how-to videos or step-by-step instructional pamphlets and draw yourself that adorable sheep that makes you smile. Or paint a canvas (cut up cardboard boxes actually work pretty well) of blobs and swirls for the fun of it. Getting a little messy and having a good time with color is exciting. You don’t have to become an incredible artist (kudos to you talented folks out there), but it can be fun to create something new. Learn how to draw a rose, a duck, or a tree. Learn a few tricks of the trade and get some joy out of this new skill.
If none of these sound good to you, I am sure there’s a ton more out there to do. It’s important to be patient and practice while you can. Don’t add pressure on yourself to be perfect; just have fun and enjoy learning something new. Even if you’re not trying to master it, it can still be an excellent way to spend some of this extra time.