Skills You Can Pick Up Without Leaving Your Home

Although exams are right around the corner (well, I suppose they’ve already started), it’s clear we have more free time than we’re used to. It is a big change, and your life can begin to feel a little chaotic without a sense of direction. Still, there are a lot of ways we can keep ourselves busy without needing to go anywhere at all, and some of these skills can be really helpful in the future or just plain entertaining now! Here are some skills you can start to develop without leaving the comfort (or confines) of your home.

Learn a new language

Knowing multiple languages can be an interesting way to improve your memory and work on your ability to multitask! You don’t even need to take physical classes anymore to learn a new language. Free language-learning apps, such as Duolingo, can help you learn at your own pace using interactive lessons and stories! You could begin to learn a new language that you’re interested in or re-learn a language you knew in your childhood. There’s a lot of time to learn, so it’s a great time to pick up another language to add to your tool belt!

Practice a musical instrument

A lot of people tend to have some form of musical instrument sitting around in their homes, usually a piano, a guitar or even a harmonica! Maybe your cousin or older sibling left one behind or your parents used to play. Perhaps you used to play piano in grade school but abandoned it when you grew up. Now’s the time to pick up that old instrument and bring some melodies to life!

Learning an instrument takes time and commitment, but it can feel really rewarding when you’re able to play your favourite song! The internet is full of guitar and piano tutorials, and with a little extra digging, you can find out how to play almost any instrument. Practicing a musical instrument is a great form of entertainment that you can do on your own. A little music can make any day brighter, so now’s the time to create your own!


(Okay, technically you’re leaving your home, but still.)

Bummed out about not being able to go outside? Driving can be a terrific way to stay in touch with the world while in quarantine. It’s a terrific way to enjoy the sun without really going outside. For those of you without your G license, it’s a great time to get out and drive around on a regular basis! The practice will surely come in handy and it’s a great change of scenery from your bedroom.

Personally, I’ve been driving every day since I got home from Laurier in preparation for my next road test! It’s been really nice to have a routine activity in these times, and I still get to enjoy the nice weather without actually going outside! Now I look forward to my daily dose of the outside world!

Begin a cleaning routine

Well, I hate to remind you, but it’s time to get your hands dirty and give your house clean! It’s spring, and with all this new time on our hands, we can really give spring cleaning our best go. A good way to spend these empty hours is by cleaning your living space. Get those mops out and make those floors shine!

Even if you’re not thinking of a full-on deep clean of your home, it’s a great time to tidy up a little or establish a regular cleaning routine! Now you can implement daily routines like cleaning your desk or making your bed, which can add some structure to your day. Having a clean area around can be really good for staying motivated! You could also rearrange your bedroom or clean out some old clothes from your dresser.

Take up sketching

Drawing is a form of art that can take a lot of patience and practice to learn, so now’s a good time to try it out. All you really need is a pencil and paper, and you can start to draw anything. A good way to start is by sketching a houseplant, a pet or a family member. There are a load of tutorials available online to help you with your artistic talents, so take some time to find some artists who inspire you!

If sketching isn’t your thing, try painting, sculpting or sewing. There are a lot of cool things you can do with art, with a lot of techniques to try out! You have all the time in the world now, so use this time to gain new skills!

Video editing and recording

Okay… so this one’s a little more of a niche, but hear me out! We have a lot of time on our hands, and our lives may feel a little hectic. One way we can entertain ourselves and express our feelings is by vlogging our times in quarantine!

You don’t need to be particularly good at speaking to a camera and there’s no pressure to publicize anything you’ve recorded, but vlogging your time in quarantine is like a time capsule for the future. A good way to start is by filming interesting things you’re doing to stay occupied, or summarizing your day before you go to sleep. Channel your inner YouTube star! You don’t need a fancy camera or much equipment, in fact, most smartphone cameras have enough quality nowadays to work well for this.

Once you’ve recorded some footage, edit it into a complete series of videos. Again, there’s no need to post them anywhere, but having the footage to look back to can be really nice! A lot of video editing software can be found for under $20, and many newer computers have them already installed. Apple’s iMovie can be bought on iOS for about $5, and the interface is user-friendly for first-time editors. If you already have an editing software you like, maybe learn new techniques to “wow” up your videos. The internet is practically flooding with tutorials for these, and video editing is the bread and butter of user-generated content (YouTube)!

This activity is kind of a two-in-one deal, so you actually develop skills in two ways. Filming yourself can help you feel more confident on camera and improve your presentation skills or public speaking! Learning basic video-editing skills can also help you navigate your computer better and give you a good base-line for any media projects you do in the future. These skills can be really useful, so it’s nice to know a little about videos and editing!

All of these skills are fairly easy to get started with, and regular practice with them can give you something fun to do at home. Learning new things and practicing a routine can be useful in the future, and now it can give you a sense of regularity and structure. Even if you don’t try something on this list, I hope you spend your quarantine building new skills and making memories. Someday, you can look back at this time and confidently say you tried something new!