Whether you’ve been stood down in the wake of coronavirus business closures or find yourself working from home, taking time for personal development could help you once the pandemic has ended.
That’s right, it’s time to hit pause on Netflix and do something productive.
Here are 14 new things to try while you’re stuck in quarantine:
- Try an online cooking class
- Learn a foreign language
- Take up yoga
- Start writing a blog – or even a book!
- Marie Kondo your home
- Enrol in university
- Learn to play an instrument
- Do some renovations
- Start a vegie patch or herb garden
- Take a virtual tour of a new museum
- Learn how to knit
- Take a daily quiz
- Get creative
From Massimo Bottura to Jamie Oliver, the world’s top chefs are stuck at home too. So they’ve decided to teach the world how to cook with free online tutorials. Follow Jamie’s Keep Cooking and Carry On to find simple recipes for homemade favourites like bread and tagliatelle, or tune into Massimo’s Instagram to watch him cook dinner for his family each night during his Kitchen Quarantine series.
Challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks – ready for when the coronavirus quarantine is lifted, and you can test your newfound skills abroad. Duolingo offers free online courses in more than 30 languages and claims that 34 hours of lessons are equal to one semester at university.
Known for its ability to ease stress, lower blood pressure and promote relaxation, yoga is the at-home exercise we all need to try in a COVID-19 world. Yoga to the People, a famously ‘pay what you can’ organisation, has taken its popular set of classes online. It offers several classes per day via Zoom, including a special Master Class streamed on Wednesdays for more advanced students. If you’re a newbie, Zoom thankfully allows you to mute your mic and turn off your camera, so no one can watch you wobble in tree pose.
For those wanting to upskill, LinkedIn Learning offers a month’s free access to more than 14,000 courses for in-demand skills such as software development, data science and leadership, while Grow with Google provides free training and tools to help you grow your skills, career or business.
Why not use your downtime wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite quarantine hobbies? Or if you’ve been putting off writing that great novel that’s been germinating in your mind, this is your opportunity to start.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo. But how many of us have actually taken the time to implement the tidying expert’s method? As she says, if it doesn’t “spark joy” it’s got to go. Quarantine is the perfect time to transform your cluttered home into a space of serenity and inspiration.
Now is the time to finish that university degree or enrol in that course you’ve been eyeing off for years. Platforms including Coursera and edX bring together around 13,000 courses from more than 900 universities. They are free to listen to, but you can also pay to do assessments and receive a certificate.
Dedicate your spare time to music and learn an instrument that you’ve always wanted to play. Just be sure you provide some noise-cancelling headphones for your family or neighbours.
Learn how to plan, design and style your dream home with a free online module through The Reno School, from mastering kitchens and bathrooms to nailing the basics of interior decorating.
Whether you have a sprawling backyard or small apartment balcony, anyone can go green. From home-grown herbs to fruits, vegetables and even edible flowers, gardening is a great way to get outdoors and take your mind off everything that’s happening in the world. If you’re limited to a balcony, keep your space uncluttered with mountable or hanging pots and self-watering planters.
While galleries and museums are closed to the public, you can still get your art and history fix online thanks to Google Arts & Culture. From the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, discover more than 1,200 museums and archives from the comfort of your living room.
Choose your craft and take the time to hone a new skill such as knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is incredibly therapeutic and practical – it’s calming, creative and keeps your fingers dexterous.
Boost your IQ in quarantine by learning something new every day. Sporcle has quizzes across categories ranging from geography and literature to sports and entertainment. Set a goal for yourself and you might come out of isolation being able to recite all 50 US states.
Embark on a creative arts and crafts challenge, from sketching and mindful colouring to pottery. Unsure where to start? Jump on Instagram or Pinterest for some inspiration.