Home learning courses galore!

I want learning to be a key part of my retirement life. For years I’ve wanted to speak French – I spent a couple of years making slow progress on an evening course then abandoned it.   I’m also interested in developing my range of digital skills including Search Engine Optimism.

There’s plenty of fun stuff I could learn too.  I watched last night’s Great British Bake Off which always serves to remind me that I’ve never baked in my entire life.  I do plenty of cooking but have never baked a cake or made pastry.   At the age of 60 surely it’s time to do something about that.

It’s usually the Autumn that many college courses get underway but sadly not this year with Covid.  There are though plenty of skills you can learn from home and the excellent Rest Less website, featured in previous blogs, is the place to find them. 

I’ve edited an article from the site which features 10 skills to provide some inspiration.

1. Baking

Whether you’re new to baking and want to learn the basics, or you simply want to work on perfecting and developing your skills; it’s worth considering how you can use time at home to do this. Having skills in the kitchen can help you to expand your mind, save money and eat more of the food you love! Some people also say that cooking gives them a greater sense of control over what they’re putting into their body – which during a period of uncertainty can be especially comforting. And although we’re unable to go out and do a lot of the things that we usually do, we can still attempt to make mealtimes as enjoyable as possible by creating some great tasting dishes.

2. Gardening

If you’ve been spending more time at home over the last few months, then you may have developed an even deeper appreciation for green space, or just greenery in general – because it can offer a lot of peace, especially during anxious times. Whether you have a garden or not, there are plenty of green skills that you can learn at home to help you make the most of your living space. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn how to grow your own fruit and vegetables, nurture a bonsai tree or simply learn more about what’s growing in your garden.

3. IT skills

If you’ve been meaning to brush up on your Excel skills, set up a LinkedIn account or learn how to code, then now could be a great time to do it. The busy nature of our everyday lives can make it difficult to sit down and truly focus on learning new skills. This coupled with the fact that technology is constantly evolving may leave you feeling left behind – but if you’re still spending more time at home than usual, then now could be a good time to catch up. If you’re in the market for a new job, then developing some office and IT skills could also give you some extra plus points to add to your CV.

4. First aid

First aid skills are some of the most valuable skills we can carry with us throughout life. For many of us first aid is something that we’d love to know more about, but simply never get around to – unless we work in a field that requires it. But if you’ve got some spare time, then why not take a first aid course online?

5. Hair cutting

During lockdown, when were unable to visit barbers or hairdressers, many of us realised the value of being able to tidy up our own tresses at home. Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, while you might be grateful for the opportunity to visit a professional, you might still be keep to save yourself time and money by cutting your own hair, or trimming your own beard at home.

6. A new language

There are multiple benefits of learning a new language, including keeping your brain sharp, having an excuse to travel and advancing your career. Many of us admire others who can speak a second, third or even fourth language, and wish that we could do the same – but with a little patience, determination and passion, you can. It’s important to choose a mode of learning that you enjoy, to increase your chances of seeing it through.

8. Get creative!

If you have a creative streak, then at some point you may have thought about sitting down and developing a new creative talent. This could be drawing, painting, sewing, calligraphy, photography or something else entirely. Creative talents like these are great stress relievers because they offer escapism and can also help express how you’re feeling.

9. Develop music skills

Music offers so many different things to so many different people. But one thing that most people will agree on is that when you’re lost in your favourite song and singing along in your car or in the shower – you probably won’t be thinking about much else, so it acts as a great distraction from anxious thoughts and can significantly lift your mood.

10. Organise your home

When you’re spending more time at home, it can be helpful to declutter and organise your surroundings in a way that allows you to keep a clear mind and feel less overwhelmed. For example, if you can never find anything in your wardrobe and things fall out everytime you open it, then this can make you far more likely to avoid your wardrobe altogether. And before you know it, it’s 2pm and you’re still sitting in your pyjamas! The more organised we are, the less likely we’ll be to procrastinate.

Published by brianjonesdiary

Dad, husband, brother and son. Interested in travel, politics, sport, health and much more. Semi-retired and aiming to making the most of life as I approach my sixth decade.

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