The last few months seem to have blended into one- I have really enjoyed spending time at home as a family but I have certainly missed meetings, pub trips and seeing family regularly. Although I can’t wait for businesses to reopen and social gatherings to resume, I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like I should be taking advantage of having this extra time at home. It’s always helpful to look at the bright side of things and find new ways to fill your spare time.
When I discussed all the ways we’ve been keeping Honor entertained at home, lots of you sent me links to websites and apps for things you can learn, either alone for a bit of ‘me time’ or with family members. There are so many online courses to enrol on, all of which can be started and completed from the comfort of your own home. Cooking, gardening, sewing or singing, lockdown feels like a perfect opportunity to pick up a new hobby. It’s also a way to clear your head and take a break from stresses around you. I’ve gathered a list of the best online courses, varying from business courses, to beginners music classes. This is our chance to try new things!
Duolingo is a resource to learn a new language for free (although you do need to create an account). You can download the app and learn on your phone, or straight from the website. With everything from Italian and Spanish to Latin and Scottish Gaelic, next time you go abroad you will at least know how to order the wine.
Master Class teaches such a wide variety of courses that it is impossible not to find something for you. The perk? These courses are taught by some major household names; Gordon Ramsay imparting culinary wisdom, Natalie Portman teaching acting skills and Anna Wintour offering tools in creativity and leadership. Incredible. This one is free for 24 hours but then is about £15/$19 per month.
Future Learn offers many great courses form some of the world’s leading universities, including Purdue University, Durham University (my alma mater), Penn State and The University of Bath to just name a few. All for free. They are constantly updating the catalogue with new courses, some of which are really short and lots of them offer formal qualifications upon completion.
Spruce up your CV or make excellent use of time off with Udemy’s courses, all of which you complete in your own time and at your own pace…so if you’ve been furloughed, you can carry on when you’re back at work. Options include Business MBAs, learning how to draw, Java Programming and Mindfulness courses. Their programmes are on sale so go go go!
Napa Valley Wine Academy
I’m very much enjoying my evening glass of red but are you ever curious about where the wine you’re drinking came from? This seems like such an amazing opportunity to jump into the wine world and learn more about its origins, the creative process as well as which wine to pair with what food. Love this one.
This is a great one for music loving teens or adults. Lots of these courses are free, the range of teachers is huge and you can embark on a course to do with anything musical: composing it, writing it, playing it, selling it and the theory behind it. The site explores everything that really goes into making successful music- such a cool peek into such a vast world.
If you’re wanting to make sure you use this time to take care of yourself, an online course might be a perfect option. Depending on your interests, it’s a slightly different form of escapism and it doesn’t need to be rushed. Take some time to work on something that is just for you- it’s a very good form of self care.