With the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown set to continue in the U.K., it got me thinking that now would be the perfect time to learn some new skills.
I want to use this time we now have to improving on some skills, learning some new things and pushing myself to experiment with things I previously didn’t seem to have time for. You can find loads of free content online or there are courses and qualifications you can work on too. Let’s embrace this slower pace of life and use this lockdown to our advantage.
There are loads of things we can do from improving on a language, learning how to groom our pets properly whilst we can’t visit a groomer, to doing something we’ve always wanted to do like growing vegetables, learning to cook pasta or taking on a new DIY project. I personally am looking at projects in this time that could also benefit me in improving my families sustainable lifestyle such as taking up an up-cycling project for example.
Learn a language
Whether it is Spanish or sign language, there are loads of new languages we could be learning. My mum and brother have just got into learning Spanish through Duolingo, which is a free language app that helps you to speak and understand various languages.
What I like about it is the practical side of it – you have to actually speak the words or phrases back, and you have various levels so you can really look to improve from beginner to more advanced. They say doing about 15 minutes everyday is the best way to learn – so it doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, but you make sure you are working your brain and improving on a skill during this downtime.
Grooming my dog
Dog grooming is quite a skill in itself! Have you ever tried to give your pet a trim? It’s difficult! They suddenly move their face and won’t stay still. So now our dog groomer is closed during this pandemic and my dog Winston hasn’t had a haircut in now about 9 weeks.
Last night I actually took the plunge and decided to trim his eyebrows. As owners of Miniature Schnauzers only know too well, the eyebrows and beard are key features to a Schnauzers look and so needs to be done with style! I don’t think I did too badly, but the rest of him is getting much longer fur. I’d probably check out some YouTube videos in the first instance, but if you are thinking about taking up dog grooming as a longer-term career then there are lots of courses you can buy online to start learning. Wish Winston luck and here’s hoping the groomers re-open before I have to do a full body cut!
Make your own pasta
Now I can’t seem to get my hands on any pasta, I thought I’d try and make some. It’s not something I’ve previously done before but I do follow Kate who runs Cooking & Carafes, who often does live cook-a-longs or IGTV videos to follow. From ravioli, gnocchi to focaccia bread – there are loads of delicious recipes on there to give a try.
I’ve actually just bought her pasta tools kit which includes various pasta cutters and some recipes too. One thing I didn’t account for however is that I can’t get my hands on any pasta-making flour like 00 flour. So I can’t get started until I track down some of that – hopefully it won’t be too long until I find some!
If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that I have just picked up a cabinet from someone in our village who was about to dump it, so I said I’d take it off her hands to try and up-cycle it.
I’ve been following some online videos and tutorials for how to renovate it – so far I’ve taken off the hinges and door handles, given it a good cleaning and started to sand it down.
Next I’ll be looking at how to fill in some of the dents in the wood, treat the hinges, prime and paint it so it looks like new again. I am loving this little project as I’m learning so much and these skills I am gaining in DIY are so valuable for future projects to come. If it wasn’t for this lockdown to give us the time to do these things, I’m not sure if I ever would have committed to such a project if I’m honest.
Start a new career
Use this time we’ve found ourselves with to learn something completely new that has always been on your bucket list but never had any time for. For me this is photography – I desperately want to improve but can never dedicate the time to it. But I also know a lot of people dream of doing things like wedding planning or interior designing which of course is a specialism in itself. There are online courses out there which will allow you to study whilst we are in this lockdown and as soon as life resumes, you’ll be able to put what you’ve learnt or discovered into practice. Whether that becomes a new hobby or career change is up to you!
What new skills will you be learning during this Covid-19 lockdown? I’d love to hear what you’re up to.