Although government guidelines are starting to ease, social distancing is still very much in place and many of us are still spending much more time at home than we usually would.

Most of us have dreamt about one day having space and time to be able to learn a new skill. Maybe you’ve always wanted to develop your gardening skills or learn to draw.

Well, now could be the perfect time to dig out your paints, get creative in the kitchen, or learn your Rhododendrons from your Chrysanthemums!

Learning a new skill is a great way to keep your mind busy, work on your personal or professional development, and have some fun.

With that said, here are five skills that you can develop at home during the lockdown and beyond.

Learn to Bake

Baking can be a great way to explore your creativity and relieve stress – not forgetting that you’ll get a tasty treat at the end of it! Since the lockdown began, experienced bakers have been taking to social media to share their baking tips and recipes and help people across the nation find joy in the kitchen.

Classes run by Bread Ahead Bakery in Borough Market, London, usually sell out fast. But you can now join in with free live baking classes over on their Instagram page. They’ll show you how to create mouthwatering bakes such as brownies, bagels, and shortbread.

If a live class isn’t for you, then you could consider taking an online course. For example, if you’re keen to develop your bread making skills – so you can make more complex loaves like sourdough – try Udemy’s selection of artisan bread making courses that will show you how to do this.

Learn How to Cut Your Own Hair

With hairdressers still closed under government guidelines, by now you might be in need of a good trim. While it’s not usually recommended that you try to cut your own hair (or the hair of someone in your household!), if you’re feeling brave and can’t wait until hair salons reopen, then you could develop some of your own hairdressing skills at home.

The most important thing to remember when you’re learning to cut hair is to take your time. It’s not something to be rushed or done in bad lighting when you’re tired at the end of the day.

YouTube has a number of easy to follow tutorials that can help you learn to trim your tresses at home. At Rest Less we selected some of the best ones and added advice from hair stylist and tutor Glenda Cresswell. Be sure to take in as much information as you can before you give it a go yourself!

Learn to Paint or Draw

Both drawing and painting take a great deal of time and concentration – especially when you’re learning the basics.

A few months ago, you may have been too busy rushing around to even consider sitting down with a paintbrush and blank canvas. But lockdown has given many of us more time to engage with mindful activities.

If you’re interested in learning how to paint, then consider heading over to WowArt’s YouTube channel where you can take part in fun daily painting challenges.

These are quick and cheerful, will help you to build your confidence with painting, and give you a chance to practice and develop your skills.

To work on your drawing skills, you could enroll in Drawspace’s ‘Get started with drawing’ course. It’s completely free and will show you how to prepare for your drawing journey, develop your technique and build a portfolio of drawings that you can feel proud of.

Learn Some Gardening Skills

When we’re stuck at home, nature can help to keep us sane. Research has shown that being close to nature can help us feel happier and more connected to life. For this reason, there’s never been a better time to hone your green skills – whether you have a garden or not.

If you don’t have a garden, or your outdoor space is very small (e.g., you have a balcony, patio, etc.), then you’ll still have plenty of opportunity to grow your skill set!

Vertical Veg’s website offers tips and tricks on how to grow plants in containers in small spaces.

If you’re looking to develop your outdoor garden skills, then you could consider taking an online gardening diploma, which is CPD certified.

Alternatively, the Royal Horticultural Society website is packed with free information and advice on how to grow and maintain houseplants and gardens year-round.

Learn a New Language

Learning a language can increase your cultural awareness, advance your career, and make travelling much more interesting and enjoyable. The learning process itself can also be a lot of fun and is great for boosting your memory and keeping your brain sharp.

One of the many reasons that people are put off of learning a new language is because there’s so much to learn, that sometimes the task can seem overwhelming. If this sounds familiar, then it’s worth downloading the Duolingo app.

Duolingo is a fun and free interactive way to learn language skills in small manageable chunks. An independent study carried out by the University of South Carolina and the City University of New York showed that 34 hours of Duolingo (on average) is equivalent to a full semester of language education!

Or, if you’d prefer to learn in a more structured and in-depth way, then you could consider taking an online language course. You can work at your own pace, in your own time and will usually receive a certificate upon successful completion.

Are you learning any new skills during lockdown? If so, how are you learning them? Please share the ones that brought you most fun and were worth the time.

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