Guest Post by Derek Goodman, Inbizability
Even if you’re vaccinated, you may still be spending more time than usual in your own house. Learning new skills and adopting new hobbies will help you use this time productively. From knitting to learning a language to taking a virtual dance class, there are many options available. Everyday Investing in You shares how to find an activity that suits your style and how to get started below.
Recognize the benefits of learning a new skill or hobby.
It can be tempting to simply spend your extra time at home bingeing on Netflix. However, learning a new skill will benefit you in many ways. Learning something new strengthens your brain, increasing the density of valuable white matter and stimulating neurons. Learning something new can also boost your confidence and happiness, according to Psychologies. Perfecting the perfect knitting stitch or dance move after weeks of practice brings on a rush of positive feelings. You probably don’t get that kind of mental boost from sitting on the couch and watching TV.
Select an activity that you are truly interested in.
It’s clear that learning a new skill or hobby is a good idea — but just what activity should you pick up? It’s your call! Psychology Today offers a handy guide to picking the perfect hobby, from considering the cost to thinking about how you want to be challenged (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.). You may want to choose something that demands different skills from those you use at work daily. If you’re an accountant and usually deal with Excel documents and numbers all day, for example, a more creative hobby may interest you.
Figure out what supplies you need.
You may need some supplies to start your hobby. Research what you’ll need online. If you’d still rather not risk shopping in person, look for ways to get the necessary items online.
If your chosen activity requires more expensive tools, consider renting or borrowing instead of buying to start out. You can rent sewing machines, for example. This gives you a chance to see if you truly enjoy your new hobby before you put a lot of money into it.
Turn to technology to start learning.
If you want to learn something new, you’ll need a teacher. Luckily, the internet can help. You can find many free courses online via open learning platforms like Moodle. YouTube is another great resource, offering free tutorials on everything from sewing to dancing to cooking. Get creative when using technology to hone your skills. For example, if you are learning a foreign language, you can find a conversation partner to practice with digitally via platforms like italki.
Consider transforming your newfound skill into a career.
You may discover that you love your new hobby or skill so much, you want to incorporate it more into your everyday life — or even make a career out of it. Formal continuing education can give you the credentials you need to take your passion from “hobby” to “job.” For example, say you started teaching yourself information technology skills and now want to pursue an IT career. You can find online master’s programs in IT covering cybersecurity, data analytics, IT management, and more.
Whatever hobby you choose, learning something new will leave you happier and more fulfilled. Follow the above guide to get started.
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