LEARN

One of the best things about having so much time is I’ve managed to pick up books that have been on my shelves for years and actually start reading them! It feels good to sit and learn more about the subjects I’m interested in, and inevitably this feeds into my ideas and creative work.

Learning doesn’t have to feel heavy, just start with what’s already on your bookshelf!

Theory

Learning isn’t just for children, taking up a new skill as an adult has the capacity to greatly improve your mental health and wellbeing. The challenge that comes with learning something new is what helps us to reach a sense of achievement. When we commit to obtaining new knowledge and step beyond what we already know, we can gain a better insight into ourselves.

One of the foundations of learning is breaking down large goals by creating achievable and bitesize tasks. This format works well, because when we accomplish a small task our brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with reward or pleasure. So each time we are able to tick something of our list, finish an essay or pass a test, our brain gives us a kick of dopamine which makes us feel great! When we feel the effects of dopamine, we are eager to repeat the actions that resulted in the initial success. This helps us to become more motivated to achieve our goal.

Learning boosts our self-confidence and improves our self-esteem, it helps to broaden our minds to new possibilities, enriching our experience of being alive.

Resources

Open University – Open University has hundreds of free online courses available!

Oxford Home Study – Here’s a few more free courses from Oxford Home Study

Learn how to Sign – Natasha Lamb and her sister Kelly-Ann are offering free YouTube classes in British sign language, I’ve just done lesson one and I’m already hooked!

Cooking Lessons from the BBC – If you’re not confident in the kitchen this resource is great and completely free!

Apps

PlantNet – Is a free plant identification app, literally take a photograph of the plant you’re unsure of and it will identify it for you in seconds! I now know all the real names of my houseplants!

Duolingo – A free language learning app. Take your pick of 94 different languages, and get started today!

Ted Talks – If you haven’t already got addicted to Ted Talks now’s the time! Listen to hundreds of talks from inspiring leaders, inventors, artists, scientists, activists, environmentalists, you name it it’s there!