It’s official—the UK is in lock-down. That means that we all need to stay home whenever we can. It’s the right thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Not by a long shot. Finding yourself with an excessive amount of ‘downtime’ can be tough.
While you may be tempted to go on an epic Netflix binge, why not spend your time doing something productive? Here are some of the free things you can do online now.
Start an online course
Now could be the ideal time to learn something new and, thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s never been easier. Yes, a quick Google search will tell you that there are endless online courses you can use to fill your time. Whether you’re looking to sharpen up your skills or simply do something that engages you, this could be the answer. Let’s take a moment to break down four of the best online courses that are available right now.
The Science of Well-Being from Yale University
Ever fancied studying at an Ivy League college? One of Yale University’s most popular courses ‘The Science of Well-Being’ is now free on Coursera. During the course, Professor Laurie Santos will challenge your misconceptions about happiness and delve into various studies on what truly enhances our sense of well-being.
While this is an academic module, there’s a personal element to it too. Once you get started, you can begin undertaking tasks that will increase your own happiness levels. In short, you can put your knowledge into practice. There’s even an app, which was created by Yale, that will help you when it comes to supplementary self-care challenges and tasks.
Diploma in Social Media Marketing from Shaw Academy
If you’re interested in the wonderful world of social media marketing, now could be the right time to sharpen up your skills. The Diploma in Social Media Marketing is now free on Shaw Academy so it’s well worth signing up. The four-week program covers the basics of this industry and, after completing it, you will be eligible to take your EQF Diploma.
The free course covers a wide range of topics including getting to know social media platforms, Facebook advertising, user-generated content, and strategy. To get started, you will need to sign up to Shaw Academy online and get the course. It’s on offer at the moment at no cost but usually comes in at €49.99 per month. Better move fast!
Food as Medicine from Reed
Interested in diet and nutrition? You might want to try the Food as Medicine course free from Reed. The three-week program gives you an overview of this fascinating topic including modules on the history of food as medicine, food and the gut, food and the brain, macronutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Interesting stuff.
The free course is certified by the Association for Nutrition and BDA endorsed. While the course will give you an understanding of the basics, it’s important to remember that it does not give you the qualifications to practice as a nutritionist or dietitian.
The Truth About Cats and Dogs from Coursera
Here’s a free course for all the animal lovers out there. The Truth About Cats and Dogs is a free course available on Coursera. If you have ever wondered why your cat or pooch behaves in a certain way, this program will give you the insights you’ve been looking for.
The online course delves into the science behind our favourite animals’ behaviour in a bid to better understand why they act the way that they do. It covers everything from their sense and traits to how they have learnt to integrate with humans over time.
Sharpen your skills with YouTube
Needless to say, you might not want to dive headfirst into an online course. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, why not head over to YouTube. The website is about more than watching hilarious videos. Yes, you can actually learn stuff here too. Of course, you can find videos on just about everything here. However, let’s take a look at a few of the skills that you might want to learn now that you have the time.
Learn simple magic tricks
Alakazam! Fancy yourself as something of a magician? Why not spend this time learning how to do some magic tricks online. Believe it or not, there are many different YouTube channels focussed on this task. One of the best is the SankeyMagic Channel. Packed with super simple tutorial videos, this is a great place to start for anyone interested in magic.
Take up daily yoga
Can you picture yourself as a fully-fledged yogi? If the answer is yes, why not start this practice in the comfort of your own home? You will need a gym mat to get started. However, if you don’t happen to have one, you can use a comfortable blanket. (Just make sure that you fold it over a few times!) Yoga with Adriene is one of the top-rated yoga channels on YouTube. Why not start a 30-day journey with daily sessions?
Get creative with your cooking
Thanks to self-isolation, many of us are going to need to get creative in the kitchen. Yes, you might be relying heavily on tinned foods, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make awesome dishes. Why not take the time to sharpen your culinary skills? Laura in the Kitchen is one of the best cookery YouTube channels. You can expect a diverse range of tasty recipes that tick all the right boxes. Why not give it a go now?
Start gardening (inside or out!)
Have you let your garden go a bit? Now that self-isolation is in full force, you might want to start tending to it. Alternatively, you could also start growing a herb garden on your window ledge. If you’re wondering how and where to get started, you should check out the Growing Your Greens YouTube channel now. You can learn simple things, such as how to look after certain plants, and pro tips, like how to make your own compost.
How will you spend your time? These fun and free activities are an excellent way to pass the hours and, who knows, you may even come out of this with a brand new skill. Check out some of our ideas for inspiration but also look online for other free things to do.