Learning is great for our wellbeing as it gives us a sense of achievement and opens doors for us. What with busy lives though, learning something new often gets pushed to the bottom of our priorities. With self-isolation and social distancing measures in place, many of us will be finding we have a lot more time on our hands than usual. This could be a great chance to get your teeth into learning something new.
Learning can be defined as ‘gaining knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught’. That means there are lots of different ways to learn, and it’s not something that only happens when we go on a course or take a class! Learning can also come from doing.
Other definitions of learning talk about it as a process of change - it’s not just about absorbing information - something in us transforms as a result of learning.
The good news if you do want to take a class or course is that we can do this from the comfort of our homes! Modern technology puts all sorts of learning opportunities at our fingertips. Everything from smartphone apps to ‘MOOC’ (massive open online courses) to video tutorials are available on pretty much any topic these days. For the more academic amongst us, there is also the option of working towards qualifications through the Open University. The world is our oyster!
Since we can learn by doing as well as by studying, arts & crafts are a great way to learn. Grab some paints, papercraft or other supplies and put your creativity to the test. You’ll learn new skills just by the act of doing it, and will end up with something lovely (or perhaps comical!) at the end of it.
We’re all having to adapt rapidly in these tough times. This gives us a great chance to learn about the world and ways of coping. For example, many of us will be working at home for the first time, or left with no choice but to home-school the kids. Check out this article on working well at home this one of positive home-schooling practices for some top tips.
Think about all the things your friends and family know that you don’t. What can you learn from them? Perhaps you’re stuck only socialising with one significant other who you live with; ask them lots of questions you wouldn’t usually and see what they can find out. Video-call your relatives and do the same, or set up a virtual pop quiz with your friends where you all set questions on a favourite topic. This would be a great way to get some social interaction whilst learning something new. Take a look at our blog post on Connecting for more ideas about how to keep up those social connections during these tough times.
If you’re self-isolating, this might feel a very lonely time. However, being alone also gives you an amazing opportunity to get to know yourself better. Tune into your own thoughts and feelings, and allow yourself to fully experience these. See our blog on another of the Five Ways, Take Notice, for more.
This is also a time to learn to be kind to ourselves. With that in mind, why not give this self-compassion meditation practice a try?