Lockdown is challenging, to say the least – even if we’re fortunate enough to be physically healthy, being cooped up with our nearest and dearest can impact psychological wellbeing.

But while you’re working from home or on furlough, you might find yourself with more spare time than usual, and this might make you consider learning new skills that benefit you in terms of life, work and wellbeing.

With that in mind, here are five ways to upskill during lockdown.

1. Inspirational videos

If you’ve got a penchant for thought leadership, now’s the time to top up on the type of inspirational videos that make you see things from a different perspective.

Start by watching the most popular TEDx talks and you’ll pick up savvy tips from charismatic speakers like Brene Brown, Cameron Russell, Maz Jobrani and Tom Thum, on everything from creativity to communication and mental health. 

2. Emotional intelligence reading

Emotional intelligence is certainly at a premium right now, and one of the best places to find it online is at The School Of Life – the self-help organisation that collates wisdom from history’s greatest minds in the fields of literature, philosophy, psychology and more. 

The ‘brain’ of the organization is The Book Of Life – you’ll find it on their website and it’s a perpetually updated oracle with entertaining, motivational and reassuring articles on subjects like stoicism, romance, raising kids, and finding new ways to care for ourselves and our communities.

3. Mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness is the secular version of Buddhist meditation and although it’s been around for a while, if you haven’t tried it before, including it in your daily routine at the moment might really enhance your resilience.

Exercises can be completed in just a few minutes but they calm your nerves and reset your psyche for much longer – try these free mindfulness audio exercises from experts Professor Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman today and you might be surprised how effective they are. 

4. Dance

Yup – you read it right. Lockdown is the best time ever to limber up and learn how to do all of those cool dances you’ve been yearning to try for years.

Be careful and don’t attempt anything too acrobatic if you haven’t exercised for a while, but there are plenty of beginner’s videos on YouTube for classic dances like the Running Man, Shuffle and Texas Two Step. Dancing instantly makes you feel happier and by the time you’re socialising again, you’ll be the life and soul of the party with your new moves.

5. Study

If this liminal time has really made you realise that you want to do something that feels more worthwhile with your career, or you’re uncertain how secure your job is, it might be the time to upskill by studying from home.

Start an online degree with ARU Distance Learning and you can work your way towards a qualification in anything from digital marketing to psychology, completing modules in your own time and fitting study in around work and family commitments. 

That’s our list! Let us know how you get on with our recommendations in the comments section.


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