It has been quite easy to slip into a lazy spiral of gaming and binge-watching movies and TV shows while we’re mostly stuck indoors. Indulging in these a little bit is fine, but sometimes we need to pull ourselves away from the digital and try something different, stimulate our brains and do something hands-on.
Whether you want to give these a shot for yourself, or even get the entire family involved for a little friendly competition, why not try to learn a few new skills? They can provide the perfect escape from staring at a screen all day. Who knows, you may stumble across a new hobby or even a way to keep the entire family entertained.
It might seem like a bit of a kid’s activity, but juggling can be quite fun and challenging. The perfect way to bring a new skill to life is to take it step, by step. However, we always like to make things a little more interesting. Why not get your family and friends involved and see who can take out the crown of master juggler first? Research has found that juggling helps improve brain function, by enhancing neural connections – the best part, the study found the benefit was from the time spent training and not the level of skill attained.
There are a bunch of great tutorials on YouTube or juggling articles online – however, I found this to be the easiest to follow.
Puzzles and Brain Teasers
Don’t worry about trying to find a spare table where you can put together that new 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There are some great brain teaser puzzles that you can do to test yourself and challenge your friends with. If you’ve ever picked up a pen and had a go at the newspaper crosswords, Sudoku or ‘spot-the-difference’ you might be familiar the satisfaction of completing these puzzles. Studies have also shown that regular ‘puzzling’ helps to boost cognitive performance, that sounds like the real ‘a-ha!’ moment.
There are some great resources online where you can find some awesome puzzles, BrainDen and PuzzlePrime are just two examples. There are also some great books that you could work through as well – Hinkler has a large selection for the whole family.
If you don’t want to make a mess, and you’re still wanting to learn something new, Origami is easy for anyone to get in to. Whether you start out with the traditional Crane, or opt for something more challenging: I chose the traditional Iris. Alternatively, you can pick and choose from these online diagrams which will help guide you.
Origami can also be a great way to relax and enjoy some time for mindfulness; focusing on executing the perfect folds and techniques to create each masterpiece. It’s also a good way to pull the kids away from their screens for a while.
Mixing up some ingredients for a spectacular breakfast or a delicious dinner is something that cannot be overlooked. With access to my kitchen throughout the day I have made an effort to cook my meals fresh, rather than do my usual meal prepping. Not only is cooking the perfect way to enjoy great food in the comfort of your own home, but it’s also a useful skill – just think about all the amazing recipes you can master for your ‘post-isolation’ dinner parties!
Move over grannies, knitting is making a comeback. No, seriously it is! Even Ryan Gosling is passionate on the theme, having learnt how to knit from some “old ladies”, while filming Lars and the Real Girl. Not only is it quite easy to pick up, but you also get to create something that you can wear / use with pride. A common theme that appears amongst knitters is the satisfaction they get, from producing something as a gift; a token of appreciation, a thank you.
So, why not break the idea that knitting is an activity reserved for the elderly, and have some fun creating something? There are some seriously cool creations being posted on social media under the hashtag #weareknitters – check it out for some woolen inspo.
Learn the Guitar…or Other Musical Instrument
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a rock star, shredding a guitar on stage then you’re in luck. You’ve now got the chance to learn how to play your favourite songs on any instrument! There are some great apps and videos available to teach you the basics on learning to play your chosen instrument. Check out this video from onlineguitarschool to help start you on your path to glory, or if the piano or keyboard are more your speed you can check out apps like Simply Piano or Yousician.
These are just a few fun new skills that you can try to pick up, whether you try them by yourself or get your family and friends involved. Whether you see who can juggle the longest, solve the puzzle first, or fold the perfect piece of Origami there are many ways to make it a little more competitive.
We’d love to hear from you about any new skills or hobbies that you’ve picked up recently!