From learning first aid to painting portraits of your pets and growing plants in small spaces – there are plenty of different skills you can develop from home.
Learning something new is a great way to keep your mind busy, work on your personal and professional development, and add meaning and purpose to your life.
So, if you’re looking for some inspiration, why not consider learning one of these 12 skills?
1. Learn to cook or bake
Whether you’d like to learn the basics of cooking or baking, or perfect your existing skills, developing culinary creativity can be a great way to save money and eat more of the food you love.
Cooking can also give you a greater sense of control over what you’re putting into your body, which can help you to follow a healthy diet. From huevos rancheros to chicken pot pie, there’s always a new recipe that you can use to learn some new skills.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, why not head over to the food and drink section of our website? Here, you’ll find plenty of recipe inspiration and tips on how to up your cooking game.
Take an online cooking class
If you’re interested in taking an online cooking or baking course, why not browse the courses we have available on our website? From whole food and vegan cooking to cake baking and decorating diplomas, these courses are a great way to expand your knowledge and skills.
You may also like to join one of our upcoming cooking workshops over on Rest Less Events.
2. Learn to organise your home
If you spend a lot of time at home, it can be helpful to declutter and organise your surroundings in a way that allows you to keep a clear mind.
For example, if you can never find anything in your wardrobe and things fall out every time you open it, this can make you far more likely to avoid your wardrobe altogether. And before you know it, it’s 2pm and you’re still sitting in your pyjamas! The more organised we are, the less likely we’ll be to procrastinate.
Organising your living space can also help to pass the time, and seeing the results of your work can give you a sense of satisfaction. You could also take before and after photos of any particularly disorganised rooms or spaces, so you can see what you’ve achieved at the end.
For cleaning and home organisation tips and inspiration, have a read of our articles; How to declutter and reorganise your home, 8 tips for minimalist living, and 9 ways to declutter your workspace and improve productivity. You might also find some of the resources below useful…
Organising consultant Marie Kondo has a great Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which shows people how to let go of the things they no longer need, so they can feel happier and freer.
If you’re someone who tends to hoard or finds sentimental value in everything, this could be a great watch for you.
Her tips are used by ‘Mrs Hinchers’ around the country, who say that they now see cleaning in a whole new way. It’s worth checking out the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips group on Facebook, where over one and a half million people share cleaning tips and tricks inspired by Mrs Hinch herself.
Take an online organising and decluttering course
You could also consider taking an online organising or decluttering course to develop your knowledge further.
On the learning section of our website, you’ll find a wide variety of decluttering courses, including Udemy’s How to Declutter & Organize Any Space and The International Open Academy’s Decluttering Your Home Masterclass.
3. Improve your gardening skills
Whether you have a garden or not, there are plenty of green skills that you can learn at home to help make the most of your living space.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn how to grow your own fruit and vegetables, nurture a bonsai tree or simply find out more about what’s growing in your garden.
You’ll be able to get hold of gardening equipment like trowels, pruning shears, compost, and seeds from most DIY stores and garden centres – especially larger ones like Homebase and B&Q. Or you can order any tools you may need online on websites like Amazon.
However, it’s also worth making the most of what you might already have in the house. For example, by planting seeds from supermarket-bought peppers to grow your own, or using an old bucket or washing-up bowl as a plant pot.
Katie Elzar-Peters has written a great book called No Waste Kitchen Gardening (available on Amazon), that’ll show you how to regrow vegetable cut-offs and scraps into harvestable, edible plants.
Growing in small spaces
You can grow plants on balconies, window sills, and patio spaces – so having a garden isn’t essential for developing a few horticultural skills.
Developing gardening skills
If you’d like to work on your general horticultural skills – for either personal or professional development – head over to the gardening section of our website. Here, you’ll find everything from year-round gardening guides to information on the best gardening tools.
4. Learn office and IT skills
If you’ve been meaning to brush up on your Excel skills, set up a LinkedIn account, or learn how to code, now’s as good a time as any to get started.
The busy nature of our everyday lives can make it difficult to sit down and truly focus on learning new skills. And this, coupled with the fact that technology is constantly evolving, may leave you feeling a little left behind. So why not spend some time catching up?
Plus, if you’re in the market for a new job, developing some office and IT skills could also give you some extra points to add to your CV.
Office productivity skills
If you’re looking to become more confident using office tools such as Word, Powerpoint, or Excel, we have a range of Microsoft Office courses available on our website.
We also have a two-part introduction to Microsoft Excel course over on Rest Less Events, which will be kicking off on the 31st January. This will cover all the basics for beginners.
Social media skills
Social media offers a lot of benefits, such as helping you to stay connected with friends and family, but it also plays a prominent role in business these days.
There are plenty of courses out there that’ll show you how to use social media for marketing purposes; for example, how to create a YouTube channel, become a social media influencer, or create a content strategy on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re interested, we have a range of digital marketing and social media courses listed on our website.
Coding and computer science
Learning more about coding or computer science in general is another good online skill to learn from home. If you’re interested in getting to grips with anything from algorithms to debugging programs and how to write clean code, check out the IT courses available on our website.
5. First aid training
First aid training is one of the most valuable skills we can carry with us throughout life, but it’s surprising how few people have these skills.
For many of us, first aid is something that we’d love to know more about but simply never get around to learning, or have forgotten what we once knew. So if you’ve got some spare time, why not take an online first aid course?
To become a qualified first aider you’ll need to undertake some practical training too.
The British Red Cross offer a number of free resources including videos and guides that can help you learn how to respond to different health emergencies, including what to do if a person is choking, not breathing, and/or bleeding heavily.
We also have some first aid courses available on our website.
Note: It’s important to never practise first aid skills like resuscitation on real people, as you could cause a lot of damage. You should wait to practise in a simulated environment on a practical, supervised training course.
6. Learn to dance
Are you happiest when you’re dancing? If so, why not think about taking a few lessons to develop your talent? Learning a few routines and finding out more about different styles of dance can be a fun way to pass the time and keep both your body and brain active.
Physical activity stimulates your brain to release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Dancing, which involves learning and practising routines, can also help to improve cognitive function and prevent mental decline. Plus, it’s a good way to stay fit and burn some calories too.
Take an online dance class
To hone your dance skills further, you could also consider taking an online dance class that breaks down different styles and techniques.
For example, Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse and her husband Marius have a collection of free dance lessons available to the public. Her classes – which include dances inspired by South Africa and Romania – can be found on her YouTube channel.
To find out more about different dance classes, why not read our article; 11 online dance classes for beginners?
Alternatively, why not head over to Rest Less Events to browse upcoming dance classes? From belly dancing and DISCOaerobics to musical theatre and Afrofusion dance fitness, hopefully there’ll be a style to pique your interest.
7. Learn how to cut your hair and trim your beard
Cutting your own hair is a skill to try at your own risk, and shouldn’t be rushed. However, if you get it right, you can save yourself some time and money going forward.
There are plenty of helpful video tutorials on YouTube on how to cut your own hair, covering different hairstyles, lengths, and textures. By watching a few different techniques from different people, you can better assess which method will work best for you.
If you live with someone who’s in need of a beard trim or haircut, you could also consider learning these techniques to use on them – if they’ll let you, of course.
For further advice, you might like to have a read of our article; How to cut your hair at home.
Take an online hairdressing course
If you’re interested in taking up hairdressing as a profession, now could be a great time to develop your skills through an online course.
The range of hairdressing and beauty courses available on our website is a great place to start. You might also find it helpful to read our article; How to become a hairdresser.
8. Learn the skill of optimism
Many people are surprised to know that it’s possible to learn to be optimistic, as it’s often assumed that people are simply born that way.
But the reality is that you can learn to be optimistic at any age by practising a few techniques. This includes things like recognising negative thoughts, keeping a gratitude journal, and visualising a positive future.
Optimism can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety that are often caused by catastrophizing, and has also been linked to better quality sleep, decreased engagement in unhealthy behaviours, and a greater social network.
If you’re interested in finding out more about optimism and how to develop it, we’ve written a guide that you may find useful.
Take an online course in optimism
9. Learn a language
Many of us admire others who can speak a second, third, or even fourth language, and wish that we could do the same. And with a little patience, determination, and passion, you can. Though it’s important to choose a mode of learning that you enjoy to increase your chances of seeing it through.
To avoid becoming overwhelmed, it can be helpful to start by using a programme like Duolingo, which you can download as an app or access on the web. Duolingo offers a choice of 40 different languages, which you can learn through fun games and activities for just 5-10 minutes a day.
Take an online language course
If you’d prefer to take a more structured approach to language learning, you could take a course online.
We have a selection of free and paid-for courses on our website. You can study in your own time, at your own pace, and will usually receive a certificate upon completion.
For more inspiration, why not have a read of our articles; The benefits of learning a new language, 9 most spoken languages that are useful to learn, and 6 languages that are easier for English speakers to learn?
10. Learn something creative
If you have a creative streak, at some point, you may have thought about sitting down and developing a new creative talent. This could be drawing, painting, crocheting, calligraphy, photography, or something else entirely.
Creative talents like these are great stress relievers because they offer a sense of escapism and can also help to express how you’re feeling.
For plenty of creative inspiration, check out the hobbies and activities section of our website.
Take a creative course online
If you’re looking to explore your creative side, you might want to check out Skillshare. It offers a variety of free and paid classes, which are broken into bite-size chunks; allowing you to take regular breaks and learn at your own pace.
Whether you want to learn how to paint with watercolours, capture self-portraits on camera, or draw your pet, Skillshare has a wide range of creative learning opportunities available. You can enjoy all Skillshare courses free for the first week.
11. Learn to meditate
There may be skills on this list that you’d be interested in developing, but sometimes the biggest problem can be quieting your mind enough to do so. In this case, you could consider learning to meditate.
Mindfulness is one of the most popular meditation techniques that increases your awareness of the present moment through your senses. For example, focusing exclusively on what you can smell, touch, or taste at any given moment.
When we’re in the present moment, we aren’t able to focus on and worry about the past and future. So, during mindful moments, we tend to feel more peaceful. Our guide to mindfulness offers more information about the benefits of mindfulness, plus tips on how to get started.
You could also try downloading apps like Headspace or Calm. Both have hundreds of mindfulness exercises that you can practise whilst doing everyday activities. Calm also has a number of useful free resources, including gratitude journal templates and mindful living calendars.
12. Learn to play a musical instrument or develop your music skills
Music offers so many different things to so many different people. But one thing that most will agree on is that when you’re lost in your favourite song and singing along in your car or in the shower, you probably won’t be thinking about much else. It can help to distract us from anxious thoughts and significantly lift our mood.
If you’ve got a musical instrument at home, why not dust it off and learn a few chords? YouTube is a great place to find music tutorials from people of all levels, who can break down the basics for you.
To give you some more inspiration, we also have plenty of great music-related articles in the art and culture section of our website – such as 12 benefits of introducing more music into your life and 7 of the easiest musical instruments for adults to learn.
You may also enjoy signing up to a music event on Rest Less Events. From musical recitals to drumming classes, there’ll hopefully be something fun for you.
Just for fun – a few extra courses you could try
Learning new skills can be a welcome distraction if you’re feeling bored, restless, or anxious – but it’s best not to put too much pressure on yourself to master everything all in one go.
When you’re thinking about learning a new skill, it can be helpful to start small and break your goals down into manageable chunks. Even starting with half an hour of learning a day can make all the difference to your self-confidence and how you feel at the end of the day.
Are there any other skills that you’re learning at home? Or do you have any recommendations for great learning resources? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.