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 want to learn the basics of cooking/baking or work on perfecting and developing your skills, home is the perfect place to experiment in the kitchen.
Having skills in the kitchen can boost your culinary creativity while helping you save money and eat more of the food you love. Some people also say that cooking gives them a greater sense of control over what they’re putting into their body
From huevos rancheros to chicken pot pie, there’s always a new recipe that you can use to learn or develop some new skills.
Take an online cooking class
And if you’re interested in taking part in an online cooking or baking course, why not have a browse of 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.
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 and feel less overwhelmed.
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.
If you’re looking for some cleaning and home organisation tips and inspiration, you might 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 absolutely everything, this could be a great show for you.
Her tips are now 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 half a 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 organising or decluttering course online to develop your knowledge further and learn how to help others develop these skills. You may even decide that a career as a professional organiser or declutterer is for you.
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 Skills 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 you 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.
However, it’s also worth making the most of what you might already have in the house. For example, by using 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’re looking to develop your general horticultural skills – for either your personal or professional development – head over to the gardening section of our site. 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 is 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, then developing some office and IT skills could also give you some extra plus 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, then we have a range of Microsoft Office courses available on our website.
Social media skills
Social media has a lot of personal 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
If you’re interested in getting to grips with coding or finding out more about computer science, you could check out Khan Academy.
Khan Academy has a number of helpful free tutorials that’ll introduce you to everything from algorithms to debugging programs and how to write clean code.
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 – unless we work in a field that requires it. But if you’ve got some spare time, why not take a first aid course online?
If you want to become a qualified first aider, you’ll need to undertake some practical training. However, you could always brush up on some learning beforehand.
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 a person who’s choking, not breathing, and/or bleeding heavily.
Note: It’s important never to 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 shaking your groove thing? Then 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.
According to Bupa’s calorie counter, you can burn over 400 calories an hour by dancing. Physical activity also 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.
Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse and her husband Mariushave 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.
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.
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 barre and DISCOaerobics to Afrofusion and Jazz, there’s sure to be a style to pique your interest.
7. Learn how to cut your own hair and trim your beard
Cutting your own hair is a skill to try at your own risk, and shouldn’t be rushed if you want to give yourself the best chance at getting it right. However, if you do get it right, you could end up saving yourself some time and money going forward.
For men, London-based barbers, Ruffians, have posted a selection of videos on their YouTube channel. This will take you through how to do everything from beard trimming to a full buzz cut.
For men and women with longer hair, it can be helpful to watch a handful of different tutorials on YouTube before you attempt anything yourself. By watching a few different techniques from different people, you can better assess which method would work best for you, based on your general preferences and hair type.
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 want to have a read of our article; How to cut your hair at home.
Take an online hairdressing course
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, Hairdressing: The Complete Guide is a popular course offered by Of Course for anyone looking to start a hairdressing career. This 13-hour online course is made up of over 600 lectures split into 15 topics – such as treating the skin, hair and scalp, hairdressing techniques, and health and safety.
We also have a range of hairdressing and beauty courses available on our website.
8. Learn the skill of optimism
Many people are surprised by the suggestion that you can 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. Optimism 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
It’s also worth checking out Udemy’s optimism course, The Power of Optimism. This will show you how to identify whether you’re naturally optimistic or pessimistic, and learn how to avoid thoughts that may lead to anxiety and depression.
9. Learn a new language
There are multiple benefits of learning a new language – including keeping your brain sharp, having an excuse to travel, and advancing your career.
Many of us admire others who can speak a second, third, or even fourth language, and wish that we could do the same. But with a little patience, determination, and passion, you can. 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 using 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 distance-learning course online.
We have a selection of free and paid-for courses on our website that you can. You can study in your own time, at your own pace, and will usually receive a certificate upon completion.
10. Learn to draw, paint, sew or something else 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, sewing, calligraphy, photography or something else entirely.
Creative talents like these are great stress relievers because they offer escapism and can also help express how you’re feeling.
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 two months (at the time of publishing), after which you’ll still have access to 500 free classes, with the option to pay for thousands of premium courses.
11. Learn to meditate
There may be one or more 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.
They can help you to develop gratitude, improve your sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. Both can be tried free for a limited period of time, after which there’s a monthly or annual fee. However, Calm also has a number of 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 people 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 act as a helpful distraction from anxious thoughts and can significantly lift your mood.
If you’ve got a musical instrument at home that you bought and have never got around to playing, why not dust it off and learn a few chords? YouTube is a great place to find music tutorials from people of all sorts of ages and levels, who can break down the basics.
Alternatively, if you don’t have an instrument like a keyboard or a guitar, you could try getting creative with things around the house, like spoons. Or, if you’re into singing, there are plenty of videos that you can use to improve your singing voice.
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.
Just for fun – a few extra courses you could try
If none of the options above piqued your interest, or you’re looking for some extra skills that you could learn, why not try one of these?
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 one hour 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.