You can do so much more online than spend lost hours mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds and shopping for socks. You can actually become quite inspired to learn new things and then find the ways to follow your passions and express yourself. There are so many great experts online who are right there to share expertise, guidance and inspiration.
Here are a lot of ideas for picking up new skills, traveling around the world from home, seeing some great art, catching some concerts, bonding with your friends and finding a new workout. Try some of these:
Learn New Skills
Become an At-Home Chef
You keep hearing that you can make a fabulous meal out of a can of beans and a box of pasta, but not if you don’t know where to begin. Lots of chefs have taken their game online. Search for your favorite chef, and explore some new ones for great demos, knife skills and tasty fun.
The chefs at Bon Appetit can show you how in their series of YouTube videos. Or check these under 10-minute essentials from Buzzfeed’s Tasty 101. Travel to sun-soaked Italy and follow chef Massimo Bottura in his new video series on Instagram, “Kitchen Quarantine.” Even a comfort food staple like mac and cheese gets a gourmet makeover in this online cooking class. Indulge your sweet tooth as Christina Tosi of Milk Bar hosts #BakersClub every Tuesday afternoon on Instagram. Butter cake, chocolate chip cookies, all take you to sugar heaven.
Learn New Languages Online
Greek, Polish, Catalan, Norwegian, Turkish, Swahili. You name it, you can learn it. Whether you want to prepare for a future trip abroad or learn the language of your ancestors, the options are endless. Pick a language, then learn it for free on Duolingo or OpenCulture, where you can find audio and video lessons to boost reading comprehension and speaking. Bonus: you get to add a new skill to your resume.
Code your Way to New Skills
Maybe tech is your new jam, and it’s time to learn to code. You can get comfortable with the basics right at home. Online you’ll find free resources like Code Academy that make it fun to gain new skills, whether you’re interested in learning graphic design, website construction, or data analytics. Find classes that are compatible with your skill level. You’ll apply your new knowledge through real-world projects and quizzes, and instructors provide feedback so you can continue to grow.
Explore the arts
Visit a museum
Over 500 museums around the world are open online for free. It’s a quick trip to transport yourself to the Renaissance period visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or get to Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to check out some iconic paintings. Both you and the kids will love these coloring pages you can download from over a hundred museums and libraries around the world.
Pick up the palette
If you’re seeking a creative outlet that keeps your hands and mind busy, consider learning how to draw or paint. Resources like SkillShare have free and paid online classes with talented artists who teach various art forms, including portrait drawing, watercolors, graphic design and digital illustration. These supportive, step-by-step lessons could start a whole new life for you.
See all that stuff sitting around your house? It can turn into something amazing. Learn how to get creative with a few crafts. You can tackle DIY projects like making your own photo coasters or keychains, or pick a few kid-friendly ones that the whole family can do together without breaking the bank.
Get social — from a distance
Do a game night
You’re the show host for a game night with friends. Set up a Zoom call and play games like charades, Pictionary, or a trivia game. For team games, check out online drawing guessing games like Drawasaurus, or play social simulation games, like Animal Crossing, and hang out with people in virtual worlds. If you’re a bit more tech savvy, you can find some cool virtual board games, too.
Set up a virtual book club
Even though it’s not your regular wine drinking Thursday night book group, you can make it just as lively virtually. Bring some new readers to the regulars, then pick books and chat almost as usual. Plus, many local libraries are offering free ebook and audiobook rentals, so you can gather a group together to discuss your latest read over virtual cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Check out websites of your local bookstores or the big publishers because they’re all hosting readers, too.
Host a dinner or cocktail night
Get a group of friends, agree on a recipe, then cook it and have it ready so you can all siit down to dinner over a video call. Don’t forget those recipe sites we told you about earlier. You can even pick an easy quarantini cocktail recipe and toast your friends and family.
Until you can attend a concert live in person, virtual shows will have to do. From Dua Lipa to Miley Cyrus, the biggest pop stars are streaming concerts for fans. Make a date with friends to watch and jam out together.
Make time for self-care
If you’re feeling added stress and anxiety of late, you don’t have to go it alone. Apps like Calm and Headspace are offering free trials so you can explore meditation and sleep resources and develop long-lasting self-care habits.
Sweat it Out
Sticking to a consistent routine helps both body and mind stay healthy, and it’s possible to keep up that routine from home. Free trials from apps like FitOn, Obe Fitness and others can help you get moving. Your local gym might even be offering collective workouts over YouTube so it’s a good idea to check out virtual sessions for a quick change from the usual. And you might find some new workout or hiking buddies in your area on Meetup.
Take off via Armchair Travel
Miss traveling? You don’t have to skip that vacation. In fact, get more exotic. Explore the sand dunes of the arid Sahara, or take in breathtaking views of the Northern Lights all from the comfort of your own home. Hop on board one of these virtual train tours. Imagine chugging through the breathtaking Andes mountains or taking in a view of the Japanese countryside.
Think of this time at home as a luxury. Then, whether you’re in the mood do something new, you have tons of choices to get creative. A good Wi-Fi connection and an hour or two are all you need.