Learning new things can boost wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence, and can provide you with a sense of purpose. It also helps us handle stress better.
There’s also the social side of things. Learning can help us connect with others giving our wellbeing even more of a boost.
Now you might think that learning new things means earning lots of pricey qualifications. But this is not the case. Attending formal classes and courses is great, but there are plenty more straightforward and cheaper ways to bring learning into your life.
For example, small things like reading a chapter of a new book can give us a feeling of achievement. Although new responsibilities at work can be stressful, learning new things can help further careers and provide a sense of accomplishment.
So ask yourself, when was the last time you did something for the first time or learned something new?
Think about something you have stopped doing or always wanted to try, and get started today.
1. Start a DIY or art project
Finishing a project in your house can give you an enormous sense of accomplishment.
Set yourself a project, like DIY or fixing something. You could also get creative – start painting or crafting. There is no shortage of free tutorials for almost anything online to help.
If you want to practice and learn how to make things with others, then take a look at the Newport Men’s Shed. They are often making and fixing things for the community.
2. Quick informal learning
Want to keep your learning informal? There are many fun and entertaining ways to learn.
Find a podcast that goes in-depth on a subject you are interested in, or take a subscription out in a magazine on something similar. The BBC has lots of informative and fun podcasts.
- No such thing as a fish – fun facts from the makers of QI.
- BBC Radio Four’s In Our Time – covers a wide range of topics, from Science, Culture, Religion and Philosophy.
- You could also consider signing up to read Wikipedia’s daily article, which it selects from its vast repository of entries.
The idea is to add a few things into your life that just pop into your inbox that you enjoy and give you that feeling of learning.
3. Learn a hobby or restart an old one
Perhaps you have got an old hobby that you’d like to revisit. If you want a new challenge, why not adopt a new hobby. Hobbies can be anything from knitting to computer programming.
4. Take a class
Classes are a great way to pick up practical skills like languages, cooking, mechanics, plumbing, and loads more. If you have the time, pick one up to do in the evening.
You don’t need to become an expert – learning things at any level can improve our wellbeing.
5. Learning to play an instrument
Learning to play a musical instrument can have a tremendous impact on how you feel. You could also learn to sign and be more social by joining a singing group.
Local classes, groups, books, and online tutorials are easy to find. So, get searching online.
Time for yourself
Your life should not be full of work and learning. Remember to leave time for whatever you like doing in your spare time, whether that’s reading, watching TV, gaming, exercising, having a nice bath, baking and so on.
You don’t always have to fill your time with activities. Spending time doing nothing will help you to think more clearly with whatever you choose to do next. Plus, time for yourself is always good for your wellbeing.