Stage four coronavirus restrictions are now in place across Melbourne. It means city residents will have to stay home outside of essential exercise, grocery and care-giving trips. If you’re currently stuck in lockdown and struggling to stay productive or positive, you can always head online to learn some handy new life skills.
From learning how to sew for the first time to dabbling in lock-picking, knitting, gardening and more, there’s plenty of stuff on the internet to get you to learn something fun and relaxing.
Here’s some great ideas to get you started.
Learn how to sew
Not everyone can afford a decent $300 plus sewing machine, but the goods news is you don’t need one for most clothing-related problems. Hand sewing is an extremely valuable skill you can easily learn online. It can help you adjust pant hems, sew up clothing holes, craft dolls and even create wild and wacky costumes. After all, repurposing is all the hype these days.
All you’ll need is a needle and some kind of thread.
Check out Nutty Crafter’s YouTube page for some very simple tutorials.
Learn how to pick a lock
In some Australian states like New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, it is illegal to own lock-picking tools — but there’s no harm in learning how to use them as long as your intent is not criminal. Lock-picking can come in handy in several practical life situations, particularly if you ever lock yourself out of your own home.
Otherwise, it’s also a great party trick and can be fun for those with restless hands.
There’s an art to the act, but simple demonstrations can be found online and they’re very easy to follow along with.
Learn how to knit
Knitting is another great life skill to have, especially if you want to become fluent in the art of patience. While you will need specialised knitting needles and balls of wool to learn how to knit properly, it can be a great activity for your downtime. If you enjoy watching TV but need something else to keep you occupied, knitting is a low-stress, low-input task you can wile away at while relaxing.
Be warned though, knitting does take a lot of practice to learn, but once you get the hang of it, the rewards are aplenty. For example, you might even get a funky scarf, beanie or jumper out of it for yourself or for a loved one.
Check out RJ Knits for some great beginner guides.
Learn how to plant a herb garden
A herb garden is one of the most useful things you can have in your backyard, particularly if you like meals with plenty of zest. To save yourself numerous trips to the shops, you might like to create your very own herb garden complete with parsley, basil, coriander and other essential ingredients.
While gardening is fairly simple, it can come with some weird quirks. Head online to find the best combination of plants, how much sun or water they’ll need and where you should place them in your garden.
Learn how to change a tyre
You never know when you’ll need to change a tyre, but it’s likely this scenario will pop up at least once in your lifetime, that is if you drive a car. Luckily, lockdown is the perfect opportunity to bone up on your mechanical skills.
If there’s a wrench and a jack handy, you could try it yourself — or just listen to the lovely folks at Drive as they give you a rundown of the basics.
Learn how to whistle loudly
Most people can whistle in some form, but only the most talented whistlers are able to pull off an ear-shattering horn whistle.
Loud whistling can be an essential skill if you’re ever in trouble and or want to alert people to danger. It can also be used to annoy colleagues and scare people, if you’re more inclined to learn it for that reason.
Although it’s a bit tricky to to pull off, but with enough practice you can whistle with the best of them.
Just make sure those you’re living with are happy to sit and listen to your many failed attempts.
There’s plenty more life skills you can learn online, with everything from hair colouring to scenery painting having handy how-to’s available online. To get started with your new favourite hobby, simply head to YouTube and search ‘Learn How To’ for a bunch of fantastic starter ideas.
With more time on your hands than ever before, the sky is the limit for your skills.
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve learned any unique life skills since COVID-19 started. Give us a shout in the comments if that’s you.