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From Cooking to Coding: 5 Things to Learn Online

What to do in the times of lockdown? Here are a bunch of skills you can learn online. For a smarter, healthier and a more entertained version of yourself

We all find each other in rather challenging times. Whether you are working from home or not, it’s undeniable that some of us have a whole new load of spare time on our hands. Instead of aimlessly browsing the web and losing yourself in the abyss of YouTube, why not instead spend the lockdown doing something a bit more productive. Staying at home doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you can’t learn anything new – quite the opposite. The Internet is endless and so are the opportunities that it offers. We dug a little and are happy to present you with activities that will be beneficial for the body, mind and soul.

Night at the Opera

 Spectacles, shows, concerts are not an option now…or are they? Most theatres, operas and even museums rose to the challenge and now provide online streaming for everyone, completely free of charge. Even if you are not an opera fan, now it’s the time to explore without actually having to attend the show and buying the ticket. The Royal Opera House in London is offering the public a free programme, including operas and ballet performances. The audience will miss the fun of dressing up and enjoying beautiful opera building, but you can still appreciate the show at any time, from anywhere across the globe.

If operas are not your genre of choice, not to worry – pop and rock stars decided to entertain their secluded fans. The isolation just got better as now you can get best seats to see your favourite musicians for free! Just settle comfortably in your bed and launch…Instagram. Many singers decided, that if they can’t perform for a live public, they will do the next best thing – put a show on social media. Chris Martin, Keith Urban, John Legend, Patti Smith and many more uploaded Instagram Live or IGTV videos, as part of the World’s Health Organisation ‘Together At Home’ virtual concert series, where you can feel like at the most intimate concert ever. Moreover, many artists are also streaming their shows on their pages, starting with Neil Young, who announced to upload a live performance on his website, which will be accessible for anyone who desires to participate in this musical experience.

And if music is not your thing, museums and galleries have also opened their virtual doors to us. Most of the world’s most famous exhibitions are available to peruse literally at our fingertips. You can view all Vatican’s Museums, including the famous ‘Sistine Chapel’ – no opening hours, no fee and no crowds. It’s almost as good as seeing it live. The London’s National Gallery is also encouraging people to not lose their love for art, despite being temporarily closed. They enabled the Google Virtual Tour, where you can admire Early Renaissance and a variety of 270 paintings – unique experience available on your phone, tablet or laptop. You might not be able to leave the premises of your household, but you are able to get full cultural experience from the comfort of your own couch.

Do It Yourself

Even though you can’t go and face the outside world just yet, you still might need a jumper at some point, even if it is just to wear to your living room. Going to the shops is not an option now, but the Wool and the Gang has got you covered. They are an amazing store, especially for beginners, as they offer not just online shopping. On their website you will be able to find a wide range of instructions and online tutorials on knitting, crocheting and macramé. You can purchase all the essential tools and equipment as well as starting kits in their online shop. You can also buy ready made jumpers, scarves and more – but where’s the fun in that?

If making a garment seems a bit too challenging, especially if you’re new to DIY, why not starting with something smaller and simpler. ‘How to With Kristin’ YouTube channel offers a huge variety of tutorials on DIY. Our favourite, sticking to the fashion theme, is making your own scrunchies. They became a big trend recently and a must-have fashion accessory. Good news – they are really easy to make (we tried!) and you can usually use materials that you already have at home. When you are done conquering the accessory world of DIY and are ready to move on, Kristin has also crocheting channel, showing that this form of spending time is no longer reserved just for our grandmas. Happy knitting!

Brain Food

You’ve watched all the films on Netflix? You’ve finished all the seasons of TV series? Good – now it’s time to ‘feed’ your brain with the good stuff. If there is a course that you’ve always wanted to complete, or a topic that you urge to delve in and explore, well – no time like present. There are loads of courses online, however, online portals such as Coursera or edX offer thousands of classes…from top universities. Yes, you can get an Ivy League University certificate without even leaving your couch. What is more, the topics are really endless, but both of those portals offer nearly 500 courses on coding – a skill that might come in handy with the rise of digitalization. The classes are free to participate in and they vary in length, you can sign up for the most suitable option. up your productivity and let yourself feel like a student again!

Actual Food

Let’s hope that it won’t last long, but currently going to a restaurant seems like an old memory and a rather distant future. There has literally never been the better time (even if just from necessity) to tackle the art of cooking. While supermarkets’ shelves are emptying and half of the ingredients are not as easily available as we would’ve liked, now is the moment to get creative. Let’s not panic and thank the social media gods for enabling chefs to share their skills with us. Most people are familiar with recipe videos on YouTube, but there is an even easier and more accessible way – Instagram. Caitlin Shoemaker aka ‘From My Bowl’ creates mouth-watering recipes using under 10 ingredients. Her Instagram feed looks like an absolute culinary dream and while being impressive, the majority of her dishes are incredibly easy to prepare and do not require fancy tools or ingredients. Another bonus is that all the food that Caitlin prepares is vegan, so it’s not only yummy but also beneficial for the environment. Win-win!

However, if you are not ready to give up on the carnivore life just yet – bare with. Canadian chef and the star of the well beloved show ‘Queer Eye’, Antoni Porowski, started to upload daily videos on IGTV during quarantine, to show his viewers new recipes they can easily recreate with little effort. He accompanies his cooking with witty comments and fantastic humour – you will not only learn how to cook, but you also will be entertained.

Strengthen Your Body

Ok, now that you learned how to cook, it’s time to care for your body in the more physical way. It’s very likely that most of us are slowly but surely turning into couch potatoes. And, as pleasant as it might feel, it’s nevertheless absolutely crucial to give your muscles a little bit of movement. In most countries it’s still possible to go outside for a run or a walk – as long as you stay safe and keep your distance from others – however, if getting up from the couch or bed, putting running attire and actually leaving the house seems a bit much for a start, how about sliding down from your couch or bed to the floor? All you need is a mat or a comfortable blanket and YouTube! An amazing way to give your body a little wiggle and necessary stretch is to practice yoga. It won’t just help you physically, but it has amazing healing powers to calm anxiety and stress, which a lot of us are experiencing at the moment. Our favourite yogi is Adrienne from ‘Yoga with Adrienne’, who not only is amazing at guiding you through the practice, but also incorporates a great and relaxed atmosphere while you stretch away. Additionally, her dog Benji often joins her on the screen and even if you don’t care about your muscles, this should convince you to watch her videos!

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