Staying inside all day and night has definitely given us the extra time we had been wishing for before COVID-19 took over the world. That extra time, whether you wanted to use it to exercise more, to cook, to spend with your family, or simply to relax and watch a movie, is now in abundance.
However, while all of these are great and totally doable, especially now, it’s also important to invest your extra time in personal development. While some people have already been home for about two weeks, engaging in time killing activities just to make the days go by faster is a given. But, how many of us have invested our extra time into activities to stimulate our brains or to expand our knowledge? Whether you take a course pertaining to your job field, learn a new language, or just find ways to be more positive through these challenging times, it’s essential to allocate some time each day to learning something new.
Here are several courses, free and paid, offered by various prestigious universities and learning platforms to take advantage of during quarantine.
The Science of Well-Being
Offered by Yale University, The Science of Well-Being course led by Psychology Professor Laurie Santos is just what we need during these challenging times. In particular, it teaches some fundamental ideas to help us live a happier, more productive life, which is truly a great skill to have. Aside from keeping you busy with weekly course goals while staying inside, the skills gained from this course also help you incorporate specific wellness activities into your life – both now and once you step back out into the real world. The course is free and runs for 10 weeks – a relatively small commitment for a happy life.
Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills
Life as we know it is experiencing drastic challenges and changes. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep a positive and optimistic attitude. In the Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills course, Professor Karen Reivich, Ph. D. teaches about the importance of using protective factors, such as mental agility and optimism, for resilience in both personal and professional circumstances. Offered by the University of Pennsylvania, this free course is a great opportunity to learn how to manage anxiety and focus on being grateful, both of which can be essential skills to have in dealing with the current situation, as well as in your normal, daily life.
The Science of Happiness
University of California, Berkeley Professors Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, through the The Science of Happiness course explain what it means to be happy and live a meaningful life. Not only does this course provide insights into what this means, but it also details how each of us can incorporate happiness into our own lives. This free, 11-week course is a great way to use your time at home to learn how to be truly happy.
Duolingo, Babbel and Lingvist
Those who had travel plans they had to cancel or reschedule, and even those who didn’t even get a chance to book their trip yet, can consider this situation an opportunity to better prepare for future getaways. And there’s no better way to prepare than by being able to understand, if not even being able to say some useful phrases in the language spoken in your destination. So, while you’re stuck at home thinking about your upcoming vacations, imagine that you’re already there and learn what the natives are saying. Just hop on Duolingo, Babbel or Lingvist and choose the language you want to become fluent in.
Online Course Collections
Everyone has a variety of interests in addition to what they studied in college. And while you may have wanted to take other courses for your own personal interest, time and money may have permitted you from doing so. But now, there are ways to embrace your personal development in as many subject areas as you’d like by taking courses in pretty much anything. Furthermore, with the extra time you have on your hands during this quarantine, now is the time to learn something new that can benefit you personally or professionally – or simply for fun. Various course collections are offered directly by many universities, such as MIT, Yale University, Stanford University, and Harvard University. Furthermore, on Class Central and Coursera you can also find courses from any university on essentially any subject.
Being stuck at home is hard, no doubt, but it can be easier if we know how to use our time wisely, not only make it go by faster, but also to walk out of the quarantine with some new knowledge. So, take advantage of the perks of staying at home and use this opportunity to engage your brain!