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So, we’re stuck indoors for at least another few weeks, and by now you’ve probably made your way through your entire reading list and binged your way through every series on Netflix. That’s why we wanted to share some ideas to help you survive social-isolation and to come out of this with something useful. 

Learn a new language.

Say hello in every language! This is the obvious one isn’t it? Learning a new language is often the first thing people suggest when you mention you want to learn something new. But, just think about all of the places you’ll be able to visit once we’re out of lockdown - what better way to get excited about a holiday you’ve been planning than by learning the local lingo? Plus, if the current situation has meant you haven’t been able to do the work placements you had planned, this is a great way to build up your CV! You might even be thinking about doing a year abroad as part of your studies, and by learning a language, you’re getting ahead of the game! Duolingo is a great way to learn a language, and better still it’s completely free! With lessons that are personalised to your learning style, learning a language is made easy. There are over 30 languages to choose from – Spanish, French, Japanese, German, so take your pick!

Learn how to cook.

If you don’t fancy taking up the challenge of learning a new language, how about teaching yourself to cook that country’s cuisine? With cafes and restaurants closed for the foreseeable future, get experimenting and recreate your favourite dishes at home! Improving your cooking skills or learning how to cook from scratch has never been easier, with lots of different recipes online to suit every diet and budget. The Gusto online cookbook has a virtual tour of world cuisines where you’ll find quick and easy meals along with some family favourites. You’ll be able to find most of the ingredients in your cupboard or in the local supermarket (maybe decide which dishes you'd like to make and list the ingredients you don’t have so you can pick them up in your weekly food shopping trip). 

Learn to focus your mind.

As we are experiencing times of uncertainty, it’s normal to feel stressed and for your mind to feel unsettled. Meditation is one of the best ways of reducing stress; training your brain to focus and increasing concentration, which will help if you are having trouble staying focused on your studies. It might seem a little daunting at first, but as with anything, practice makes perfect (you’ll thank us later). If you’re wondering where to start, we’d recommend trying Headspace, a meditation app for beginners that you can try for free.

Learn new skills to help enhance your studies.

There are lots of different courses you can do to keep yourself busy during self-isolation, not only that but these will help to enhance your academic studies, keep your mind active and broaden your skill set in an area of your choice – all from the comfort of your own home. FutureLearn offer a range of free courses from how to write applications and exploring Shakespeare, to the role of vaccines in preventing diseases. What’s more, they are all accredited by universities.

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