Guest Blogger: Hazel Bridges @agingwellness.org
Whether you’ve just retired or have been rockin’ that rocking chair for years, your Golden Years are the perfect time to learn a new skill, even if just for laughs. Online courses are plentiful and will keep you entertained and educated without having to leave home.
Here are a few of the top hobbies you can learn online:
Cooking – You might make a mean minestrone, but chances are, there are some foods that have always intimidated you in the kitchen. Cooking is a fun and relaxing pastime that will allow you to master your favorite recipes from anywhere in the world. This means you can learn to perfect the art of soufflé making or please your palate with the palette of exotic flavors found in Indian cuisine. If you’re taking cooking lessons or viewing a video recipe online, and want to block out other noises for total concentration, a good pair of earbuds will do the trick. You may want to invest in a wireless set so that you’re not dealing with cords while cooking.
Painting – Bob Ross taught us that happy little trees live at the tip of a brush. His lessons live on online today, along with thousands of tutorials from artists across the globe. A quick Google search will bring up art lessons in readable or watchable format. Painting is a great stress reliever that will help you channel your emotions and clear your mind. You can learn about color, the difference between acrylic and latex paint, or how, exactly, to turn your blank canvas into a cool piece of art that rivals even Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans.
Gardening – We aren’t all born with green thumbs, but thanks to the Internet, we can develop one. Peruse the web for online guides and tutorials to show you how to plant your own vegetable garden or turn your eye for design into a complete landscaping makeover. Gardening gets you some fresh air and sunshine so you can snag some vitamin D, plus it’s a great form of exercise. If bending and digging are hard on your back and joints, consider raised bed gardens or planting vegetables, fruits and flowers in pots.
Web design and information technology – You can learn about web design and information technology as well. With just a few online web design classes, which you can find free online at Alison, you can learn about web design. You don’t have to get down to the nitty gritty of the technical aspects to create and publish your own site, either. There are numerous “drag and drop” page templates that will speed things up and get your site published online within a matter of hours. If you’re interested in information technology, you can enroll in an online program and earn your degree. Through an information technology degree, you’ll gain skills in web development, computer, architecture, artificial intelligence, and more.
Music – Healthcare professionals have long used music therapy to help patients overcome everything from depression to recovering fine motor skills after stroke. Music is even used to improve the cognitive functions of people with dementia. It’s also one of the best ways to improve your mental health by reducing physical and emotional pain as well as anxiety, according to the American Psychiatric Association. So grab an instrument, connect with a tutor, and start learning this enriching activity!
No matter where your interests lie, there is always something new to learn waiting just behind the screen. So the next time you have the urge to change things up a bit, don’t be afraid to click around until you find something that grabs your attention. You never know what talents you’re hiding just under the surface until you start digging and break outside of your comfort zone. You have nothing to lose—but unlimited skills to gain.
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