Most people’s relationship with learning gets off to a pretty bad start in life as we tend to view it in terms of the mandatory tasks set out for us during our school years. There are subjects that we don’t like and things that we don’t naturally click with that, nevertheless, we still had to learn. There is also an assumption that the outcome of learning something is to be “good” at it. This is a great shame as it overshadows what is in my opinion one of the great joys of life. Learning new stuff is recognised as one of the five ways to wellbeing. All skills, all knowledge, is equal in this sense - the process of learning new things and the sense of achievement that comes with it is what makes learning so good for your wellbeing. Below are some simple ideas to get some learning into your life and feel the fuzzy glow of seeing the world anew with your fresh knowledge!
Sign up to an evening course at your local college.
Most colleges will have an adult learning facility and many offer short and affordable courses in a range of activities that are purely intended for fun. We tend to learn with the intention of advancing our career, but there are so many frivolous and interesting things out there to enjoy, and that in itself is a good enough reason to dedicate time to them. Try out something like pottery, cookery, sign language or massage therapy.
Hit the library.
In the words of wholesome cartoon legend Arthur, “Having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card!” In my experience, he’s not far wrong. Those unassuming and dimly lit buildings from the 70s are low key palaces for the mind. If you’re the kind of person who’s excited by the Dewey decimal system (which I am) you’ll already know that you can effortlessly glide from linguistics to astronomy in a matter of footsteps. Imagine that every single book in there offers new ways of thinking and knowing the world we live in and you realise that you could probably entertain yourself in there for the rest of your waking days. Now I acknowledge that reading isn’t for everyone and is just one of many ways of learning... but the library is free and widely available and I personally couldn’t love it more.
YouTube or WikiHow
There is pretty much nothing you can’t find out how to do on the internet. YouTube provides us lucky modern people with video tutorials for pretty much anything and WikiHow provides step by step instructions. Whether you want to learn to do contouring with makeup, origami with table napkins or changing the headlights on your car, the internet has got your back. I challenge you to exhaust its potential!