Explore your interests: Nothing makes you feel better than learning a new skill

What a time to be alive, huh!? If you ask me, this is an excellent time to be an explorer. Wait, what? We’re sheltering in place while a pandemic illness sweeps the globe. We’ve been at it for a month and there’s no end in sight. I know. In Poland we aren’t even allowed to go walk the forest trails behind our house anymore. Some people will cry this one out. But look at it this way, you have been given an incredible gift of time. Even if you’re up to your eyeballs in homeschool and clingy toddlers, its time to explore some of your at-home interests. Get in touch with old ones, or find something new. Here at ExploreMoreCo, we (I) believe in satisfying curiosity through exploration in all aspects of life. My Dad always says that nothing makes you feel better than learning a new skill. He is a wise and fun person of many interests. I like to take his advice. If you’re feeling stressed, depressed, apprehensive, trapped, bored, weird, worried, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, or scared, its the best way for a pick-me-up. So put down your worries, put a movie on for the kids and free up some “me time”. If you need someone to tell you its ok, I’m telling you, its ok. If you’re in need of inspiration, or forgot what it is you actually like to do, here are 21+ ideas to inspire and jog your memory:

  • Paint a picture. Get out your coloring books and markers. Pull up a how-to paint instructional on YouTube and channel your inner Bob Ross.
  • Hone your cooking skills. Play Chopped: Covid-19 Edition and pull together a meal from items in your pantry. Make ice cream from scratch. Learn to bake Challah bread. Learn to make mozzarella cheese. Learn to make lemon curd. Make your own nut butter (its way easier than you’d think)
  • Explore a new exercise routine. Living room yoga, anyone? There are an abundance of YouTube videos to help you get started. Never done a HIIT workout? Lots of these can easily be done in the amount of space taken up by a dining room table. Challenge yourself to come out of this hibernation in better shape than you went in!
  • Take up knitting, cross stitch or crochet. I’m no good on advice here, I gave away the scarf I had been attempting to knit for 7+ years before we moved to Poland. But I always admire this type of work, maybe its time to give it another go.
  • Refinish an piece of furniture. Give it new life, make it your own, help it spark joy.
  • Read an entire book that has been on your to-read list for a while. Think of something that strikes your curiosity and Google search books on the topic. Pick one. If you need suggestions, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, I’m full of them! Or, start here.
  • Plan your next trip. Because when this is over, the world is your oyster. I’m busy working on a project for your trip-planning pleasure. I’m really excited to reveal it soon!
  • Take an online photography tutorial and get good at photographing your home environment/children. Take a family self-portrait.
  • Plant something, nurture it, and watch it grow. And while you’re at it, rake the yard and clean up the landscaping for the warmer months ahead. Rented or owned, you’re going to want to enjoy every inch of your property while you’re spending 99.9% of your time there.
  • Become an at-home barista. Learn to make a new coffee or tea drink at home.
  • Become an at-home bartender. Perfect a signature cocktail.
  • Learn to do a handstand. Or headstand. Or backflip. Or make it a goal to be able to touch your toes for the first time in a decade. Hi toes.
  • Speaking of toes, give yourself a mani/pedi. Pick up a proper tool set, soak ’em, clip ’em, file ’em, paint ’em (if you’re in to that and have a steady hand!).
  • Learn how to order a coffee in a new language. Try Polish! Watch a foreign film.
  • Try creative writing. Start a blog! Or jot down a poem. You’re just staying home. Don’t let this time go to waste. I write haikus now.
  • DIY your own stationary. Use rubber stamps, line envelopes with colored paper, get creative. Then write a good old fashioned letter.
  • Learn to play a video game. If I did this my husband wouldn’t even know who I am anymore. Video games are so not in my blood.
  • Learn a card trick to impress your kids, or your friends when you see them again someday.
  • Perfect your free throw. Get really good at chipping a golf ball in to a basket in your backyard.
  • Make a birdfeeder or birdhouse
  • Infuse something. Vanilla beans in vodka (wait several months) and you have your own vanilla extract. Lavender in gin. Jalapenos in tequila. Essential oils in whatever you infuse those in. Basil in water (so refreshing).
  • Learn to tune up your bike and change its tires.

Whatever you do, do not look back on this time and think “I wish I would have…” Use it. Everything might be a mess. But please put down the tissue box. Look up from this screen. I know I recently used this quote, so forgive me for sounding repetitive, a lot has changed in a month… but as Ferris Bueller says, “You’re not dying. You just can’t think of anything good to do”. Go live a little. Because even though you’re not leaving home, there’s still so much to explore.

The paparazzi caught me trying my hand at a new skill this morning… shrub shearing with electric trimmers. I was nervous. So were the bushes. I’m 100% certain the neighbors were watching. But you know, it was quite the satisfying experience.




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