Professor Harvey Shapiro - New Skills to Learn During Lockdown

There is absolutely no doubt that the last 12 months has had a profoundly damaging impact on the mental health of us all, and that is why we have to make sure that we are taking action which supports our mental wellbeing. Many in this field have been keen to stress once again just how important it is that we are taking care of our mental wellbeing, especially given the new lockdown restrictions which so many of us are going through. Experts like Professor Harvey Shapiro have been discussing the importance of learning a new project of skill during the lockdown, in order to help to give us something to work towards and something to achieve.

With this in mind, here are a few examples of skills which you may wish to learn during this lockdown, with the extra time that you have.

Learning a Musical Instrument

Aside from being a very fun way to pass your time, learning a new instrument is about much more than this and it is in fact a great workout for the brain. Your brain makes a huge amount of new connections when you do pick up an instrument and this is going to be a great way for you to spend your time in the home during these difficult moments.

Learning a New Language

You may not feel that you have the time to pick up a whole new language but even learned conversational language is going to be a great way for you to spend your time. Picking up a language is far easier than many believe and the key is repetition and practice. There are a wealth of resources online which you can use to support your learning, both free and paid. Pick your language, perhaps find a friend who also wants to learn, and then practice online with people who speak that language.

Learning a Challenging Game

Games are a fun way to pass the time, and even more so if they are games which really challenge you. For example you could look to learn how to play games like chess, go or sudoku. These games will first challenge you to learn how to play, and then they will challenge you like other games do, in finding the way to win. All of these games can be played online and that means that you can play against others from around the world.


Baking is something which does require some investment from us in terms of time, which is why this could be the perfect hobby for you to spend your time learning during lockdown. Baking requires time, patience and some skill, and practice very much makes perfect here. Given that we have so much downtime, this could be a perfect way for you to spend your time, just be sure that you keep up the physical exercise so that you don’t pile on calories from all of the baked goods which you are eating.