Lockdown life has impacted all of us. For some it’s been an incredibly difficult time. For others, lockdown has influenced daily life in some very interesting and unexpected ways. It’s been an opportune time to learn a new skill or do something meaningful and positive for our wellbeing that we haven’t tried before.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve had to adapt pretty quickly and add to your skillset to provide some essential things. While there are other things that have been a welcome experiment, as we find ourselves willing and able to give things a try with more time spent at home.

As well as teaching the kids how to cut the grass and helping them with their school work, I’ve also been inspired by some of my friends and articles I’ve read about being more self-sufficient and trying out new things. So here are some of my favourites:

  • Grow your own – we’ve been turning our hand to fruit and veg we can grow at home. The great thing about this is there are options for everyone, from growing seeds and plants in pots on your windowsill to creating your very own veggie patch in the garden – rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own is a great source of information for anyone wanting to try growing their own produce.
  • Home baking – like so many people I know, I’ve created and nurtured a sourdough starter. It’s been a fascinating experiment and I’ve loved the mindfulness this simple thing has brought to my life (see theclevercarrot.com/2019/03/beginner-sourdough-starter-recipe) as well as the home baking that’s followed. I don’t think there are many households that haven’t upped their baking in the last few weeks, particularly those of us with kids. It’s homely, it’s tasty and it’s very rewarding – something we can all continue to do long after lockdown is over. If you’re looking for baking inspiration, take a look at www.bakingmad.com
  • DIY and home improvements – with more time at home and in the garden, it’s been a great opportunity to get some of ‘those’ jobs done. My husband (a reluctant DIY-er!) and I made a planter, raised plant holder and a table out of some old pallets. I’m amazed at what we managed to create and I really enjoyed the process – and I love that we were able to upcycle too.
  • Hairdressing talents – have you taken to cutting your partner’s, or your own, hair? Maybe you’ve even braved a shop-bought hair dye to do yourself, or your skills with the clippers have extended to the family pet? We had to clip our very furry spaniel and give him a DIY groom… I was pretty impressed with what we managed to achieve and now know that we’re sorted in the future if we need to do it again.

  • Learning a language – I know lots of people have used their extra time at home to do this, it’s great for those who like to travel and also for the CV if you really put the time and effort in. Sites like Duolingo are very popular and bbc.co.uk/languages has lots of fun activities for both adults and children. My daughters have been practicing some Spanish from videos sent by family who are having lessons!

What have you spent any down time doing, and what new lockdown skills have you learnt?