The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world. People were forced to stay home, work from home and learn from home.
While it did bring sadness and despair, there were also opportunities for growth because of the challenges.
For example, people started realizing the world that was open to them on their smartphones.
Instead of scrolling social media for hours, you can learn a skill to advance your career, challenge your brain or just enrich your life.
For example, you might discover the benefits of a 1-on-1 tutor to learn a new language, or you could learn how to program from your phone or tablet.
The following are some of the best skills you might consider learning right from your phone or another device.
A New Language
There are a lot of reasons to consider learning a new language. It can make you more marketable as an employee or business owner. Learning a new language can be useful when you travel, it helps you also learn about new cultures. Additionally, it can be good for the health of your brain.
As we get older, if we challenge ourselves to do things like learning a new language, it keeps our brain in good shape and reduces the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disorder.
You can use an app to learn a new language, and you can also boost your skills by working with a tutor or teacher from your phone. When you work with a real person, it helps you get more of the nuances of the language and you can practice your conversation skills.
Learning a new language can expand your worldview and make you more receptive to people who are from different backgrounds than your own, so it’s a worthwhile venture, in addition to the other benefits.
If you’re interested in learning about financial markets and trading but you’re nervous about doing it with your own money, there are apps that let you treat trading like a game so you can learn the ropes.
There are stock market games and simulators that are often free, and you’re not investing real money.
Instead, as you learn the basics, you’re simulating investments and you can see what you’d like your investment strategy to be when you start using actual money.
Using a stock simulator is such a great way to get a better grasp of the risk of investing in the stock market in an environment where it’s safe to fail.
Coding is one of the most in-demand skills there is. If you want to learn the basics of HTML all the way up to advance C++ skills, doing so will make you someone who can potentially find a high-paying job at many great companies.
A lot of apps have free material so you can learn the basics of coding, but then if you want something more advanced or hands-on, you might have to pay for access.
You can learn in a way that works for your needs.
Increasingly, major employers are looking for employees who have coding skills even if they weren’t formally educated because they’re having such a hard time filling positions that require these digital skills.
Use your smartphone to find new, interesting ways to challenge your body.
For example, there are apps that help you train for 5ks and 10ks, or you can perfect your weight training technique.
You might be able to learn Pilates or yoga from your phone, or you can use your phone to track your progress in your workouts over a certain period of time.
When you’re physically active, it’s good for your brain and your body, and you can challenge your mind with new workouts that you’ve never done before.
Speaking of training your mind, there are also apps where you can learn brain “exercises.” These exercises focus on helping improve your cognition and focus, your memory retention, and your problem-solving skills.
You might not realize it, but cognitive-behavioral therapy is actually a way to learn skills. You can connect with an in-person therapist from your phone, or you can work through self-paced CBT lessons.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of treatment that can help improve quality of life and functioning. It’s also been shown to be as effective and in some cases more effective than medications.
During CBT, you learn to recognize your distortions in thinking that create problems. You then work toward evaluating them more objectively and from a more realistic perspective.
Other skills you learn in CBT include problem-solving and healthy coping mechanisms, a greater understanding of other people’s motivations and behavior, and self-confidence.
Much like CBT, you might not think of mindfulness as a skill, but it is, and it’s one you can learn from your phone. Practicing mindfulness takes time and effort.
Benefits of learning mindfulness include improved well-being and better physical and mental health. Many people find that mindfulness helps them reduce chronic pain, lower their blood pressure and deal with gastrointestinal symptoms more effectively.
When you learn mindfulness, the goal is to be in a state of alert and focused relaxation.
Leadership skills are a broad category, but you can learn so many of them online and often for free.
You can learn these skills by listening to other leaders who might give talks, or you can choose a specific path and do e-Learning.
For example, maybe you focus on how to deal with problematic people or how to communicate more effectively in business.
Finally, why not learn an instrument from your phone?
Learning to play an instrument isn’t just enjoyable. It can increase your cognitive ability and build your memory. Learning to play an instrument can help you be more patient, you’ll feel confident in yourself and you’ll probably find that it relieves your stress.
You might also be able to build new social connections through your instrument skills.