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  • Jasna Ganibegovic

Free Online Classes You Can Take Right Now While Quarantined

While everyone is in quarantine, we all have a lot of extra time on our hands. To fight boredom and find a productive way to use your time, consider taking a few online classes. Below are some engaging courses offered at no cost to take your mind off the coronavirus and to help you grow during this difficult time.


The Science of Well-Being

This class is often touted on various podcasts and blogs. This is for good reason. Yale's most popular course is available free to anyone who wants it. "The Science of Wellbeing," taught by Lauri Santos, focuses on evidence-based methods to improve your life and live happily.

Although the course was not designed specifically for quarantine, its themes fit the time. The class teaches habits to improve productivity. Many people have been feeling sluggish and unproductive during isolation. Taking a course on the subject matter will help you feel better equipped to take on a day without structure and finish work without a supervisor monitoring you.

The course is taught by a professor of psychology, so she focuses heavily on the science behind happiness. She describes the psychological factors that limit our productivity and common misconceptions about happiness that hold people back.


The Art of Baking with Yuppiechef

If you have been stress baking lately, you might be bored of using the same old recipes. Learning a few new skills and techniques can cut through the repetitiveness of isolation. Plus, once the virus is no longer affecting daily life, you can show off your new baking skills to your friends.

There are many online baking classes on Udemy, but this one, taught by Yuppiechef, is being offered at no cost. The "Art of Baking" goes over baking basics and covers topics a wide variety of topics from bread to pastry.


YMCA 360

After significantly expanding your baking skills, an exercise class would be prudent. It is crucial to involve movement in your routine when you cannot go outside. This will help your mental well-being as well as ward off several nasty diseases linked to inactivity. Considering the COVID-19 emergency, the YMCA has launched an online platform called YMCA 360 to host fitness classes, and it is free to anyone regardless of YMCA membership status.

There are classes for children and the elderly, allowing you to involve the entire family in your quarantined fitness journey. Some of the classes, such as the weightlifting class, require equipment that most people would not have at home. Nonetheless, there are a wide array of online classes available on the platform that require no equipment at all.


Palouse Mindfulness

Everybody could use a mental health boost during this crisis. This 8-week long mindfulness course will guide you through some skills to increase your resilience. While the website is a bit low-tech, the content is comprehensive. The class includes a series of videos, guided mindfulness exercises, and a course manual.

The program focuses on stress-reduction and is based on a similar in-person program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Mindfulness has received a lot of positive attention lately both in the media and in medical journals. It can improve your mental health and alter your neurological structure. It's the kind of skill that will help you get through weeks of isolation alone or with your family.


See Better, Draw Better: Exercises for Beginners

Bluprint is offering free classes through the 16th, including this drawing class for beginners. The class does not require you to order expensive paints or materials, and you will learn a skill that will serve you throughout your whole life. This class goes over a few basic techniques that will help you draw realistic pictures using just a pencil and paper.


Simply Stunning Art Journals

For those looking to do a different kind of art, Vicky Papaioannou teaches a class on art journaling. She essentially teaches you how to make a creative scrapbook using multiple layers and mediums to create a unique look. Her artwork covers the entire page, leaving little room for traditional journal material. Nevertheless, her techniques are solid and can be incorporated into any kind of journal or art project.


Crash Course

If there is a subject you have wanted to learn, now is the time to learn it. Crash Course is a popular YouTube channel run by the Green brothers John and Hank. Hank Green is an influential author known for his books Turtles All the Way Down and Paper Towns. John Green works primarily on the brothers' online projects and founded NerdCon.

The channel was founded to help high school students, but its content is relevant to anyone hoping to brush up on their education. Each playlist is a mini class on a given topic. Crash Course offers many topics, including STEM courses like biology and engineering, soft sciences such as literature and history, and even business soft skills. They also have an offshoot channel called Crash Course Kids if your children are also in search of extra enrichment. The videos are super exciting and encourage kids and adults alike to take pleasure in the learning process.


How to Adult

This is another Green brothers' production that focuses on more day to day skills. The series focuses on various skills such as home economics, auto care, and even social skills.

This could be an excellent channel to recommend to a graduating high schooler or university student. Formal education does not always teach these essential life skills and young adults sometimes go into life blindly. This is perfect for the young person preparing to move out of their parent's house for the first time.


Writing a Personal Essay

These are crazy times, and you may feel compelled to document it. Writing in a journal is fun and cathartic. This class will help you develop your personal writing to a professional level. You can use this skill however you like. Perhaps you would like more confidence writing for yourself. You might also try to publish your work and turn your passion into a business.


Writing Professional Email and Memos

Increasingly, employers have lamented the lack of communication and writing skills among the workforce. As the coronavirus strains the economy and makes the job market more competitive, developing your professional skills will help you stay employed and advance in the future. This class will help to improve your professional writing and communication. Plus, demonstrating growth will show that you have used this time effectively and are eager to take on more responsibility.

Written communication is even more vital during the coronavirus as face-to-face interaction is limited to the occasional meeting via Zoom. Developing your writing skills will help prevent miscommunication and help your office run as smoothly as it can without everyone being in the space.


Stay safe and happy learning.

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