Grants and Funding


Make the most of your free time

If you’ve pretty much completed all of Netflix and the idea of spending another day on the sofa looking at memes is too much to bear, it’s time to change up your routine and get those creative juices flowing. Being on lockdown doesn’t have to be boring, not if you keep yourself occupied. From learning a language to organising your wardrobe, updating your CV to writing a novel, there are plenty of productive things you can take up to pass the time – why not start right now? 

1. Learn a language 

Remember all those times you said you’d learn Italian, Spanish or French but just couldn’t find a spare minute? Here’s your chance. With a wide selection of YouTube videos and online tutorials at your disposal, why not use this time to learn a completely new language?

2. Practice nail art

With the coronavirus pandemic closing beauty salons across the UK, it’s time to get creative and learn how to give yourself an at-home manicure. From glitter to stickers and gems, choose from plenty of glam accessories and designs. In need of inspiration, head to the Essie website for tips and tricks.

3. Organise your wardrobe 

Most of us have at least one dress that we know we’ll never wear again or a pair of jeans that just don’t fit the way they used to. It’s time to declutter your wardrobe and get rid of those sad pieces that no longer see the light of day. Either pass them onto friends and family, donate them to charity or at the very least, find your nearest clothing bank and recycle.

4. Organise your photos

Guilty of printing out your holiday photos and leaving them in a drawer? Get nostalgic and organise your snaps into either a scrapbook or frames. Taking a trip down memory lane might just put a smile on your face.  

5. Learn to make cocktails

Try your hand at mixology, courtesy of Taste Cocktails. Offering a three-month subscription, each month a new DIY kit full of premium ingredients and recipes will be sent your way. Find out how to make the following drinks: Espresso Martini, Margarita, Old Fashioned, Manhattans, Bramble, Long Island Iced Tea, Gin Martini, & Mojitos. Once lockdown is over, you can impress your friends with your new bartending talents. 

6. Make a bucket list

Think positive and look ahead to sunnier days by making a bucket list. Rather than wallowing in your pyjamas for the fifth day in a row (we’ve all been there) change your outlook and reflect on all of the things you’ll be able to do once lockdown restrictions are lifted. Looking to travel more? These scratch-off maps are perfect for planning your next adventure post COVID-19.  

7. Learn sign language

A unique language in its own right, sign language may seem like an intimidating skill to learn, but with a number of easy step-by-step guides at your disposal, you’ll be signing like a pro in no time.8. Repair your clothes

Been meaning to sew up that hole in your favourite coat? Need to fix that zip on the back of your dress? It’s time to pick up a needle and thread and get to work. Just a few minutes of hard work and concentration could breathe new life into your wardrobe. Stop ‘finding’ the time to work on the smaller things – start now. 

9. Learn to play an instrument 

Dust off that keyboard you got for Christmas last year, re-tune that guitar you’ve had for god knows how long and begin to fill your days with the sound of music. With so much free time, it’s never been easier to pick up a new skill. 

10. Become a wine connoisseur 

 Discover which wines you like and why, read about the journey from grape to glass, and build on your understanding of wine tasting. 

11. Update your CV and professional accounts 

Before lockdown, the idea of updating your CV, cover letter or LinkedIn profile might not have been very high up on your priority list. Rather than putting it off any longer, why not give all of your professional documents and accounts a total makeover? Use this present period to work towards an even brighter future. 

12. Write a novel

The idea of writing a novel is one which can often seem daunting. How many of us have opened Word, stared at a blank page for a while and then admitted defeat? Enough is enough. Writing can be an incredibly therapeutic practice and one which can help to pass the time. Who knows, you might even be the next J.K. Rowling? 

13. Start a blog

You can never go wrong with writing a blog. Whether you’re using it as an online writing portfolio, a space to share your passions or as an opportunity to try something new, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing. 

14. Get fit

Missing the gym? Working out at home can be just as beneficial for both your mind and body. Why not try out different types of workouts over the course of the next few weeks and find that workout that really works for you. 

15. Do some gardening

Sick of spending all your time indoors? Transform your garden into a tranquil space so that you can venture outside for some much-needed R&R. In need of inspiration? Take a look at our round up of the best gardening buys for spring. 

16. Upcycle your furniture 

Can’t stop staring at that annoying chip in your side board? Desperate to give those bookshelves a new lick of paint? Why not try your hand at a spot of DIY and transform those tired piece of furniture into something your friends will be jealous of. 

17. Learn to code

In an increasingly digital age, the ability to code can put you at a major advantage. Ditch those technophobic tendencies and teach yourself how to master this highly sought after skill.

18. Learn Calligraphy 

Bored of biro and pencil? Go one step further and transform your writing into a work of art by practicing calligraphy and lettering. With an array of tutorials and expert guides available online, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade in no time – all you’ll really need is a calligraphy set and the willingness to turn off Tiger King. 

19. Write a journal

The great thing about journaling is that you can write whatever you want, whenever you want. Jot down your best ideas, doodle, write about your day or even create a list of goals, the choice is yours. Who knows, you might even find yourself inspired. 

Take a course

Whether you’re looking to improve upon your professional portfolio or to pursue a new hobby, FutureLearn has a whole host of online courses provided by world-class universities and industry experts. Earn professional or educational accreditation, learn new skills, or simply keep boredom at bay. 

23. Learn to cook

David Beckham, Geri Horner and Henry Cavill all used their free time during lockdown to improve upon their cooking skills. With an array of recipe books at your disposal, you can start with the basics and work your way up to Michelin star dishes.

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