*This is a partnered post
We all know that we should be prepared for anything, but in reality, it is very easy to feel woefully unequipped to handle all the things life throws our way. Sometimes just being a grown-up is hard and you can be so focussed on other people and making sure that your children learn the life skills they need that you forget about your own. According to the dictionary, a life skill is “A skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.” And some basic ones wouldn’t be too difficult to learn so if you’re looking for a new hobby that would kill two birds with one stone, then look no further.
No one’s asking you to be a gourmet chefs, and everyone enjoys an excellent takeaway or a ready meal now and again but it’s essential to be able to whip up a couple of easy meals and even better if you can make some minimal-effort freezer meals in one go then you don’t have to do any more cooking for the rest of the week while still providing nutritional dinners for your family. All you need is a few easy dishes in your repertoire that you feel confident whipping up, even if it’s just an omelette or beans on toast (to begin with). The ability to cook a meal is a necessary life skill—it’ll save you in an emergency…like when the take-out closes, or you get snowed in.
When your child loses a button off their shirt or their trousers are too long, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to fix these quickly without having to go out and buy new? You don’t need to be able to fashion a wardrobe for your family out of the curtains, but it is handy not only to be able to fix clothes but also to make creative crafts. Get some easy sewing tips and have a practice; you never know when you might need this skill.
From making your bed to knowing how to do your laundry, everyone needs basic housekeeping skills. Men and women, from teenagers to grandparents: keeping your house tidy is a life skill which ensures you have a healthy family, keeps you organized and able to find what you need and saves you money. If you aren’t sure where to start, then have a look at a Beginner’s Guide to Cleaning, start following Mrs Hinch online as that will make it more fun, create a cleaning schedule or start speed cleaning. Start small, master a few things first such as making the bed or ironing a shirt, and once you realize how easy it is, you’ll be more confident to do more.
Do you know what to do if someone is bleeding or has a broken bone? Do you know the signs of a stroke, a heart attack or a concussion? As parents, you have to be many things, but when you have to bring out the doctor’s bag, it can be your most important role. You can pick up a basic first aid book if you feel like your skills are rusty. It’s common to panic in emergencies, but if you’re up to speed with basic first aid, you’ll be able to rely on your instincts and knowledge. Get a CPR renewal if you need to brush up, and you’ll be able to come to any situation with a much cooler head.
While tablets have become essential tools in education today, typing on the computer is still a crucial skill to learn. Whether it’s for emails or letters, typing is now just as important to learn as handwriting. Being a productive typist reduces milliseconds here and there, which all add up to seconds, minutes, hours, and even days over time. So, learning how to type correctly means you can focus on the content of what you’re typing instead of the act of typing itself. And you’ll rarely need to look down at the keyboard. Errors can slow you down, too as when you make even a one-letter typo; you have to stop, press the delete key, and then type the letter that you intended to. You end up typing three keys instead of one—or three times as much time spent on one letter.
DIY can help you save massively on home repair, and you don’t have to try and be the same levels as an electrician or plumber, but it’s just nice to be able to refrain from forking out cash every time you have a minor household issue, as it does help your bottom line. Some home improvement chains offer classes and workshops to help you tackle home repairs, or there’s plenty of youtube videos available. It’s so satisfying to be able to fix a leaky faucet yourself, or to update something in your house, such as a fireplace makeover.
A great skill to have not only to give you a lovely garden to look at, sit in and for your kids to play in. But also gardening is a great hobby which provides you with a good source of Vitamin D as exposure to sunlight, and fresh air helps the body to naturally produce Vitamin D which is vital for a healthy immune system. Then there are weight loss benefits too, and gardening has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and decrease depression.
Many employers find that having a full, clean driving license is often more attractive, even if a job doesn’t need you to drive. Public transport can be unreliable because of bad weather, poor driving conditions, industrial strikes or bank holidays. So, by driving, not only do you reduce the risk of encountering these issues, but you’re also more flexible, and there’s no need to worry about the imminent rail strike at 8 am that will delay your morning commute. Plus you can ferry the kids around wherever they need to be.
Changing a tire
There are many reasons not to learn how to fix a flat tire: it’s not fun, you’ve got your roadside assistance membership, or maybe you don’t have a car right now. However, if you do have a car or you will have one at some point then you should understand basic car maintenance, even if it’s purely to keep you from getting ripped off at the repair shop. Brush up on your basic car maintenance skills, so you feel comfortable when you’re behind the wheel and if something goes wrong.
Having the skills to budget and be financially responsible is vital in life. Whether you’re just starting to manage your finances yourself or you’re an experienced, money-saving guru, coupon-clipping expert, understanding your budget is the first step to achieving financial peace and security. It’s a skill you can learn from a very young age and one you should build on throughout your life.
So, what are you waiting for? You don’t have to master them all in one go but pick one to start with, and it could be your new hobby to take a cooking class or a basic mechanic course. When you feel confident with that one, then pick out your next, and this list could become your bucket list or things you can achieve in the next year or two. You’ll feel more equipped to deal with life and it’s little emergencies and you’ll be able to pass on your skills to your kids too.