“I Learned New Life Skill during Self-Quarantine”. Have You?
By taking advantage of self-quarantine experience, learning new soft skills in your pocket might be useful for the future as one can speak a new language or come handy for homemade crafts. Unsplash.com/NOW!JAKARTA

On a daily basis, before the coronavirus crisis forced everyone to stay at home, one might have no time to learn a new skill as many people spend most of the time stuck in traffic and trapped in office work. For now, with most families and communities have been practicing self-solation at home, one might have more spare time available during the day. Self-isolation can make anyone keep productive but also can be a trap for having too much relaxation since everybody stays at home that leads to laziness. 

Self-quarantine requires time for everyone to adapt to the new routine as the personal space and work is unbounded. On the other hand, with more time available during the day, one can either choose to improve themselves or stick to the routine like no other. 

As people make efforts to keep maintaining productive time during work from home, allocating the time for personal needs is also important to release boredom and stress. Binge-watching movies, scrolling down the social media feed, or enjoying much of the entertainment can be part of it but all of them are related to consumption activities. A total duration of the day is still 24-hour and one might use it wisely for their own accord. Hence, learning a new soft skill can be useful for self-improvement especially for those who want to make their own self-quarantine experience as the benefit to gain personal value, and hopefully, it will be worth for your future self. 

Learning Language

Today, you might only be able to speak one language or two. With many digital platforms and online courses such as Cakap, Udemy, or any similar mobile apps available in one’s pocket, everybody could learn or improve their skill in the language. For Indonesians, learning our skills in English can be useful for the future carrier as one can open access to popular literature and communicate with global citizens of the world. 

Today, English is still an important and most used language for international communication. Maybe our skill in writing English is good enough for professional proficiency but adding value to our skill in English by learning accent and presentation skills can level up our confidence. English for Indonesia founded by British Council Indonesia is among the learning platforms that could be accessed for all Indonesian kids.

Other than that, learning a new language except English is also possible as many international cultural centres in Jakarta provide an online language course. IFI, Erasmus Huis, and Goethe Institut are among the cultural centre that offer an online language learning programme where you learn how to speak German, Dutch, and French.

If there is an elder member of the family living in your house who speaks the local language, one may also learn that to preserve the language from native speakers and keep its existence to the next generation. Indonesia has hundreds of local languages that one can explore. 

Painting and Crafting

Keeping ourselves with work, filling the spreadsheet, and sitting in front of the computer may cause an uptight brain. Painting and craft are activities that could improve one’s skill as well as putting our brain at ease. These two activities may involve talent but talent can be trained. Creating artwork or crafts require imagination and practical skill that allows one to exercise their emotional intelligence. Painting and crafting could also involve other members of the family and learn the skill together, making it a family bond. For those having zero knowledge about arts, parents and individuals could learn from crafters and artists that demonstrate the way to make the artwork, whether it’s painting, homemade trinket, or upcycled tote bag. 

Design and Decor

Open the magazine and look at the design and decor as the inspiration to rearrange the house. One could also find dozens of graphic design and illustration tutorials online to make your own design. Decorating the house interior could also refresh the atmosphere of the house and create a new impression to a place since people are inside, stay at home. 

Many independent designers and interior stylists develop themselves from the house since many of them also have been working from home. Learn creativity from them to teach ourselves with design and architecture. Having these skills upgraded can be useful for our personal competence in an artistic mindset.


“I Learned New Life Skill during Self-Quarantine”. Have You?

For some people cooking is an integral part of routine at home. Since many people also spend most of the time at home and cook for themselves, upgrading the skill can be necessary where one can explore different recipes, experiment with ingredients, or even set up the fine dining experience at home. Learning from the chef and culinary expert will add value to ourselves especially when someone only has skill to cook homestyle dishes. 

Everybody can cook from scratch, or easily practice simple cooking but not everyone can cook tasty and delicious cuisine. This opportunity can be an advantage for individuals to improve their cooking skill and get creative by discovering more complicated recipes to create restaurant-quality dishes since one can’t go to their favourite restaurant soon. 

Explore the recipes from the professional chefs on Home Life.

Singing, Play Music, and Dance

Watching favourite artists, musicians, and performers on Youtube are among our routine to keep ourselves entertained during self-quarantine. But wait! All of them are consuming. Why not learn new skills playing a musical instrument, train vocal, or learn choreography for ourselves? 

There is nothing too late even one might think that artists can be that good because they have been trained themselves since a young age. Everybody could learn a new skill if they have a passion to do it and learning it from professionals can be useful to improve our skill in singing, playing instruments, and dancing. Create your own vocal class at home, have karaoke with families first, or download music creator software on your computer to make a digital mixing if you don’t have any musical instruments. 

For many people, dancing also can be stress relief by using their own body as a medium of expression. Learn simple choreography from dancers, choose upbeat music or classical music and start learning to dance. Whether hip-hop, urban contemporary, or ballet, choose the dance routine that you might be comfortable the most. Dancing could also improve our confidence in front of people. Invite your member of the family and dance together to have fun and get rid of the stress at home by moving our body. Explore your dance inspiration here.


Green space at home may help humans to relax and avoid one from the stress. As anyone can’t find serenity at the central park or closest botanical garden, creating a green space at home might be useful for a natural stress reliever. Having a close relationship with nature could create peace in our heart and plant care routine will be more inspirational for many people to reduce tense. Many experts recommend urban communities to create green space at home as a medium to escape from stressful work. Learn from houseplant experts, shop a few plants, and take care of them. One can discover different planting methodology that suits the most to be practised at home. It’s all up to us if we want to make a small green space or turn our house like a jungle. Discover more about urban gardening here.

Teaching and Writing

Since the schools closed for an indefinite time, parents are now the teacher for their kids at home. This role also needs the skill to make sure the kids get the best education even though they are not in the classroom. For the teens in high school, they might be learning independently to catch up with different subjects and assignments. However, kids who are still in kindergarten and elementary school, they still need assistance from educators. Here, the role of the parents, both are pivotal. It’s important for parents to maintain consultation with educators, learn to be a good teacher, and combine the method with good parenting. Don’t take it as a burden as both parents and kids can also learn together by creating fun educative activities at home. At the end of the day, one may realise that parents can be a great teacher for your kids through the exchange of knowledge. 

Most people could write but don’t make themselves as a writer. Just like having a diary, writing can be a medium of expression that could be a source of inspiration. Since people have themselves isolated at home, one can also allocate their time to write and probably plan to write a book. Amid the crisis and uncertainty, one could express their feelings and turn it into a different style of writing, whether it’s a poet or narrative story, fiction, or nonfiction. It’s always best to start writing based on your personal interest. It can be a specific subject or anything that relates to humanitarian stories. 

Running Your Business Online

“I Learned New Life Skill during Self-Quarantine”. Have You?

For those having enough resources to create a new financial channel, learning digital entrepreneurship, and establishing an online business can be a promising opportunity as many economic activities are now shifting to the digital. Connect with a partner, use the resources efficiently, and establish a more sustainable business by generating digital business acumen. 

One can use the new skill that they improve during self-isolation and create a business plan from there. People could also learn from other practitioners to ensure the business will sustain. When the traditional economy remains stagnant and the threat of recession is out there, plus the uncertainty in employment is in front of us, it might be the perfect time to start financially independent by running your own small business online. 

Of course, it’s not for everyone who has insecurity in finance and capital. Don’t forget to calculate and determine all the factors including the risk and business plan to be able to succeed. If it’s possible, creating social entrepreneurship will help many people who need the job right now by empowering a circular economy with sustainable manpower at the core of your business. 

After all of this over, you would have transformed into a brand-new self!

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.