At school, learning is often viewed as something to be endured – at best, it is the trial between break, lunch and going home. Or at least, that is how many view it.
But now, many feel rather adrift without the very structure that school brings to our day. Without purpose, we are nothing. Sleep schedules go awry, lethargy takes over and hours are frittered away on the internet. It is hard to get out of the vicious cycle that results from a lack of order, and it is easy to get discouraged.
I think we all now realise that routine is paramount in our lives. Of course, a break from structure for a brief stretch of time is always rejuvenating but extended ‘relaxation’ can contribute to boredom and even depression. This is when we can realise the power and purpose that learning brings to our lives – and that we should continue to learn during this period of lockdown to achieve that ‘busy’, productive feeling, for our wellbeing if nothing else.
Learning gives us drive and motivation. Put to use, our knowledge can help us accomplish new skills. This in turn gives us a sense of reward and improves our mental health. The feelings of achievement encourage us to learn even more, thus creating a virtuous cycle as opposed to that trap of having no routine.
Furthermore, learning new skills also helps us gain a better sense of what we really want to do in life. Having a better sense of your purpose is useful so we do not feel conflicted, therefore preventing stress and needless anxiety about our futures. Yet again, we see how staying mentally active can help us with our mental health.
More obviously, of course, self-improvement really does improve the scope of your abilities. Whether it is learning a new language, instrument, or skill, we are better able to enhance strengths and combat weaknesses through these activities. We should always strive to learn in order to improve ourselves. By identifying what we are good at, we can also set goals to work towards and lead a far happier and productive life than we would otherwise, thereby improving our wellbeing.
Learning and staying mentally active is now more important than ever. We must recognise its paramount importance. View lockdown not as a tribulation but as an opportunity; a chance to know and improve yourself through self-education.