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7 Ways Learning Can Help with January Blues

Details: Written by Eleanor Lodge |

Blue Monday has famously been coined the most depressing day of the year since 2005.

Falling on the third Monday in January, Blue Monday represents short, dark winter days where the celebrations of Christmas are behind us for another year. This time of year can be tough for a variety of reasons, but here at The Skills Network, we want to reenergise your passions, get you excited about the year ahead, and tell you all about why learning can help combat the January Blues.

1. Learning builds confidence, self-esteem and makes you feel happier

Challenging your mind by learning something new is a great way to immediately boost your mood and grasp your attention. The sense of accomplishment that you feel after trying something new will lift your mood, fill you with confidence and make you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Being able to brag to your friends about the new knowledge you’ve acquired is a huge bonus too!

2. Learning can improve your job prospects and performance

Some of that blue January feeling may be down to your return to work after the Christmas break. Feeling unhappy at work can be detrimental to your mental and physical wellbeing and, if you’re not being challenged at work, it’s common to feel unsatisfied. Online learning resources, like our free courses, provide you with the opportunity to learn new skills and challenge yourself without having to go into full-time education. Learning new skills can drastically improve your job prospects and help you stand out from other applicants if you decide to take your career down a new path, or if you were wanting to progress within your current role, taking part in voluntary training within your own time shows your colleagues, managers and other employers that you’re proactive (and maybe ready for that big promotion!)

3. Learning improves job satisfaction

Employers, we’re looking at you! Studies have shown that continuous training within the workplace leads to less staff turnover, higher levels of job satisfaction and makes employees feel more valued. If you plan to keep developing your employees, they’ll become more efficient, more knowledgeable about current practices, and be more engaged in their work.

4. Learning helps improve your brain function

Learning new things helps to keep your brain cells working at their optimal rate and causes the nerve cells in your brain to become more efficient and powerful. Even better, if you continue learning throughout your life and commit to lifelong learning, research has shown that you can reduce the negative effects that aging can have on your memory and the functionality of your mind.

5. Learning can reduce anxiety

Research has shown that engaging in a new skill causes the prefrontal cortex of your brain to thicken and this helps to override anxiety. This also causes you to feel more empowered, more confident and boosts your mood.

6. Learning something new combats boredom and motivates you

In the winter months, it’s especially easy to feel lethargic, uninspired and at a loss of what to do with your free time when stuck indoors. Running your brain through some mental exercise is a great way to get those synapses sweating and your mind stimulated. Whether you’re learning about a brand-new topic, learning a new language, or trying to play the guitar, developing new skills is a great way to productively spend time indoors, get your mind working and get those endorphins going. Once you get started with a new passion and your interest level is high, you’ll find a whole heap of motivation to keep bettering your new skills.

7. Learning opens you up to exciting new opportunities

How can you excel at something if you’ve never tried it before? Accessible learning resources, like the free online courses we offer here at The Skills Network, can open your eyes to topics that you would have no way of learning about in your normal, everyday life. These resources are a great way for you to discover a new passion, hobby, or career. Discovering new interests is also a great way to meet new, like-minded people and bond over your shared interests.

Start experiencing all of these benefits for yourself (and for FREE) with our range of fully-funded, online courses. Find out more.