By K W Warburton, The Reluctant Spoonie

I spent many years bedridden/ housebound at the start of my illness which was a very boring and frustrating time for me. The surprising thing is, that you can actually develop your skills from your bedroom which will make you more employable when you’re ready to apply for jobs. All you need for these free things is internet access.

Here are my top free things to do when you’re stuck in bed all day.

1) YouTube

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YouTube is a great source of free entertainment if you don’t mind the occasional ad and you could even start your own channel if you wanted. It’s not all cat videos, you can even learn new skills. Read about my favourite crafty YouTubers here.

2) Volunteer for a Charity

Many charities offer work from home positions. Check out this post by Life of Pippa for a full list of charities currently offering working from home opportunities here. I volunteered a social media manager for a charity whilst I was bedridden which lead me to find a permanent paid position earlier this year. I have been volunteering as a crafter for Spoonie Survival Kits for several years where I make items for their chronic illness kits (Find out more about Spoonie Survival Kits here).

3) Start a Blog

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Blogging is a good way to practice your writing skills and a lot of companies currently have a blog associated with their business. Therefore, blogging experience is becoming a valuable skill to list on your CV which may help you to land a job in the future. You don’t have to blog about your illness. Your blog could be about anything that you’re interested in: cooking, crafting, parenting and more! The main thing is too have fun with it. There are many sites that have free packages such as WordPress, Wix or Blogger. Find out more about setting up a free blog here.

4) FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a website that offers free courses in a variety of subjects and you can even get a certificate on completion of a course. I found out about FutureLearn when I had to complete one their courses for a voluntary position I was undertaking. Their courses are easy to follow and can be completed at your own pace. Why not use this time to learn about something you’ve always wanted? Browse the selection of courses here.

5) Reading

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Reading is a great way to pass the time. Borrow books from friends and family if you’ve already read all the books in your house or find out if your local library offers home delivery. You can even read short fiction published in the New Yorker for free here.

Audio-books are also great if you find that reading a conventional book is too taxing for you. Scribd has a 30 day free trail and is the most cost effective audio-book platform with unlimited access to their library when you subscribe (as opposed to Audible who limit the amount of books that you can listen to per month).

You can also use your libray card online with Libby and Borrow Box for eBooks and audiobooks.

6) Assist with Scientific Research

I’ve recently discovered Zooniverse, a website that allows to to contribute to scientific research from the comfort of your own home. It is perfect for students who want an accessible extra-curricular to gain some science-based skills for their CV. It is also great for research scientists, like myself, who are currently on a career break due to illness. Research topics include climate science, biology, medicine and more!

The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers — more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers.

https://www.zooniverse.org/about

What are your favourite free things to do when you’re stuck in bed all day?

Reviewed 21/04/2020 to include Zooniverse.

Reviewed on 29/06/2020 to include Libby and Borrow Box.

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