Want to further your interests or skills using virtual skill-building resources? If you like to learn and keep your brain active, we’ve got you covered! For those subjects you love or that topic you want to learn more about, virtual resources can help you.
Check out these 3 free virtual skill-building resources:
You will need to create an account with an email address and password to take courses and browse the website.
TED – Visit TED, a non-profit organization that aims to make great ideas accessible and create conversation. These ideas are primarily in the form of short talks, under 18 minutes. This is a great resource to expand your knowledge of current events, hear advice from professionals, and listen to inspiring stories.
You do not need to create an account to access content on the site, however there are options for a paid membership.
Khan Academy – Khan Academy offers free world-class education for everyone through a set of virtual tools. This organization produces short lessons in math, biology, history, economics, grammar, and more, in the form of practice problems, articles, and videos.
There are different levels of education with many topics in each. You can create an account or browse courses without one.
I have been taking the first year university course on world history, which is easy to follow. I enjoy watching the video lessons the most, so I recommend trying one if you find a subject that you’re interested in.
The Futures Forward program provides services to youth who are in or have aged out of Child and Family Services (CFS) system in Manitoba as they transition into adulthood. Services include mentoring, education, workshops, skill development, and referrals. Appointments are available in-person or virtually.
Check out their website here for more information.
If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time active listening. Sometimes there’s too much going on near by, I’m distracted by a notification on my phone or computer, or I’m following their words slower than I should be. I try to focus on that person as best I can, but often it’s difficult to hold a whole conversation feeling this way. Following these tips below, I am better able to focus and be present in a conversation and take the time my brain needs to catch up.
Remember these four tips so you can become a better listener:
Listen, Listen, Listen
When you’re listening to someone, try your best to be present. If you struggle with this, do not be afraid to ask the person to step further away from a crowd if that lessens distractions, or ask them to repeat themselves. Try to be mindful when you can, so if you’re on the phone, try to only be on the phone without multitasking if you have a hard time following along. It’s okay if you don’t always have something to say, sometimes being present and listening is what the other person needs.
Try to be mindful of how you best communicate. Are you better in person? Seeing someone’s face? If body language helps you pay attention, try to use video chats or in-person conversations as your go to. Sometimes we can also make interesting faces or motions during conversations so you may want to make sure you are aware of your own body language.
Take Time to Think
Whether you’re talking on the phone, in-person, or online, try to pause before you speak. Take as long as you need if you’re still trying to process any information. This can help your brain catch up and gives you more time to come up with a thoughtful question or comment. This is also a great time to ask them to repeat something if you’re missing any information.
Know Who You’re Talking to
Depending on who you are communicating with, you may use different short forms or abbreviations. It’s important to be conscious about who you’re talking to so you can speak in the most appropriate way. You may use more formal language with your boss, but use “lol” and “that slaps” with your friends.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, I see families at the park and people walking their dogs a lot. It makes me wonder if I would go outside more if I had a dog… Though I have a cat I’m sure I could put a leash on, I should probably come up with other ways to encourage being outside.
I have been exploring activities to do outside that feel engaging to me. I know a walk is the easiest way to spend time outside and get exercise, but sometimes walking is boring or unfulfilling. I have found several different activities to do outside that can be engaging and fun.
Here are five activities that helped me enjoy spending time outside:
Journal in a Park
If you enjoy writing or doodling, this is a great activity to keep you outside and engaged. I love doodling while listening to a podcast or music, or writing some wacky stories for fun.
Watch the Sunset or Sunrise
If it helps to go outside with something to do like buying groceries or running errands, try to find something to look forward to. If you want to see the sunset, try going outside just with enough time to go somewhere comfortable (like a park or a backyard) and experience that sunset or sunrise.
Hike on a Trail
If there are walking or biking paths near you, it can be fun to try changing up your environment for a walk. Sometimes you can find trails that feel like they’re not in the city. If you bring bird seeds with you, you might be able to feed some birds or chipmunks along the way!
Have a Picnic
Prepare or pick up something for a snack or lunch, bring a blanket or beach towel, and head to a nice park for a picnic. I like to cut up meat and cheese to pair with crackers and mustard. I like to bring a book, but I always end up listening to a podcast anyway.
Paint in the Park
One of my favourite activities to do right now is paint, so what better way to spend time outside than painting? A dollar store should have a mini canvas and a small paint kit, which you can easily pack in a purse, tote, or backpack and bring to a cool location. Last time I painted outside, I went to a park on the waterfront.
We struggle with stress every day, whether small stresses or big, it’s important for us to know how to manage our stress. Unfortunately, that can be really difficult to learn.
What I found helped me learn how to manage my stress better was taking small steps. Instead of fully committing to a bunch of skills, I tried one. After trying boxed breathing a few times and seeing how it helped ground me, it became a habit. After weeks of not remembering to box breathe when I was stressed and failing to do it early enough to avoid further stress, I found myself immediately trying it without even thinking about it. It became a habit and I finally got the hang of it.
If you are thinking about trying out some mindfulness exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy skills, or other stress management skills, I recommend trying one of these free apps:
With really cool backgrounds and a range of meditations, Calm (calm.com) is a space to escape and relax in the comfort of your hands. This app is designed to keep you calm and it’s quite successful at it.
Headspace (headspace.com) is a comprehensive meditation app, with guided and unguided meditations to help you through all phases of your life. The free app offers ten sessions, with hundreds of hours of extra content if you love it and want to subscribe.
Happify (happify.com) is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy. As the name suggests, Happify’s goal is to help us all feel happier, and more emotionally fulfilled. This is a great tool to keep in mind if you find yourself overwhelmed often and are struggling to feel emotional fulfilment.
Do you find sometimes you struggle with typing quickly? I did not have the chance to learn how to touch type in second grade, so I am trying to learn how to do it now as an adult. Touch typing can help you type faster and more efficiently so that you don’t have to feel like you’re struggling to keep up with your boss, professor, or teacher when you have to take notes.
I have tried the touch-typing exercises and I think they really help, but the biggest part of learning touch typing is muscle memory. Try to practice as much as you can and eventually your typing speed will improve!
Try the Typing Jungle lesson for fun games and exercises to help you improve your typing skills!
Learning bytes are short courses, typically no more than 6 minutes, that are designed to be easy to digest. You can search Rumie’s library for the topics you would like to learn, then choose a course and start learning!
This week’s #bytelearning follows the theme #education. Take a look at the following learning bytes to learn healthy eating tips:
3 Ways to Study SmartShares tips that can help you create study habits that work for you. Sometimes we might be missing just a few tips that can improve our studying.
How Can Routine Help Me Manage Stress? This learning byte is a great resource to use if you are having trouble getting your tasks done because of stress. Getting a routine going can work wonders and help you manage your stress.
Rumie Initiative is technology company, a nonprofit organization, and a Canadian registered Charity. Check out the website here.
“We fill the gap between what you learned at school and what it takes to succeed by building the habit of lifelong learning.” – Rumie Initiative.
When you are a renter, it is important to know your rights. As a tenant there are certain rules you must follow, like how there are certain rules your landlord must follow too. Surprises can happen, so it’s important to be aware of what your landlord can and cannot do.
Housingrightscanada.com is a great resource to use to learn more information about the rights you have as a tenant. This can help in cases like rent increases, illegal evictions, or maintenance requests. Through helpful articles, important resources, and people to contact, this information can help you feel more confident and aware if anything comes up.
Here are Housing Rights Canada’s Top Ten Tips for Ontario Tenants:
Only provide deposits that landlords are allowed to request. When you are entering a lease agreement, your landlord cannot ask you to pay a damage deposit. Besides the first month’s rent, the only other monetary deposit a landlord can request is the last month’s rent and a key deposit.
Request accommodations for your needs. If you have a disability, your landlord must make accommodations to ensure that you have equal access to and enjoyment of your rental unit. The landlord must work very hard to do this – up to the point of “undue hardship”, which is a very high standard.
Do not accept a rent increase that is above the maximum amount allowed. For most units, rent increase amounts are governed by Ontario’s rent increase guideline, which sets the maximum amount that rent can be increased each year. For those units, the province will set an annual percentage that the rent can be increased by. For example, the rent increase limit in 2021 was 0%, and in 2022 was 1.2%.
Hold your landlord accountable for repairs and maintenance. Your landlord must keep your unit in a good state of repair. It does not matter if you made a different agreement about repairs and maintenance when you signed your lease, or if you knew about a condition in your unit before you moved in. The law says that repairs and maintenance are always the landlord’s responsibility.
Connect with your neighbours to resolve issues with your landlord. If you’re having issues with your landlord, talk to your neighbours. They may be facing similar issues, and together you can make plans about how to approach the landlord.
Document interactions with your landlord. When possible, communicate with your landlord in writing and save all documents relating to your tenancy, such as your lease, rent receipts and any communication about repairs.
Do not withhold your rent. In Ontario, you can bring a tenant application against your landlord if you think they are doing something improper. However, if you withhold your rent, you might be evicted.
Do not move out immediately just because you received an eviction notice. There is a process through the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) that must be followed before an eviction can legally take place. In most instances, your landlord will have to get an order from the LTB to evict you.
Do not move out immediately if your unit is sold. If the unit you are renting is sold to a new owner, it does not necessarily mean you have to move out. The new owner must continue to follow the lease. There are special rules the new owner will have to follow if they are planning to move into the unit.
Seek help when facing challenges in your housing. CERA may be able to help you if you are facing an eviction or a human rights issue in your housing. Learn about our services. Call 1-800-263-1139 or 416-944-0087, or email email@example.com. You may also find help at a legal clinic, the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations (FMTA) or the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO).