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With social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine overtaking our lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can seem difficult to keep your spirits up. But, it’s important to pull ourselves away from constantly getting sucked into the updates either on social media or on the news. While it’s extremely important to follow guidelines and stay indoors, here are six ways you too can beat the social distancing blues and stay positive and connected during this period – 

Learn a new work-related skill – Have you always wanted to learn Photoshop to enhance your skills as a writer so that you could pitch high quality images along with your articles? Or perhaps learn video editing or search engine marketing to add to your skills? This is the perfect time to enroll in high quality online courses for such skills on Udemy or Skillshare. The advantage of signing up for a chargeable course such as the ones from these websites, is that they are well-structured and you’ll actually manage to carve time out from your day, feel good about the learning, and would have helped reduce the anxiety of endlessly checking the news for updates.  

Pick-up a new hobby – While picking up a new work-related skill will make you feel accomplished, it’s important to realise that you are not your job. A new, non-vocation related, ‘joy sparking’ hobby, will in contrast, make you feel fulfilled. Get creative and explore the wide range of online courses that could range from learning how to mix cocktails, to juggling, crochet or even learn how to play the guitar from the legendary Carlos Santana!

Support a local business – You’ve probably read the words ‘support a local business’ a lot in the past few weeks. But what are the conscious choices you can make to put that into action? Many local, homegrown, artisanal brands are still taking online orders. So the next time you need to buy a shirt, some stationery or an artefact, think of the ‘friend of a friend’ who runs such a business and could do with the surge in sales. 

Shop for essentials, do a good deed- The reality is that we are all creatures of habit, and with everything changing so quickly around us, certain mundane and everyday tasks such as shopping for groceries keep us grounded. Keep a lookout for what you want on apps and order them first thing in the morning. While you’re doing so for your family, is there perhaps an elderly couple in your apartment building you could help out by ordering some essentials for? 

Don’t forget to chill out – There’s no denying that it can get extremely lonely without being able to meet and hangout with your friends. After you’re done with work and everyday tasks, you are bound to feel the need to chill with friends. This is where we’d like to remind you that we are after all living in the 21st century and it is possible to virtually watch movies and shows with your friends! Google Chrome has an awesome extension called Netflix Party that allows you to watch a film with your friends at the same time and even group-chat simultaneously! How’s that for some fun at the end of a long day of Zoom calls?

Carve out time for play – There’s a world of games for phones (both iOS and Android) that you can play alone or with your friends without leaving your home! A new version of Pokemon Go is designed to be more indoors-y, Golf Clash will let you connect with a larger community of players and that includes your Facebook friends. It’s a great way to stay connected with friends that goes beyond messages and calls. 

These heartfelt and practical tips for beating the blues are shared with you in partnership with the HDFC Bank Millennia Range of Cards powered by MasterCard, who would like to urge you to keep your spirits up. To take care of your needs, these ‘built for millennials’ cards offer 2.5% CashBack on all online spends; a higher 5% CashBack if you buy through SmartBuy. Apply for your card online, here.