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From Staycations to Pizza Ovens

How people thrive during the pandemic.

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Fab Giovanetti, in “How to Plan a Staycation” on ThriveGlobal.com said, “…we need to make a conscious effort to nourish ourselves and recharge.”

Easy to talk about, but what if there’s a pandemic raging. Turns out Fab was right and if you combine a staycation with pizza ovens and hot dogs, toss in a little yoga, it’s amazing what you can accomplish and how you can thrive.

Staycation

Alejandra and I woke up in April to a calendar reminder that we should be packed and ready to board our flight to America in about 5-hours. 

We had already canceled our trip and got refunds when Argentina shut down its international airports to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The notification was another reminder of “BP”, or “before pandemic” when we had planned a 30-day vacation which would have provided a needed mental refresher from work. 

Instead of a month in America, we took a brief staycation — in our own condo in Buenos Aires.

Now, several months later, working from the condo has morphed our weekdays into weekends and it’s becoming more challenging to tell when one ends and the other begins. That helps, but being a writer, it can already be difficult to separate time spent indoors for leisure as opposed to time spent indoors because that’s where I write.

So for our staycation, I took a couple days off to do nothing except drinking coffee, working on a short story and watching old Argentine movies.

Pizza Ovens

For those who decided to make the most of their own home and garden there have been a few favored activities and home additions that have taken the nation by storm, even as comfort food rules.

As more Americans retreat to comfort food during the pandemic, they are finding comfort food isn’t just nostalgia — is a means of survival.

According to Google Trends, pizza ovens are shown to be a popular choice with ‘Pizza Oven’ being searched for 246k times during the peak of May which is a huge increase compared to last May with only 74k searches.

While grocery sales boom and restaurants start to rehire workers, most are counting on Americans’ pandemic-triggered craving for comfort food.

Checkers & Rally’s CEO Frances Allen said she expected customers to return to comfort foods, because of the pandemic. 

“There is going to be a cocooning going on. A kind of relief that we survived, “Allen told Business Insider. “At the same time we want to embrace the things which give us comfort and there’s nothing like…” hot dogs and pizza as comfort food.

According to research reported by Business Insider, hot dog sales jumped more than 120-percent in March 2020. People didn’t turn to hot dogs merely for the “nostalgia factor,” but also because of the tough times many face during the pandemic.

Parents are finding themselves without childcare and are looking for quick, simple ways to feed the kids while parents continue to work. Hot dogs are a simple solution.

While discount retailers like Costco and online subscriptions such as Amazon Prime provide savings over time in exchange for a membership fee, many of the poorer shoppers in America are caught in a cycle which forces them to pay for more less.

Unemployment is trending in a positive direction, but federal programs expired during the summer and Americans are left in a precarious situation.

Being poor in America is a full-time job.

Exercise Bikes and Home Gyms

When Deborah bought her first stationary bike, it kept moving around. When she brought it home, she put it in her son’s room. After all, he was at college and when he returned home because of coronavirus worries; he was ok with it and used it often.

When her daughter moved back, Deborah relocated the exercise bike into the living room. Now, because of heavy use and difference schedules, she’s thinking about moving it to the garage.

Exercise bikes aren’t the only forms of exercise seeing an increase on digital platforms.

Pilates-based workout studio, Xtend Barre saw online classes double when the company suspended in-person instructions. 

Emily Worcester, went from self-described ‘couch potato’ to Zoom fitness junkie and participates in live classes, six days a week in her living room.

Lindsay Gibson, owner of Majestic Yoga Studio, started offering live group classes on Zoom just one day after stopping in-person instruction. As she was already Skyping with private clients, she found it easy to pivot and offer the same service across her client list.

“It’s a way to connect with people on some level, though I sometimes feel like a girl stuck in a box,” Gibson said recently.

As for her clients’ responses?

“Gratitude that we’re doing this for them,” Gibson added. “It makes me want to cry.”

The Takeaway

After all these days in quarantine and through unprecedented and challenging times, even if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or socially isolated—it is possible to enhance your wellbeing and thrive.

Pizza Oven Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

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