Our home has become a sanctuary since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. But while it was indeed safer to stay in to stem the spread of this infectious disease, there’s another challenge many homebound folks are dealing with.
“It was really hard for me,” admits Katrina, a 30-something content manager who has been stuck alone in her city condo ever since the quarantine started in March 2020.
“I’m not someone who really loved going out when everything was still normal, but it’s different when you’re really required to stay put at home.”
She continues, “I’m not complaining because I understand that it is for the safety of everyone, but it does affect your mood and even your mental health.”
According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health last year, 25 percent of Filipino respondents reported moderate-to-severe anxiety, while about 17 percent experienced moderate-to-severe depression and psychological impact during the early phase of the pandemic.
The National Center for Mental Health, meanwhile, reported “a significant increase” in mental health calls, from 80 calls pre-lockdown to 400 amid the pandemic.
Aside from magnifying the need for raising mental health awareness, this ongoing global health crisis also opened doors for many individuals—may it be discovering something new or exploring a passion for which they never had the time before.
For Katrina, that involved getting into hobbies that she never would have expected she would enjoy doing.
“For me, it’s baking. I was surprised because I used to be really bad in the kitchen, but after watching some YouTube videos, I got inspired. I bought a mini electric oven and just got into it,” she relates.
Aside from Katrina, many homebound Filipinos have found joy in their kitchen.
“It gives me the break that I need,” shares Gladys, a mother of one and a part-time copywriter. “I have to juggle work and taking care of my daughter, but I also want to have time for myself. I love baking because you can really create something out of the activity, which is calming and relaxing in itself.”
Baking has truly skyrocketed in popularity so much so that baking tools and supplies ran out in supermarkets during the first few months of lockdown. Several businesses selling baked goods also popped online.
“I actually started my own business. I started with cookies, but now I have also been making breads and cakes. It turned out to be another source of income for me, too,” says Gladys.
In starting a mini business, Gladys emphasizes the importance of getting the right ingredients first.
“There’s a lot of trial and error, but the success of baking is all about using the right ingredients. I love using the flour from Joy of Baking because it is beginner-friendly and is of good quality.”
Joy of Baking is a notable brand of Agri Pacific Corporation, under the Rebisco Group of Companies. Since 2015, it has been providing innovative flour products in the market using advanced Swiss and German milling technology.
Some of the products of the Joy of Baking include all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking bread flour, and the Joy of Baking Complete Breadmix, perfect for making quick and easy breads like pan de sal, ensaymada, and Spanish bread. The breadmix features an all-in-one formula and comes with a free pack of yeast in every bag.
According to the brand, all of its flours are fortified with vitamin A and iron.
In addition to flour, it also produces oil, shortening, and other baking products.
To become a community dealer of these baking products, contact 0926-1323414 or go to the Joy of Baking’s official Facebook page.
“Since we are all staying at home, the best we can do is to make the best out of these moments. Baking is a great hobby because of the sense of comfort and satisfaction that it provides. It’s hard, but everyone can find their piece of joy during this time,” says Maria Minna Vistan, senior marketing manager of flour division.
“You wouldn’t know what kind of happiness a slice of homemade bread can bring you until you try.”