Coronavirus: With breadmaking on the rise in Saskatchewan, here’s why it’s good for self-care

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WATCH: Breadmaking is on the rise with people stuck at home – Apr 9, 2020

With people stuck at home, an old hobby is on the rise.

Breadmaking is becoming more popular in Saskatoon, and one psychologist says it’s one of the ways people can take care of themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some bakers are dusting off their aprons, while others are kneading dough for the first time.

“It’s kind of fun,” said Patricia Farnese. She’s made four sourdough loaves since being at home.

READ MORE: Baking, hobbies helpful during coronvavirus pandemic, says Winnipeg psychologist

The verdict?

“It’s tasty and the kids have liked it,” she says with a laugh and a shrug.

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Farnese has joined Saskatchewan’s growing number of home bakers, taking to their kitchens to make their own bread.

Sharing recipes — and baking failures — is helping many stay connected online.

“I connected with a college roommate’s husband whom I’ve never met because he posted that he was making bread, and I was making bread,” she said.

“There’s some reason to talk to people … it’s just a way to have a common experience when we’re all sort of locked up in our house.”

For one Saskatoon family, grandma’s using this time as an opportunity to pass on her skills to the next generation.

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June Friesen and her two- and three-year-old grandkids have baked cakes, buns, naan, and are attempting hot cross buns for Easter.

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“When they’re in a daycare they aren’t in the kitchen, so this is a time when kids can be in the kitchen and learn some basic things about measuring and liquids,” she said.

Baking is a great way to take care of yourself during this unprecedented time, according to one psychologist.

Jorden Cummings is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan and runs an Instagram account teaching people about self-care.

She said the key to start small.

“Those kind of activities are ones that require attention, so we can get mindfully focused on them, particularly something you do with your hands like baking or gardening or physical activities,” she said.

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“You need to focus on those, so it’s hard to have time to worry as well as bake.”

If baking isn’t your forte, Cummings suggests taking your normal activities and scaling down.

“If you used to go for a run every morning maybe you’re going to get less time on the treadmill before your kid wakes up, if you used to go out with your friends for drinks you might have to make it smaller and do it via Zoom,” she said.

“It’s taking what you would normally do that makes you feel restored, and thinking creatively on how to make that smaller and more manageable right now.”

READ MORE: Many people are baking through the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how it helps

The downside of popularity: finding supplies during a pandemic can be tricky. Many stores are running out of yeast. For example, one Sobey’s in Saskatoon is rationing the amount of yeast people can buy.

Daybreak Mill is an organic flour mill in Saskatchewan. Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, they say their orders have nearly doubled.

“Now that people are stuck at home and baking and looking for flour, it’s just kind of steadily been getting busier and busier,” said owner Nicole Huriet.

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Demand only appears to be growing.

It’s likely Saskatoon will be seeing a lot more buns in people’s ovens.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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