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If you’re one of the millions who are choosing to stay home right now, you know that isolation can feel, well, isolating. For those of us living outside of our hometown, like myself, it can be even more challenging to access the usual comfort of being at home. I’ve been living in San Diego for six months now and still feel myself settling into my west coast community. A big question I’ve been asking myself is, “how can I create a feeling of familiarity as a transplant who still feels foreign?” In other words, what are some ways I can establish a sense of community and comfort without being able to explore my new city? Here are some things I’ve come up with that are making staying in my house feel like being home.
Coming together around the dining room table is an experience that’s been elevating social wellness for thousands of years. Growing up, sitting down to have dinner as a family was an important piece of my home life. Since traveling of any kind is currently off the table (or is it?), gathering with family is an impossible task. We’ve instituted virtual family meals over Zoom that transport me right back to my seat at the table.
Moving to a new city means leaving behind your family, friends, and favorite instructors. While it’s been a blast to work up a sweat trying all the local studios in San Diego, I still have a huge place in my heart for my hometown teachers. One of the hardest parts about leaving New York was knowing I'd have to replace my regular yoga schedule at Hudson Yoga Project with a new one. But over the last few weeks, they’ve rolled out virtual classes that help me feel like I'm right back in the studio with my favorite east coast instructors. All I have to do is book on Mindbody, open my computer, and roll out my mat. Win-win, right? If you want to check out the virtual classes your hometown has to offer, just set your location and start exploring.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Shopping at small businesses is an awesome way to immerse yourself into a new community. Though you may not be able to sit down for some corner eats or shop for a new work-from-home wardrobe at your local boutique, there are plenty of ways to support your local business owners from the comfort of your own home.
Call in a takeout order from a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try and strike up a conversation with the staff. Let them know you’ll be in once they’re back to business as usual. Donate your piggy bank funds to your favorite shop. Shop online from your local boutiques. Kick it up a notch by sharing your support on social media, letting them know you’re grateful for their communal contribution.
If you’re on social media, odds are you’ve stumbled upon friends challenging one another to different quarantine activities. Workout buddies usually make showing up for your fitness routine way easier. With the rise of virtual fitness, it’s easy to corral friends from near and far to join in on your fitness schedule. Share a link to your Mindbody virtual class and snapshot your workout in action. Nominate your workout pals from across the country and keep the movement up from city to city. Hint: Tag @mindbody in your WFH workout stories for a chance to be featured!
Modern technology keeps it pretty easy to stay in touch with friends between Zoom, texting, and social media. However, nothing feels as personal as a handwritten letter. I ordered some postcards from one of my favorite local shops and wrote letters to my friends with a list of what makes them so amazing. This kind of reflection is a great reminder of what a strong, loving community you’ve already got under your belt.
Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean diminishing community. Follow us on Instagram @mindbody to stay connected with our like-minded community. Have an exciting way of finding comfort in your home away from hometown? Give us a shout and we’ll spread the word.
Want to support local salons? Browse Mindbody to find one near you, then head to their website to see if you can purchase products or gift cards!
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.