Every June 12th, we celebrate Philippine independence day and the courage of our forefathers in defending the country. During this day, we also recognize one of the most important things for Filipinos: the freedom to have fulfilling lives.
It has then become the goal of many to live independently. To be away from the family home and manage yourself are some passage rites towards adulthood. It’s going to be hard, but not impossible.
Here are some tips from those who’ve had the opportunity to live solo and score life lessons along the way:
Be Open to Learning
“Living alone is a learning process,” says a millennial who lives solo in her 20s. Hence, to live alone is to embrace the reality of not knowing everything that needs to be done. However, having basic skills like cooking, budgeting, and maintaining a home can help you ease into an independent life.
Results of an internal survey showed that more independent adults prefer doing DIY projects over buying ready-made items when decorating a home. When spending time off, most of them also favor hobbies over side gigs, which reflects their desire to discover something new about themselves while having fun.
Treat Your Chores as BFFs
A common belief about living alone is that it’s a lonely situation. But according to another millennial we spoke with, housework can help with the mood. He said, “Sagot mo ang chores mo, so that will help lighten up the loneliness.” (you always have chores to attend to, so that will help lighten up the loneliness).
Another lesson he learned is that doing your chores is a sign of responsibility and self-respect. In a way, household tasks are like your closest friends. They’re always there, helping you become accountable.
Of course, companionship remains crucial as it allows you to show your care for others. According to our internal survey, over half of the respondents prefer to have plants over pets as companions, signalling the continuation of the home gardening trend.
Balance Responsibility and Fun
Living alone comes with serious responsibilities and the most common ones are grocery shopping and preparing meals. In our survey, most respondents preferred cooking at home over dining out and going to supermarkets over wet markets.
The way they approach responsibilities could be influenced by their location. Most of them are living or want to live in the city, where homes are minutes away from malls and frequently dining out could be expensive.
Generally, people living independently are planners. Most of them think ahead, but some still like the adventure of going with the flow. However, having a plan, even just a rough one, will help you decide how to manage your time and resources.
In terms of spending downtime, a lot of those living solo find comfort in vacations. But when a situation like the pandemic happens, a tip worth remembering is to have specific areas in your home for your hobbies. It encourages you to have “me-time” and do the things you love without distractions.
Finding joy in cleaning up your space can also help. As one independent millennial mentioned, “The cleanliness of your home also affects your physical and mental health.”
Take Care of Yourself
According to our internal survey, having a place of your own is one measure of being truly independent. But that’s not all there is when it comes to living solo. Maintaining good health should also be a priority.
The thought of having no one around when you get sick (plus the piling up of chores) will surely make you want to take extra care of yourself. Also, with no one to encourage you to be active, it can be easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle.
A tip we got is to avoid staying on your bed all the time. Use it strictly for bedtime and nap time, and try squeezing small bits of exercise into your daily routine. Take a walk during lunch break, run or bike around after your work shift, or take the stairs if you live in a low-rise condo.
Living solo is already an achievement in itself. You will enjoy the solitary mornings and nights and have control over your life. Hopefully, these tips can help steer your independent life in the right direction.