“Reading can widen our imagination and open our minds to new doorways of ideas. It’s up to us which doorway we let ourselves enter.”
Reading and Well-being
We all like to take time for ourselves, a break from the stress and issues of everyday life. Some watch exciting films or play video games, but for Yesha, it just happens to be reading. What better way to detox from a digitally-saturated world than with good old-fashioned reading, getting lost between the pages of a book?
Yesha is fond of reading self-help books. It heals and inspires her because it floods her mind with positive words and uplifting ideas. When asked how long she can read a book, she answers: “I tend to be a slow reader when it comes to self-help books. I like to marinate wisdom and ideas.”
“They say, ‘you are what you eat’. I say, ‘you are what you read,’” when asked how reading & well-being are connected.
As an avid reader myself, I have to agree. We must be deliberate in the materials we feed our brains. Words, like food, are nutrition for our minds.
Reading is not just an indulgence; it is a form of self-care for which we must make time.
Living alone can be a great way to discover oneself, either by choice or because we have to. At some point in our lives, we will have to live alone. But for Yesha, it all began years ago when she moved to the city for college.
Despite living on her own for years now, only in the last year when she started at Xilium did she consider herself to be someone who ‘lives alone.’ “I moved here in the city years ago for college and since then I have been practically living alone,” Yesha recalls, “even though I had my own dorm room in college, it was mostly empty… I never felt ‘at home’ so every weekend I would still come back to my childhood home.”
Since both of her parents worked abroad, she was raised by different family members. “I have learned to love my own solitude,” she began, “I guess I am meant to walk and discover this life alone.“ If there’s one thing she learned, it’s that living apart from her family provided her a sense of independence and control. “[It] allows me to explore the life outside the programming I had been taught since childhood, to dig deep within and know myself on a soul level”, states Yesha.
In the past year, she completely changed her living situation. Decorating her own space with a touch of her personality and “romanticiz[ing] the idea of solo living,” she now feels more at home than ever.
Days can sometimes be tough for her though. “No one prepares my meals and coffee for me,” she said. Living solo, there’s no taking turns with housework. One-person households aren’t common in the Philippines. Most Filipinos do not live apart from their parents until marriage. Aside from being cost-effective, this also helps to maintain close family ties. It contributes to the preservation of our deeply ingrained value of putting family first.
When asked about a typical day, Yesha says “I read, I journal, I organize my thoughts. It’s important to reflect first before I start my day. Then I do my house chores, water my plants.” Independence becomes her as she embarks on the journey of adulthood.
Being independent is not just a decision, it is a journey. And Yesha, in her 20s, has already started hers.
“To live separately from my family allows me to explore the life outside the programming I had been taught since childhood, to dig deep within and know myself on a soul level.”