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9 Things You Can Do To Become A Better Friend

9 Things You Can Do To Become A Better Friend

A good support system is so important. Being surrounded by the right people makes life so much easier. If you have a few friends you can rely on when things get rough or share happy news and who increase your happiness by getting even more excited than you, you’ve made it. 

And maybe you have a great set of friends, you all get along, and you’re there for each other. But from time-to-time, you do stupid things that jeopardize your friendship. I know I have. I’m not referring to the basic stuff that makes a friendship what it is- being there for each other, supporting each other, being there for them when they’re down. 

There are a few subtle things that we don’t really think of, but they can really ruin a friendship. 
There are other subtle nuances that are so important when it comes to keeping your relationship with your closest friends strong. There’s nothing as heartbreaking as a broken friendship, not even a broken relationship. Which is why I want to share these tips from my experience.

Here are a few things you can do to be a great friend:

True friends don’t get jealous of their friends’ achievements. If your best friend gets engaged, gets a raise or is going on an amazing holiday, don’t be envious. Be happy for them. If you’re the type of friend that gets envious, your friend will know. After a point, they’ll stop sharing their good news with you and that’s not a good sign for a good friendship. If you can’t stop feeling envious, ask yourself how you can become more secure in yourself. Know that you can get every happiness for yourself, too.

Don’t gossip about your friends to other friends. By gossiping, I mean talking about your friends in a bad way. Being judgmental about what a friend is going through and then picking that apart with other friends is not a nice thing to do. If you think what a friend is doing is not right, keep it to yourself. Your friends’ lives should not be content for negative conversation.

If you’re mad at them, let them be the first to know. Don’t tell another friend that you’re mad at a friend. First, clear it out with the friend you’re angry with. Otherwise, you’re ruining the reputation of one friend with the other, and then once everything is okay between you and your friend, you have to then tell the other friend that everything is now okay between you and that friend. It’s too much work! 

Don’t share your friends’ secrets. This should be an obvious one but sometimes we get tempted to tell a friend something another friend has told us strictly in confidence. It’s not even about your friends clearly specifying that what they are telling you is confidential. You need to develop the discretion as to what can be shared and what can’t be shared. Ask yourself- if the news were about you, would you want a friend saying it to others?

Know when to listen and offer support and know when to help. Sometimes we just want a friend to hear us out. Just that helps us feel better. We don’t necessarily want advice. So when a friend is telling you about a problem, you can ask them something like- is this a problem where you need my advice or where you just need me to listen?

Don’t be an askhole. An askhole is a person who asks you for your suggestion then disregards it completely. If you’re not going to follow their suggestion, don’t ask. It makes your friend feel disrespected and unimportant, not to mention making you look completely foolish. If you really have a problem that needs solving, ask one or two friends that you know can help you with that particular problem. Don’t be that friend who asks every single friend about a problem then goes and does the opposite of what everyone said.

Don’t dump on your friends. One of my best friends, Amy, had told me this and I loved it. She said that when she’s had a bad day she likes to go and watch a movie alone in the cinema because it helps her forget her problems. She said she doesn’t call a friend and ‘dump’ her bad day on them and bring them down. And I thought that that was so wise. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t tell your friends about sad news or when you’re having a tough time. I’m saying don’t do it too often and for small things. Be mature and independent enough to handle your situations yourself and only when you really need support or help, talk to your friend. Depending completely on your friend when any little thing goes wrong is unhealthy for you as a person and for your friendship. No matter how kind your friends are, they’ll eventually get tired of you not being able to self-soothe.

Be honest, but not brutal. Don’t be that friend who sugarcoats everything and never tells their friend the truth about their job or their relationship or about food stuck in their teeth. Telling the truth may make you lose friends, but they’re not the type of friends you want anyway. P.S- tell the truth nicely. No need to be brutal about it. If you have a friend who is constantly being brutally honest and throwing what you do wrong in your face, reconsider the friendship. Friends are nice to each other. 

Don’t be a chronic complainer. I’ve had a lot of {ex} friends who loved complaining about their life and everything in it. Even if I pointed out an obvious solution to their problem, they wouldn’t take it. {Similar to being an askhole}. It was obvious that they loved their miserable lives and loved to complain. Being in the company of such friends is exhausting. If you’re a chronic complainer, reduce your whining and try to be more grateful. If you have friends like these, either explain to them that this is frustrating for you as a friend, or gradually cut them off and find better friends who are more positive and take action to solve their problems.

Remember that the best way of finding good friends is by being one. Following these rules has definitely worked for me and I’m blessed with amazing friends. Being honest, perceptive and compassionate in your friendships will make them stronger. By following the tips above, you’ll start to become a better person and a better friend.

Dress: c/o Khaleeji Girl Kouture, Earrings: from Thailand, Bracelet: Gifted, Watch, Bag: Parfois, Shoes: Aldo. Location courtesy: Madeleine. Photos: Ancita SherelOn a style note, this gorgeous dress is from Khaleeji Girl Kouture. I love that it's a wrap dress, which is so flattering. Unlike other wrap dresses, the neck is not too deep. Because of the wrap, the hemline is slightly longer in the front which adds more interest to the dress. The colour is a beautiful neutral taupe, making it the perfect work dress. I love that the sleeves stop before the wrist, adding that effortless element to it. Because this is a wrap dress, I always make sure I'm wearing shorts underneath it. You can also wear a lacy corset or bralette under in case the neck starts to gape when you're sitting. Lace sneak peeks are so elegant, especially when it's on the neckline. Wrap dresses usually become loose {since they're tied} so you have to be extra careful when wearing them and wear pretty inners. Because the dress is a simple neutral, I wore bright earrings with it. I got these handmade earrings at the Fisherman's Village Night Market in Bophut, Koh Samui, in Thailand. I love the fresh sea colours. I wore pumps in a gold and black jacquard fabric to add more elegance and length to the look and finished with a big bag in a deep navy blue for a pop of colour.This is such a go-to work dress. When you don't know what to wear or are in a hurry, this is the dress. I can't wait to wear it again with different shoes and accessories. I've already purchased a few different lace corsets to go with it. Until next time, xoxo

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Shabana Feroze
10 things To Do When You're Overwhelmed

10 things To Do When You're Overwhelmed

The car breaks down. The baby’s soiled their diapers. And you were already stressed because the boss yelled at you that morning. 

Often times a lot of things happen all at once, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. You feel like a thousand-kilo rock is crushing you. You want to scream and shout but you know that that’s not really going to help. 

That overwhelming feeling can be because of anything. Maybe you realize you need to get a lot of things done and you don’t have enough time. Or several things go wrong all at once. And often, even after you’ve fixed a few things, you can’t shake off the feeling and the sense of urgency. 

This last month of October has been the most overwhelming month of my life. Several major things happened all at once and I didn’t know what to handle first or how to simply slow down my thoughts so I could think logically. I just felt pressured and drained from feeling pressured. 

I knew I had to stop feeling like that as soon as possible and go back to being my normal calm and composed self. Which is why I decided to write this post and share a few ways that help me stop feeling overwhelmed really fast, plus a few more that I think are great ways to calm the whirlpool in your mind.

Here are ten things you can do to stop feeling overwhelmed:

1. Visit a water body. Any naturally occurring body of water such as a waterfall, a lake, the ocean, etc., makes you feel instantly calmer when you’re near it. This is because of the negative ions in the air near water that makes us feel calmer and happier. If you really can’t go to the beach or a promenade, find a pool to take a dip in, sit by one, or simply take a shower. I find that even this contact with water soothes you and reduces that overwhelm.

Give yourself a head massage. Massages are amazing and they make you instantly relaxed. However, when you’re feeling chaotic, you might not feel like going to a spa and getting a full body massage or even have the time for it. What you can do, is to give yourself a head massage. Heat up any oil like coconut oil or olive oil {or make your own hair oil following my mother’s secret hair oil recipe} for a few seconds in the microwave and then massage it into your scalp. If there’s a family member around, ask them to do it. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then shower.

Find the funniest friends and be with them. Everyone has that one friend or a bunch of friends who are silly and funny. They’re so funny that just thinking of them makes you smile. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek their company and hang out with them even if for an hour or two. Just being with them will make that crushing sensation go away.

Have a good weep. I love a good cry. It cleanses out all the toxins in your system and makes you feel relieved. Don’t be ashamed to have a good ol’ ugly cry alone in your room when you’re feeling pressured. You’ll be able to think clearer after it.

Talk it out. Talking to a friend or a loved one can make the craziness in your head go away. Sometimes all it takes is verbalizing what’s driving you insane. Simply talking to someone makes you see your problems for what they are, and automatically reduces your stress. 

Write it down. An alternative to talking to someone is to write everything down. Do a brain dump. Just put pen to paper and let the words flow. They don’t have to make sense. Writing is always therapeutic and helps get you things off of your chest, making you feel more relaxed.

Take a nap. When you’re overwhelmed, the body feels exhausted. It’s the best time to give the body and mind some rest by taking a nap.

Meditate. Meditation helps slow down your breathing and brain waves. It can alleviate that crushing sensation we feel when we have too much on our mind by forcing us to be more present.

Do an intense workout. This is my favourite remedies for feeling overwhelmed. An intense workout like HIIT makes you feel really tired after and your brain just cannot think about problems anymore. It also lifts that brain fog you get when you’re overwhelmed because you’re so exhausted you can only think of the simplest solutions or what to do next.

Decide that tomorrow will be a better day. I find that telling myself that things will be better tomorrow helps to take the stress away from the moment. And the next day IS always inevitably better.

These are just a few things you can do when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders or when everything is happening all at once. Here are 35 more self-care ideas you can do when you need to slow everything down and do something nice for yourself.

What do you usually like doing when you’re overwhelmed? Leave me a comment below!

On a style note

This is one of my favourite dresses designed by Saji’s Couture. I had purchased the lace material from a textile shop in Manama Souk. I was in love with it but I was confused as to how I’d be making a dress out of it. Sajida of Saji’s Couture told me she’d make a cape out of it, and a simple black pencil dress over which I can wear it. That way I could wear these two together and also use both pieces with other clothes. I loved it! 

I wore this dress to accept a business award and I got several compliments on it. I love how Sajida can think of a dress design really quickly and knows exactly what she will do with your material. 

Dress: Saji's Couture, Jewellery: Gifted, Watch: Olivia Burton, Shoes: New Look. Location courtesy: The Woods Cafe. Photos: Ancita Sherel

Until next time

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Shabana Feroze
From College To The Workplace- Build The Perfect Work Wardrobe

From College To The Workplace- Build The Perfect Work Wardrobe

Going from being a student to starting your career life is always an exciting phase. But the biggest question is - what do you do about clothes? Whether your workplace is a bit relaxed or whether it’s a place that demands formal office clothes, you’ll need to start transitioning your wardrobe from college to work-worthy. Even if you’re working from home, it’s a good idea to start putting together a professional style collection. If not for anyone, but to make yourself feel fresh and excited to start this new phase of life.

If you're currently a student in college or uni, chances are that you've got a wardrobe filled with comfortable pieces that are nerdy chic. You won’t necessarily have the money to go out and replace your entire wardrobe with work-appropriate pieces. 

In this post, I’m going to show you what you can do to gradually build a work wardrobe once you’ve started working without throwing out all your much-loved college clothes. And how you can look impressive without going broke. 

How to build a work wardrobe when you’re starting your career

  • Put aside a small amount to buy clothes every month. This is so that you don't go crazy and spend all your money on clothes in the first few months and have no money left over for food or entertainment. 
  • Your dream work wardrobe takes time. I have been working for over 15 years and now I have the absolute dream workwear collection. It doesn't happen overnight. If you rush it, you’ll end up with items that don’t suit you and don’t make you happy.

  • Shop online or visit your favourite shops once a week. This way, you'll buy a few good pieces every month instead of blowing all your money on clothes all at once. Shopping sprees are a complete drain on your funds when you start working. Be smart while shopping.
  • Buy high quality, less quantity. So for instance, get just one white shirt, but make sure it's of great quality and in a classic cut so you can mix and match it with other pieces. You should be able to wear it with your college clothes like jeans, casual skirts and jackets. Focus on quality and classic shapes. 

  • Buy a blazer as soon as you can. A blazer can be thrown over anything and everything. Even worn over a t-shirt and jeans, it looks chic and professional. 

  • Get a pair of work shoes like heels or loafers. The great thing about trends today is that sneakers can be worn with anything and everything. However, one pair of formal shoes can make any outfit look polished. You'll also be prepared for when you have to attend meetings or events in which formal wear is a must. 

  • In the beginning, ask your older friends and family if they have extra work clothes that they no longer wear. You can always put feelers out there that you don't mind accepting work clothes in your size and in good shape if anyone from your friends and family wants to give theirs away. I wish I had done this when I started working because it can be such a great way to save. Today I constantly give away clothes that I'm tired of wearing or those that no longer spark joy, to younger cousins and friends. I love seeing them wear my clothes and feeling happy with them. 

  • Check out H&M sales or their sales racks that are there almost all round the year. H&M usually have very classic and basic workwear pieces marked down to ridiculously low rates. I have bought elegant pencil dresses, pencil skirts and other classic workwear pieces for throwaway prices in H&M sales. Recently, a colleague of mine got herself real nice basic pieces for a steal in the last sale. So keep an eye out. 

  • Use accessories to make a statement. Accessories usually aren't expensive and they can really personalize your look. Scarves, hats, jewellery. They can all be worn in different ways with different outfits for fresh new looks. 

  • Get creative with your college clothes. Once you have a few basic workwear pieces, mix and match them with your casual and quirky college clothes for fun looks that show off your unique personality.

Dress: Saji's Couture, Earrings, Watch: Parfois, Bag, Bracelet: from India, Shoes: Aldo, Photos: Ancita Sherel

Final thoughts

Remember to go slow and steady when building a work wardrobe. Be creative while putting structuring your outfits. Check out sales whenever possible but again, don’t go crazy. Take your time, discover a new style as you put your workwear collection together and enjoy the process!

Until next time,

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Shabana Feroze
A Brown Girl's Tips To Make Your Relationship With Your Mother Better

A Brown Girl's Tips To Make Your Relationship With Your Mother Better

As brown girls, our relationship with our mother is a complicated one. Their life experience and how they were raised is very different from ours. Just the jump in technology has made our world starkly different than theirs. Even our values and what we consider important in life are completely different from our mothers. 

All these things can cause a lot of rifts, fights, and disagreements with your mother. She wants you to live your life a certain way and you have your own plan for your life. I know, I’ve been there. 
After a lot of fights and arguments and me moving out and living alone {it’s a bizarre thing to do being 1) an unmarried 
girl, and 2), in a tiny place like Bahrain} and then moving back in with my parents, I think I’ve finally cracked the code to my relationship with my mother. Today I can truthfully say that I love living with my parents and I have a wonderful relationship with my mom. We fight and have our differences, sure, but we get along like the very cliched best friends. I cannot imagine my life without talking to her every day. 

Because of this, I firmly believe that you should do whatever it takes to get your relationship right with your mother. Whether that’s making a change in how you communicate with her or trying to understand her better, or even moving out and living on your own. {Sometimes the best way to love your family is from a distance.} 

I see a lot of my girlfriends struggling with the exact same issues I had with my mother, and on occasion, I have given them advice on how to solve those problems. It worked and helped them smooth tensions with their moms. One of my girlfriends specifically asked me to write this blog post so other women can read it and it would hopefully help them in their relationship with their mother. 

It goes without saying that if your mother or parents are abusive, by all means, walk away. This post is not for you. 

Before I begin, let me make the purpose clear of why I think you need to do this- why you need to make things better with your mom, or your parents for that matter. Because they’re not going to be around forever. And when that happens, you’ll regret that you didn’t put in more effort to make things better with them. You’ll regret you didn’t show them how much you love them. 

Tips on how you can make your relationship with your mother a better one:

  • Keep the intention in mind. All the nagging and fighting usually comes from a place of love and protecting you, which we often overlook. Your mother’s intention is to make sure you’re happy and that you’re not setting yourself up for hurt. If you always keep this in mind, you’ll be more patient with her.

  • Understand that she needs your attention and love. When she's getting irritated with you or nagging you, give her a hug and tell her how much you love her. It will help calm her and make her feel loved.
  • Appreciate her. Mothers are the most under-appreciated beings on earth. They do so much for us, whether we live with them or not. Whenever my mother makes breakfast or does something for me, I make it a point to appreciate it by saying something like, “thank you for making breakfast for me today”. It can make such a big difference to your relationship.

  • Keep her in the loop about your life. We often unknowingly shut our mothers out of our lives. Tell her about what’s worrying you, what you’re looking forward to at work, show her which dress you want to buy. You don’t have to completely involve her in your life, but telling her what’s going on will make her feel like she’s a part of it {which she should always be}. 

  • Make her laugh. I love making my mother laugh. Whether it’s by doing something silly or by telling her a funny anecdote or making fun of her. She needs that lightness in her very busy and stressful life. 
  • Take her out. If your mom is anything like mine, all she does is work, work, work. She does the chores at home, she works at our shop. It’s non-stop. And even though she drives, she’ll never go anywhere by herself. As a daughter, one of the best things you can do for your mom is to take her out to different places or even on holiday. It makes for great mother-daughter bonding time. I’ve taken my mom on holidays and I’ve seen such a fun, carefree side to her that I have never seen before. So take her out on the weekends. Go for a movie with her. Take her to the mall. 

  • Make her do self-care. Our moms will never do anything nice for themselves, by themselves. They’re always worrying about us and their husbands. In fact, worrying is their no.1 job. So it’s up to you to make her do something nice for herself. Make a face mask for her, force her to sit down and take a break, treat her to a massage. Just make sure she relaxes. 

  • Ask her advice. Your mother has seen so much more of the world than you have. She has a lot of experience, especially with people, because of having to deal with all the various relations around her. But most importantly, no one will ever know you the way your mother does. Ask her for her advice on situations in your life. You might not like her suggestions at times, but I've found that my mother has always been right about how I feel or how a person or a situation in my life can hurt me. Or she shows me an angle to my problem that I didn’t see and it really helps me solve the problem or see the situation in a different light. Asking your mother her advice will make her feel needed, which brings me to my last point-
  • Make her feel needed. No matter what you do, never make your mother feel unneeded. We tend to think that becoming independent women means not needing our mothers anymore and making sure they know it. This is the biggest pain point for a mother. Because no matter how old you get, it’s always wonderful for her to know that you’ll always need her. So ask her advice, ask you to help her, call her when you’re sick and ask her to baby you. Show her how important she is in your life even though you’re all grown up now. {Don’t be a drama queen and create drama just to get her attention, obvs.}

If you’ve noticed, most of my advice is on how to make your mother feel better about herself and relaxed. Only as daughters, we can understand our mother and her struggles. If she feels good about herself, it will automatically improve your relationship with her. 

Also, every relationship is unique and maybe these points won’t apply to yours. Like I said before, I only speak from my own experience. But hopefully, these tips will help you not just realize the importance of having a great relationship with your mother, but also improve your mother-daughter bond. 

P.S: This post has been read by my mother before posting and she wholeheartedly approves the points written above. 

           Top and Skirt: Saji's Couture, Earrings: from India, Shoes: New Look, Location courtesy: The Woods Cafe. Photos: Ancita Sherel

What other tips would you offer to make your relationship with your mother better?
Leave a comment below!

Until next time

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Shabana Feroze
[name=About Me] [img=https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipP6wdDIrRF_dx-pVv8PqBiSrQRKrEMzJ7vf1N7r/photo/AF1QipNnYi7lR3UkPF0ptL0QV_mqWadL-JCe7F7afRiS] [description=I'm an entrepreneur, published author, fitness instructor and artist. But most of all, I'm me. And I LOVE being me. Through this blog, I want to inspire you to love being you, too. I enjoy dressing up, chasing my passions, travelling the world, staying fit and encouraging others to do the same. If you'd like to know more, click the Who I Am tab on the top of the site! Thank you for reading my blog!] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/TheSilverKickDiaries/?fref=ts) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/thesilverkickdiaries/) (twitter=https://twitter.com/SilverKick) (bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/silver-kick-diaries-3736366) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/silverkick/)