15/recent posts
35 Self-Care Ideas For When You're Down And Out

35 Self-Care Ideas For When You're Down And Out

Self-care has become increasingly important in today's world. We're so caught up in our hectic jobs and lifestyle, that we forget to do something nice for ourselves. We're surrounded by negativity- the news, what's happening in the world, and the chips at our self-worth when we look at glamorous posts of our friends and influencers on social media.

It's so important, then, that we take the time out to treat ourselves. To make ourselves feel better. To relax. Self-care also forms one of the first steps to loving yourself.

The funny thing is, when we finally have the time and want to do something nice for ourselves, we can't even think of what that can be. That's where this post comes in handy. I've put together a list of ideas you can do as self-care, today. Take a look, choose the one {or more!} that makes you happy, and relax.

List Of Self-Care Ideas

  • Take a bath. Light a candle, put on your favourite music, and play with the bubbles.
  • Put on a face mask. If you don't have a ready-made one, make your own at home.
  • Dress up. Even if you're only at home.
  • Get a massage. If you can't afford one, ask your partner or a friend or massage your own hands and feet. 
  • Buy yourself flowers.

  • Give your hair a deep condition. Use a deep conditioner or simply use your normal conditioner.
  • Make yourself a smoothie.
  • Heat up hair oil and massage your scalp. Use olive oil or coconut oil, or try my mother's secret hair oil.
  • Go for a long drive with your favourite music on and sing at the top of your voice.
  • Relax your eyes with slices of cucumber, or chilled teabags {chamomile is great!} stored in the fridge.

  • Go for a walk in your favourite part of town.
  • Make yourself a hot cup of herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint or a packaged mix.
  • Change your nail polish.
  • Write a letter to yourself about all the things you love about yourself.
  • Call someone you love.

  • Take a power nap for 10, 15 or 30 mins.
  • Watch a movie alone at home or go to the movies by yourself.
  • Put your phone off and your laptop away for an entire day.
  • Think about the food you're craving right now and eat it at a restaurant or cafe while people-watching.
  • Get an adult colouring book and colour pencils. Forget about colouring inside the lines.

    • Bake your favourite cake or cookies from scratch.
    • Browse in an arts and crafts store.
    • Find an empty playground and have a go at the swings.
    • Look through your Instagram stories or your Facebook photos.
    • Go to a cat cafe and unwind as you watch the fluffballs play.

    • Do a social cleanse- go through your phone contacts/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram and delete/ block / unfollow people you no longer relate to.
    • Go for a dental check-up if you haven't been recently.
    • Stop complaining for an entire week.
    • Make a board of your favourite clothes or quotes or colours on Pinterest.
    • Do a brain dump- write down all your thoughts on paper.

    Dress: Saji's Couture, Earrings & Bag: from India, shoes: New Look. 

    Here are all 35 self-care ideas in a single image, in case you need to save on your phone, print or pin to your Pinterest:

    What are your favourite self-care tips? What makes you feel like you've done something nice for yourself? Let me know. Leave a comment below! 
    Until next time 

    Read more »
    Shabana Feroze
    Hey girl, at least KonMari your clothes!

    Hey girl, at least KonMari your clothes!

    In this recent life update post, I told you about how I love the effect of KonMari on my clothes. It has resulted in me having the best clothing collection ever. I don’t have the 80-20 thing going on. I don’t wear 20% of my wardrobe 80% of the time. I don’t have clothes I don’t love. Every single piece is cherished. Every single piece I wanna wear every day. 

    And that’s the kind of wardrobe you should have. One that makes your heart swell with joy when you look at all your beautiful, beautiful clothes. Every piece fits like a dream. Every piece flatters your body AND your personality. Every piece makes you feel like a goddamn goddess. 

    There are no pieces that you’re waiting to wear when you lose weight. No pieces still with their tags on, in shopping bags at the bottom of your closet. You’re feeling guilty reading this because you have such pieces in your closet, amirite? 

    In this post, I’m going to show you how to stop that once and for all. The best way is by KonMari-ing your clothes. Because once you do that, not only do you have a collection that sparks joy, but also when you buy new clothes, you won’t buy something you’ll go home and regret getting. Because the only deciding factor you’re going to use in decluttering your wardrobe and buying new clothes is: Does this spark joy?”.

    Also, KonMari-ing your clothes is the first step in the KonMari method of tidying your home. It’s the first category she {Marie Kondo, founder of KonMari} asks you to start with. So even if you were deciding to try the KonMari method for your entire house, you can follow this blog post and start with your clothes. It won’t spoil your KonMari flow if you decided to do the entire home later. 

    If you don’t ever want to do the KonMari method for your house, I want you to do it at least for your clothes. Because it’s so crucial you have a collection you love to death and that makes you feel good no matter what you pull out of your wardrobe any given day. 

    And there are only two steps to it! So let’s begin. 

    Step 1:  Remove all your clothes out on the floor. 

    Yes, ALL your clothes. Every single item. Underwear. Socks. Go fish out the clothes from the laundry basket. Ask for clothes back from your sister or friend who borrowed them. The point is to do all of them at once and get you in the flow of knowing what sparks joy. It’ll be irritating if you find a dress or top later.

    So just make a big, big pile of your clothes on your bed or floor. As Marie Kondo says, and I’m paraphrasing here, when you see all your clothes in one gigantic pile, you realize just how many clothes you really have. And then you wanna slap yourself for hoarding so many. Okay, she didn’t say the slapping yourself part. I added that. 

    P.S: you can do clothing category by category, too. So you can start with all your tops and bottoms, then dresses, jackets, and so on. But I liked doing them all at once.

    Step 2: Touch each piece and ask yourself if it sparks joy.

    Sparking joy means that it makes you feel that zing of happiness when you touch it. You just have to mentally ask yourself- does this spark joy? And you’ll hear your heart say a distinct “yes” or “no”. It’s so on point it’s almost a little creepy. 

    The two imperative rules for this bit are: 1) you MUST touch it, and 2) it must spark joy for you to keep it. Also, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR BRAIN. The heart will say, “no, it doesn’t spark joy”, while the brain will cry, “BUT IT’S SO EXPENSIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE”, or “BUT IT’S SO BYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTIFULLLL”. Or it might even look really good on you. But that still doesn’t mean that it will spark joy. So, keep only the clothes that spark joy. 

    And that’s it! That’s how you KonMari your clothes! Keep the ones that spark joy when you touch them and ask yourself the question, and donate the ones that don’t. Don’t do this with clothes hanging in your closet. You must take them all out, then pick up each one and ask yourself if it sparks joy. You can do this with your clothes, hats, scarves, bags, jewellery, and shoes. 

    If you really don’t know if a certain piece sparks joy or not, wear it, then ask the question. You’ll know. For me, if I’m really confused about a piece, I leave it in my wardrobe, then a few weeks later I remove it, hold it, and ask myself if it sparks joy. 

    When you’re doing it, you might realize so many of your clothes don’t make you happy. You might be alarmed at how many clothes are in the ‘no’ pile. You might get scared that you won’t have any clothes left to wear by the end of the process. 

    That’s okay. Look, it’s better to have even very few clothes that actually make you crazy happy than a lot of clothes that don’t make you happy at all. And you can always buy more clothes that spark joy. 

    This sparking joy business is a great way to firstly, train your heart or intuition to know what makes you happy, and secondly, it’s a great way to know exactly what you like. After doing a KonMari, the results may really surprise you. Let me give you an example. I had a LOT of statement necklaces. Like maybe 15 to 20. After KonMari-ing them, I was left with just four. And guess what? ALL of them have flowers on them. So I realized, hey, I really like flowers on a statement necklace. Weird but cool, huh? 

    So give this a try for yourself. And remember- when you go shopping after you’ve KonMari’d your clothes, you must touch or try on an item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. Only if it does, buy it. Trust me, it makes the shopping process soooooo much easier. You don’t need to ask a friend or your mom how something looks, just ask your heart if it sparks joy. If it’s a yes, get it. Easy, right? And that’s exactly how I came to have a clothing collection that sparks joy. 

    Please note- you will reach a point of saturation. You’ll know it when you have enough clothes. As a fashion blogger and someone who is genuinely mad about clothes, I do have more than the normal share than most women, but I’m not ashamed of having so many. Because they all spark joy. So as Marie Kondo says, if something sparks joy, even if you have a large collection of it, keep it with confidence.

    I really hope you give this method a try for your clothes. You’ll train yourself to know what makes you happy. You’ll end up with a style collection that is very uniquely you and that you’re proud of. You’ll get compliments very often on what you’re wearing. 

    And who knows, maybe you’ll end up doing the whole KonMari method for all the things in your home, which is just the best thing ever. Leaves your mind feeling so peaceful. {Click here to know how KonMari-ing all my stuff changed my life.} 

    If you want to do it for all your stuff, too, I highly recommend you follow her books The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up and the Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). DON’T try to do it by watching the Netflix show. Just don’t. 

    Dress: Khaleeji Girl Kouture, Earrings: from India, Bangles: Gifted, Watch & Bag: Parfois, Shoes: New Look, Photos: Arif Feroze

    If you KonMari your clothes, please let me know what the results were or how you feel now. Leave me a comment on this blog or reach out to me on my Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear about your results!

    Until next time

    Read more »
    Shabana Feroze
    Become More Mindful Through Mind, Body & Breath

    Become More Mindful Through Mind, Body & Breath

    “Be in the moment”. “Be present”. “Be mindful”. But what do they really mean?

    In the LesMills BodyBalance classes I teach, in the Tai Chi part, we always talk about how it’s bringing you into “the present moment”. From learning and teaching it, I learned the true meaning of being in the present moment. When you do Tai Chi, you focus on the movements of your hands and your breath. The movements and the concentration they require {much like Yoga does} forces you to come into the present moment. 

    And that is actually what being mindful is. It’s about being in the room, being present and being aware of your mind, body, and breath. 

    It’s a tool we instructors use when teaching yoga classes, but it’s also a great tool to apply everywhere else in life. Through teaching these classes over the years I have learned to become more mindful, and learned to “be in the present moment”.

    It helps a lot, especially when you’re in a bad mood or when your thoughts are in an endless loop. Or when you just need to focus. An easy way to do it is to become aware of the three things I mentioned above: your mind, your body, and your breath.

    Your mind

    Being in the moment is about being aware of your thoughts and making sure they aren’t self-critical, negative or useless mind-chatter. Here are a few ways you can calm a chaotic mind and centre your thoughts to become more present:

    • When your thoughts are driving you insane, focus on the here and now. Feel the seat beneath your hips. Feel the air in your lungs as you breathe. Notice the sounds around you. This will help you centre yourself and bring you into the moment, thus slowing your thoughts down.

    • Become aware of what you’re feeling and thinking about all the time. Remember that thoughts generate from feelings, feelings don’t generate from thoughts.
    • Detach from your negative feelings. You are not the feeling, you are experiencing the feeling. Observing what you’re feeling from a distance will help you stop endless negative thoughts generating from that feeling.
    • Try to let go of negative feelings. Letting go can be as simple as acknowledging the feeling, then breathing it out.

    • Tell yourself it’s okay to have bad thoughts. Giving yourself permission helps you to let go of them as you won’t battle in your head as to why you’re feeling like this.
    • Meditation is a very useful tool to calm and focus your thoughts. Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes, making your body very still, and focusing on the breath. It can be done even for a few minutes, in any position.
    • An extremely underrated method of calming the mind is to read a book. Reading forces the mind to focus on the story or the narrative. It's an easy but powerful way to relax your thoughts.
    • Lastly, a trick we teach in the meditation part of the class- simply push your thoughts away. Your brain’s function is to naturally produce thoughts. So don’t fight it. Let the thoughts come, but gently push away any negative or unpleasant thoughts.

    Your body

    The mind not being present affects the body. If you think of stressful thoughts, muscles will tense up, posture will change, heartbeat and breathing become faster. Working the other way round, you can thus focus externally on your body to relax the mind.

    • Focus on each muscle group from head to feet and consciously relax each muscle. Relax your forehead, your eyes, muscles of the face, shoulders, all the way down to your feet and soon you’ll notice your mind has relaxed and you become more present.
    • If you don’t have the time to do this, simply try relaxing your eyes and your jaw. Relaxing these two parts of the body helps the entire body become calmer.
    • Give yourself a massage. Massage your feet, your hands, or try a gentle face massage. Do it with all your attention on that part of the body. This will make your mind focus on your body and calm the mind.
    • Of course, any exercise helps calm the mind down as you're too busy focusing on the body for the mind to have erratic thoughts. So when you have monkey-mind, try a workout or do some push-ups.

    Your breath

    When we’re not fully present, our breath changes. It’s shallow. You might not even notice that you’re holding your breath. Focusing on your breath is a simple way to become mindful again. 

    • Learn how to belly breathe. This is how you should be breathing all the time. A simple way to do this is to place one hand on your belly and breathe deep all the way to your stomach, feeling it rise and then fall under your hand. Practice this daily for a few minutes until it becomes a habit and you’re doing it all the time.

    • When you’re feeling stressed or hounded by your thoughts, deepen your breaths. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in, all the way to your belly. You’ve probably read this in a million places. That’s because it works, and it’s a fast and easy way to relax both the mind and body. 
    • When you’re especially stressed and anxious, lengthen your out-breath. Breathe in for a few counts, then double those counts on your exhale. You can even try and hold the breath for a few counts after you inhale. This helps in slowing down your mind and centring you.

    Almost all the tricks of the mind, body and breath overlap each other. One affects the other. Your breath affects the body, focusing on the body will slow down the mind, and relaxing the body will relax both the mind and the breath.

    Having a peaceful mind, a relaxed body and breathing deeply are great habits to cultivate. The next time you feel like you're not centred or that you have too much on your mind, try one or combine a few of these methods to come into the present moment.

    Read more on self-love, self-care and handling your emotions, in my book, Loving Yourself In Style. Get it online, or mail ndqamber{at}gmail{dot}com for a signed copy if you're in Bahrain.

    Are there any tricks you use to feel calmer and feel present instantly? What helps you be more mindful? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

    Until next time,

    Read more »
    Shabana Feroze
    Life Update // Comparing the Last Year to Now

    Life Update // Comparing the Last Year to Now

    As we’re in the last quarter of this year, I find myself reflecting on how it was different from last year.

    Last year was extremely challenging. There were more unpleasant life events than good ones. And these were huge things. For starters, in March I stopped giving fitness classes at a gym I had been teaching in for 4 years. I stopped because of mistreatment by management. It was a tough decision to walk away as that meant saying goodbye to a lot of wonderful students. 

    I was so depressed. I put on weight. It took me a long time to find another gym where I was happy teaching. After many months I finally started teaching regularly again.

    Then on June 5, our beloved cat Snarf passed away. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I’ve never had a pet pass away. The grief was like the biggest weight on my chest, crushing me with its heaviness. I couldn't stop crying and had terrible nightmares each night. I just couldn't believe he was gone so suddenly. 

    You might wonder why I never spoke about his passing on my blog or any of my social channels last year. It’s because every time I thought about posting anything, my eyes would swim with tears. I just couldn't bring myself to write anything about him. It was the hardest thing I have had to cope with. It took me a long time to heal and for the nightmares to stop. 

    {The nightmares actually stopped only when we adopted a new kitten. Then we had to give him away after a few weeks as our adult cat was not accepting him. That was another terrible life event. Urrrghhh.}

    One amazing thing that happened in 2018, though, was that I moved my business from a home office to an office space. Plus I was {and still am} sharing the office space with some of my best friends who are some of the most amazing people I know. So that was an achievement and a pleasant change. 

    Unfortunately, all of this happened at the same time Snarf passed away, so it was the biggest challenge to handle everything - the devastating grief and the office move. It was a lot to handle. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I had no other choice but to suck it up and be strong. I couldn't abandon my business and cry all day, no matter how much I wanted to. Today, I feel like dealing with all that has made me tougher and more compassionate. 

    This year

    Comparing all of those challenging situations to this year, this year has been incredible. A lot of great things happened. 

    My business expanded exponentially with different projects, clients and departments this year. I have the loveliest and most talented team. It's insane how much I love working with them. We laugh every day and take on new challenges in the most badass ways. 

    Another work-related goal was doing up the interiors of my office. It was such a happy experience. From picking out the furniture {YAY for Ikea opening here last year!} to the wallpaper to the decor, I did it all. And it was so much fun! It has been a long-cherished dream of mine to have my own office and do it up exactly how I want to.

    As for my fitness classes, I'm now teaching at gyms I really like. I give classes mainly in five-star hotel gyms now, which is a step up. I experiment and have fun with different group exercise classes. I even teach free sessions in my building gym only for the ladies living there, and we have a blast. Looking back, leaving the old gym and my familiar routine helped me spark my creativity and pushed me out of my comfort zone.  
    This year I had to get a lot of dental work done. It’s never a pleasant experience going to the dentist every week but because of it, my smile has become so much better. It's something I have wanted for a long, long time and I am so happy with the way my teeth look now. It gives me so much more confidence. 
    Another area that gives me more confidence is my clothes collection. My style has evolved to become more elegant and bolder. I wanted one-of-a-kind pieces that are from sustainable sources, made from high-quality materials. Saji's Couture really delivers on this need and now my entire wardrobe is filled with personalized, customized couture from them. All the pieces are very 'me' which is why I'm completely in love with ALL the clothes hanging in my cupboard. There's no piece that doesn't spark joy. Getting dressed every day in my beautiful clothes is such a pleasure. 

    Decluttering last year using the KonMari method for my clothes {and everything else} really helped me have a wardrobe in which every single piece sparks joy, and it has continued until today because I make sure every new piece I get also sparks joy. I'll soon write a blog on how you can do this, too. 
    Coming to my personal life, I made one new close friend since last year and that friendship makes me so happy. I've also pushed myself to attend more social gatherings and make more friends. This is difficult for an introvert like me, but it's necessary to avoid feeling lonely and to have people around when you need them the most. And of course, I have the absolute best family who I love living with. This includes two cats that are at war with each other. 
    Clothes: Saji's Couture, Bag, Jewellery, Watch: Parfois, Shoes: Aldo

    All in all, life has been amazing so far this year. I'm having the best time of my life in all areas. I feel at peace with myself, which is the ultimate goal. 

    I can't wait to see what the next year brings. 

    Until next time,

    Read more »
    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/)