JOINING FORCES PART 4: NAHEEDA KHAN
09 / 04 / 2020
At a time when things get tough, we believe in working together, coming together and supporting one another. In this quite frankly, unimaginable time, the situation has affected all of us, each in different ways.
At a time like this when it can be so nerve-wracking for people to self-isolate and when there’s so much uncertainty, we wanted to come together as a community and spread positivity.
Here at ROOBBA, we have joined forces with six people who share a love of their home. They each have their own beautiful story and we take such inspiration from themselves and their homes. And together they are sharing their advice on how to make your home a sanctuary during these challenging times.
We’re really proud to have our fourth interview with the awesome Naheeda Khan who inspires us to declutter and has the most beautifully pristine home. Naheeda is working on her recipe e-book with quick & easy authentic South Asian dishes titled ‘Cook with Naheeda’ which will be available to purchase on Amazon by the end of April. Each recipe will have a step-by-step pictorial to guide you through making the perfect dish! Make sure you check it out!
Which Roo are You? Roobuild
Hi Naheeda! Can you tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! I am 31 years old and my background lies in Menswear fashion buying and product development, but I have recently had a career break to focus on other interests. My husband and I moved into our first home 1 year ago after a huge renovation project and I have since been posting my home organisation, décor and cooking tips on my social media. Much to my surprise it has gained a lot of interest and I am happy to say I have inspired many people to declutter their homes and get organised.
Where did your passion for home organisation and cooking come from?
I have always been a creative and artistic person – my favourite subject in school was art! Growing up the only room I was allowed to touch was my bedroom (as my mum likes things her way) so I would stay in my room and spend hours organising my jewellery. I made a DIY hanging rail with a garden twig and hung my earrings on them in a line, in colour order. I didn’t know it then but that was the start of my organisation and perfectionism.
I have always had an interest in cooking as food is a huge part of my culture. I like to learn new dishes even if it’s something I won’t end up eating. I am a feeder so I like cooking food for people and even better when they complement it!
How have you been dealing with self-isolation? What are your top pieces of advice for everyone self-isolating?
I have stuck myself into a project which is writing a recipe e-book. This has really made the days go faster and taken my mind off the current unfortunate circumstances. I would highly recommend everyone who is able to stay at home try something they’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time before I.e. knitting, painting, gardening or decorating a room. But most importantly, it is the perfect time to spend quality time with your family. Have a family games night, movie night or cooking competition – the possibilities are endless. The time you have with your family are very precious.
Do you know anyone on the front line, an NHS Hero or an inspirational key worker? What is your advice for them when they come home from a shift?
I have many friends who are key workers or work for the NHS and I cannot imagine the immense pressure they are going through right now to save our country whilst most of us get to stay safe at home. They are the real heroes in this and hope they get the recognition and reward they deserve when this pandemic is over.
My advice to them would be to firstly take a long hot shower or bath to take away the day. If living with a partner get them to have dinner ready but if living on your own have a weekly meal prep ready and freeze so you don’t have the stress of cooking. Unwind with your favourite hot drink and your favourite music, candles or catch up TV.
How do you feel this situation will affect people in years to come, and what would your advice be?
This situation is an experience and a huge learning curve for us all. Financially, we are all vulnerable and businesses are losing out. Whilst this is hugely unfortunate, on the bright side this is a temporary situation for a lifetime worth of experience. Should anything like this happen again, we as a nation will and should be better prepared to handle such an event. For individuals, we should always be saving, living simply and not spending beyond our means.
What are your top tips for de-cluttering and organising your home during isolation?
Decluttering can seem like a daunting task and you probably don’t know where to start. I always say start with one room at a time and within that room start with one cupboard, drawer or area each day. This will ease you into the task and as you complete each day you will feel a great sense of satisfaction and love your new tidy home. If you haven’t touched or used something in years, I can assure you that you don’t need it. Don’t get into the mentality of ‘I’m sure I’ll need or wear it one day’.
What are your favourite food dishes?
Being South Asian my favourite food is Indian/Bangladeshi cuisine. I love a simple tarka dahl which is typically eaten with basmati rice but sometimes I just eat it on its own. It’s basically a red lentil soup! Any vegetable curry is a hit with me, I love that I can rustle up a quick tasty and healthy meal with whatever veg I have in the fridge. In a total contrast to this I also love sushi – my go to for when I eat outside.
What are your pieces of advice to stop us eating the whole fridge!?
No need to go crazy and eat out of boredom which I have no doubt everyone is doing right now! No wonder people are running out of food and constantly packing out the supermarkets. Stick to your normal timetable as if you were going about your daily life. If you find it hard then set alarm for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you are only allowed to eat at those times. If you get stuck into one of the projects above, then you are less likely to get bored and think about food.
In the midst of chaos, what do you advise focusing on?
As mentioned above in question 2, focus on your family and things you enjoy. If you have a hobby or the desire to try something new, don’t think about it just do it. Use this time to reflect, think about your future goals and reconnect with old friends. Always check up on your extended family, co-workers and neighbours, especially the elderly who are the most vulnerable right now.
What are your top pieces of advice for working from home?
Make a daily planner/ timetable of the tasks you need to complete with time scales. Giving yourself a time frame for each task really helps structure your day and naturally you will stick to it. Factor in lunch and tea breaks as you would normally take at work. As you start each working day, get ready in the morning by taking a warm shower but blast yourself in cold water for the last 30 seconds – this will make you feel energised and give you a boost for the day ahead. I also recommend wearing smart casual clothes as if you were going to work – don’t stay in your pyjamas all day. Try all of these tips and you’ll be surprised with how productive you day will be.
Do you have any stories or quotes that people can take inspiration from?
‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a NEW dream’.
Putting an age stamp on things like going to university, travelling, getting married, career change, having children or buying a house etc is really damaging. A lot of people think if they haven’t done something by a certain time that’s the end of it and they give up. It is never too late for anything! Live your life the way you want to and pursue your dreams.