The journey of an entrepreneur is full of challenges and stress simply comes along with it. Balancing multiple tasks and responsibilities, dealing with crises and uncertainties regularly is part of an entrepreneur’s day job. When faced with a danger or a problem, the human body creates a sensation to attract our attention and prompts us to act, which we call stress. In short busts, it can be positive, but stress for prolonged periods can be damaging to our mental and physical well-being.
Entrepreneurs may always have something or the other, which is going against their wish, which is outside their control, and thus it can cause stress. Whether it is a funding issue, or profitability, or just the projector that stops working during an important presentation. No matter how much they try, their work will always throw ‘stress creating situations’ at them, and the only way to come out unaffected is by working on themselves. How does that happen? Subah Saraf and Harshvardhan Saraf believe what they have been able to create at Satvic Movement can help entrepreneurs follow a healthy lifestyle such that stress does not hamper their health, wellness, or decision-making abilities.
Satvic Movement is an online holistic health education platform, founded in August 2017 by Subah Saraf and Harshvardhan Saraf. The co-founders, who themselves battled chronic health conditions and overcame them following a Satvic lifestyle, have applied their learnings to start this movement based on three pillars – holistic lifestyle, natural diet, and daily yoga. Satvic means the mode of goodness. In the Bhagavad Gita, we learn about 3 modes/gunas – Satva, Rajas, and Tamas. “Today, most our society operates between the modes of rajas (over-ambition and greed) and tamas (laziness and ignorance). Satvic Movement aims to spread Satva, the values of goodness,” says Harshvardhan Saraf. The founders believe that it is this Satvic quality within us that makes us happy, blissful, fearless, and compassionate.
Why is stress management an essential skill for entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs manage stress in their daily lives. Apart from the things we manage in our everyday life, such as our family, our relationships, our finances, our work and so on; entrepreneurs have to manage a business entity, its growth, sales, profit, employees and their wellbeing, etc. It’s a lot of responsibility on one person, and they may not always have a team to do it for them, at least in the early days of their new venture. Being affected by the stress in their love is something that they should remove.
“Stress is an undesirable situation, and it is unfortunate that most millennials today are talking about managing stress. There is no need to manage it. It is like saying ‘depression management’ or ‘unhealthy diet management’. The objective should be to seek a healthy and balanced lifestyle, which will ensure that our mind is strong enough to remain unaffected by stressors,” says Subah Saraf.
Harshvardhan Saraf and Subah Saraf , co-founders, Satvic Movement.
The founder duo has some easy tips and techniques for stress management for all entrepreneurs- current and aspiring:
Allocate time for themselves
Entrepreneurs must set aside some time each day to focus on building themselves. Their focus must be on the 3 M’s – movement for the physical body, meditation for spiritual peace, and mastery for skills and knowledge. They should prepare themselves in such a way that even if external stress comes their way, they are prepared to handle it. The ideal time for such activities is in the morning.
Modern urban lifestyle revolves around stimulants. They are available everywhere and in excess. Glorified by media and popular culture, a huge chunk of the population is hooked on stimulants: tea, coffee, nicotine, energy drinks. It’s not surprising that they are stressed! These are all overly stimulating for our nervous system and over time, their mind loses its own ability and starts depending on external stimulants for short term boosts. This makes them vulnerable to stress, making it amply clear that entrepreneurs must work towards reducing such stimulants from their lives.
Sticking to a regular sleeping and meal schedule
Erratic sleep cycles and erratic meal times are one of the prime reasons for stress and anxiety. A disciplined personal routine is a key foundation to a stress-free life. Netflix and chill may sound cool, but its impact is definitely uncool. Poor regard for regular meals and rest leads to burnout at an early age. Entrepreneurs remain stressed for such prolonged periods of time that they start to normalize stress. On the contrary, if they normalize having a regular schedule, it reduces stress and gives them time for self-care.
Avoiding mindless social media scrolling
Mindless scrolling constantly feeds our brains with information that we’re compulsively consuming, but the brain still processes it and our emotions still react. Avoiding this especially before going to bed, or the first thing after waking up, improves sleep quality and leaves them refreshed and ready to take on challenges with new vigour at the start of their day. If an entrepreneur is spending over 30 minutes on social media each day, it should raise a red flag. If this is not checked, over time, it is bound to reduce productivity and create unwanted stress.
Most stress comes when entrepreneurs spend the majority of their day doing urgent last-minute work. Harshvardhan recommends planning for an entire week instead of making day to-do lists. He emphasized, “This helps in doing things which are the most important and firefighting less each day. Not planning the coming week and showing up on the desk without a clear plan is a sure shot formula for stress for any entrepreneur,” he says.
How does a stress-free life benefit an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs do not get bogged down by routine ups and downs of life. Stress is a natural reaction of the body meant for their survival, and it just remains so. A stress-free body is vibrant, full of life and composed, unlike a stressed-out body that is always on the edge. So, a stressed entrepreneur is more likely to make impulsive decisions and operate in a reactive mode, whereas a non-stressed business owner makes better decisions. Battling stress keeps them in a vicious loop because they keep making poor decisions that, in turn, keep adding more and more stress. The best piece of advice for them is to take a step back, alleviate the stress, and resume with a stress-free and refreshed approach.