Entrepreneurs can always have something or other that goes against their wishes, that is out of their control, and can cause stress. Whether it’s funding, profitability, or just a projector that stops working during an important presentation. No matter how hard they try, their work will always throw ‘stressful situations’ at them, and the only way to come out intact is to work on themselves. How does that happen? Subah Saraf and Harshvardhan Saraf believe that what they have been able to create in the Satvic movement can help entrepreneurs follow a healthy lifestyle so that stress does not interfere with their health, well-being or decision-making ability.
The Sattvic Movement is an online platform for holistic health education, founded by Subah Saraf and Harshvardhan Saraf in August 2017. The co-founders, who themselves have struggled with chronic health conditions and overcome them by following a sattvic lifestyle, have applied their teachings to launch this a movement based on three pillars – a holistic lifestyle, natural nutrition and daily yoga. Sattvic means the mode of goodness. In Bhagavad Gita we learn about 3 modes/gunas – Satva, Rajas and Tamas. “Today, most of our society operates between the modes of rajas (excessive ambition and greed) and tamas (laziness and ignorance). The Sattvic movement aims to spread Sattva, the value of goodness,” says Harshvardhan Saraf. The founders believe that this Sattvic quality within us is what makes us happy, blissful, fearless and compassionate.
Why is stress management a necessary skill for entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs manage stress in everyday life. Apart from the things we manage in our daily lives, such as our family, our relationships, our finances, our work and so on; entrepreneurs have to manage the business entity, its growth, sales, profits, employees and their welfare, etc. It’s a big 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 stress in their love is something they should remove.
“Stress is an undesirable situation and it’s unfortunate that most millennials today talk about stress management. There is no need to manage it. It’s like saying ‘managing depression’ or ‘managing an unhealthy diet’. The goal 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 of the Sattvic Movement.
The founding duo has some simple tips and techniques for managing stress for all entrepreneurs – current and aspiring:
Take time for yourself
Entrepreneurs need to 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 arises, they will be ready to deal with it. The ideal time for such activities is in the morning.
Reduction of stimulants
The modern urban lifestyle revolves around stimulants. They are available everywhere and in large numbers. Celebrated by the media and popular culture, a huge part of the population is addicted to stimulants: tea, coffee, nicotine, energy drinks. No wonder they are stressed! All of these are too stimulating for our nervous system and over time their mind loses its own ability and begins to depend on external stimuli for short-term reinforcement. This makes them susceptible to stress, which makes it clear that entrepreneurs must work to reduce such stimuli from their lives.
Maintaining a regular sleep and meal schedule
Irregular sleep cycles and irregular meal times are one of the main reasons for stress and anxiety. A disciplined personal routine is the key foundation for a stress-free life. Netflix and chill may sound cool, but their influence is decidedly unsavory. Poor adherence to regular meals and rest leads to burnout at an early age. Entrepreneurs remain stressed for so long that they begin to normalize stress. On the contrary, if they normalize with a regular schedule, it reduces stress and gives them time to take care of themselves.
Avoiding mindless social media scrolling
Mindlessly scrolling constantly feeds our brain with information that we compulsively consume, but the brain still processes it and our emotions still react. Avoiding this especially before going to bed, or first thing after waking up, improves sleep quality and leaves them refreshed and ready to take on new challenges at the start of the day. If an entrepreneur spends more than 30 minutes on social media every day, that should raise a red flag. If left unchecked, over time it will surely reduce productivity and create unwanted stress.
Most of the stress comes when entrepreneurs spend most of their day doing last-minute urgent work. Harshvardhan recommends planning the entire week instead of making daily to-do lists. He emphasized: “This helps to do the things that matter most and put out fires every day. Not planning for the week ahead and showing up to the table without a clear plan is a surefire formula for stress for any entrepreneur,” he says.
How does a stress-free life benefit an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs don’t get stuck in the routine ups and downs of life. Stress is a natural reaction of the body intended for their survival and remains so. A stress-free body is vibrant, full of life and calm, unlike a stressed body which is always on edge. Thus, an entrepreneur under stress is more likely to make impulsive decisions and act reactively, while a business owner without stress makes better decisions. Struggling with stress keeps them in a vicious loop as they continue to make bad decisions which in turn increase their stress. The best advice for them is to step back, de-stress and continue with a refreshed, stress-free approach.