Shailesh Dash


Sunset in the mountains
4 years ago Shailesh Dash

Being a business person can lead not only to negative health issues but also mental problems

Startups and entrepreneurship are some of the hottest topics these days and almost every government around the world is trying to promote these ventures as they substantially increase job creation for the economies, thereby helping in poverty reduction. People immerse themselves in entrepreneurship with a dream of creating something unique as per their thoughts which when created would give them immense personal satisfaction.

It helps them take control of their life and also helps them in their personal development. Frequently entrepreneurs suffer, and while it gives them the opportunity to drive their own life and follow their dreams, it can also lead to many unhealthy practices like the long hours they have to put in, unpredictable work flows, all driven by a do-or-die attitude. This can be a very stressful experience for many entrepreneur’s at the early stage of their lives, particularly if they don’t have the right financial or family support.

It is also true that as entrepreneurs we might have disappointment in life, but how we manage those is what will define us. Entrepreneurism can lead not only to negative health issues but also mental problems, so entrepreneurs and startup owners must learn how to manage their health effectively so that they can lead the growth of their business.

It’s important to keep in mind the truth that only a healthy body and mind can take the pressures of a hectic daily life and sustain growth during both good times and bad times. The life of an entrepreneur is not defined by linear growth, usually it will always lead to some kind of disappointment or lack of something in life.

Now like investments, there is no magic strategy which fits all. Obviously depending on your age and your condition (if you have any ailments, etc), there will be different strategies that a nutritionist or doctor might recommend for you. Myself being a type-2 diabetic, with lactose and gluten intolerance, I know a bit about ailments and with all the stress of startups, I can enumerate the steps that I have taken, which have helped me in keeping my sanity during the time when everything starts going south because a business or venture is not doing well, like many new ventures might be undergoing during these difficult pandemic times.

I try to exercise at least three times a week even though it might be far removed from the five days I would like to do because of my erratic work times. Depending on your age and metabolism rate your body has it might not be very helpful for you to lose weight, but it might be helpful for you to do some weight training to keep the muscles tight and the right muscle-fat proportion.

One way of tricking your body to burn fat to produce energy instead of carbohydrates is to use something known as bulletproof coffee (if coffee suits your body, otherwise you can try the same with tea as well) or different variants of the same. I have learnt that eating well and clean food would mean a strong body and which ultimately will lead to a healthy mind.

I have learnt a few ways where food has worked to keep my body and mind healthy during the most difficult situations despite being diabetic. I can enumerate some of the steps that could be easy to follow. I take as many fruits as I feel like, but only in the morning, in a way that is the only sweet I would prefer during the day. I try my best not to have any fruits beyond 12pm in the afternoon. Also, usually I eat three to four times a day and try not to restrict myself from anything that I like to eat while trying to avoid gluten and lactose.

But I have tried to discipline myself not to have any food beyond 6pm except maybe a vegan protein with some Maca powder before 7pm (I do have a cheat day always when I go out for dinner once a week). Of course, drinking two to three litres of water during the day has been a usual ritual with me for a long time now. Like everything, always keep simple principles which are easy to follow. I have different ways of relaxing like watching serials and movies, cooking, shopping and reading.

I have observed that an active lifestyle and clean food habits is insufficient for a peaceful and happy mind, especially since I struggle to sleep beyond five or six hours a day. What has helped me considerably is my 15 to 20 minutes of meditation everyday (it has taken me a few years to reach this level, having started at hardly 5 minutes at the start).

Apart from all the above, I think what excites me also despite all the depression and negativity I might go through for a few days is to think of doing something new and exciting in terms of work. That works as a perfect antidote which always keeps the adrenaline flowing, but I believe an active lifestyle, clean food and meditation are the things which help me in keeping my sanity and remaining focused on my goals.