When Vered Ehsani, a mother of two, suffered adrenal fatigue after giving birth to her children, she decided that she needed a change in her lifestyle. Vered is a born South African, who grew up in Canada and has lived in Kenya for the past 17 years. Her wellness journey began as a result of her faith. Being a Baha’i, one of the key pillars of their religion is to serve humanity. When she came to Kenya, she came with a purpose: to serve the country in the best way she could and for her, wellness and health came naturally.
Throughout her life, Vered had always been fascinated with the health and wellness industry. When it comes to wellness, Vered prefers to take a holistic approach, focusing not just on part of a person’s health and life, but the entire person as a whole which includes the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. So it was that Crazy to Calm, a company that she formed for that purpose, was born.
Before joining the entrepreneurship wagon, Vered was a jack of all trades. She studied engineering in school, back when she was in Canada, and has worked as an engineer in three countries: Peru, Canada and Kenya. She later on moved to the UN Environment Program where she worked in the environmental field, another one of her passions. She also started writing at a young age. To date she has written fourteen novels which can be found on Amazon.
Vered started her business as a result of her experiences. After becoming a mother, her body stopped working the way it should and she could no longer do the activities she once found easy to do. Whenever she had difficulty getting up in the morning and suffered from extreme fatigue, she would drink copious amounts of caffeine to keep up with her day-to-day activities. She also had an unhealthy craving for sugar, and was unable to handle stressful situations in a reasonable manner. Upon further investigation, she was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. She decided to study more about it, and eventually took a course on adrenal fatigue.
She realized in the process that a lot of our health problems actually come from our lifestyles and that how we manage stress matters. Vered came to the realization that she was stressed out and her coping mechanisms had involved sugar and caffeine. To get better, she needed to adjust her lifestyle and eating habits. Being fast paced and always on the move, she needed to slow down and that did not come easy.
Vered started the wellness journey for her own personal health goals, and after ten years of working deliberately and adjusting her lifestyle, she realised that those who she would meet and even work with were suffering from one lifestyle disease or another. She later registered for a wellness course in partnership with an organization in the USA where she did a yearlong course to become a certified practitioner in Wellness Education.
Coupled with her personal experience and her education on the same, she began to network with different people in her circles on what they thought about wellness and health. Further to that, she had begun to notice subtle signs among her workmates, as she did her environmental consultancies. A workmate would come with a headache and pop a Panadol to reduce the pain. However the headache would be consistent. Another workmate would constantly consume insane amounts of coffee in a day to try and keep up, only to be sluggish after minutes of consuming caffeine. This led to low effectiveness at work, and as she had been there, it was easy to spot the symptoms. She could tell that because of the stressful environment at the workplace, her colleagues were affected one way or another.
Realizing that there was a need to address stress in the workplace, and that many of the symptoms her colleagues were exhibiting as a result of stress were something to reckon with, she founded Crazy to Calm in 2012, focusing on stress management in the workplace and its quiet symptoms that go unnoticed until too late. She started teaching others how to handle stress levels in a healthy manner.
Vered’s mission at Crazy to Calm is to assist others to overcome the overwhelm. She doesn’t teach clients how to manage their ‘stress’. Instead, she shows them how to manage their ‘calm’. Focusing on the ‘calm’ is easier, more effective, faster and a lot more fun.
The body’s stress-calm response is like a see-saw: when you increase or raise up one side, you automatically lower the other side. Bringing in more ‘calm’ lowers the ‘crazy’ with less effort, leading to increased productivity, well-being, health and joyfulness. Together with her clients, they embark on a journey of calm, balance and wellness.
Incorporated in the program is a series of courses where participants learn simple tools to bring more calm and clarity into their days, and develop a plan to make healthy changes that are smooth, practical and personalized. The result is more calm and less crazy, even when handling stressful situations.
Whereas her idea and vision was noble enough, starting out was not as easy for Vered. The process of registering a business in Kenya was not a particularly smooth ride. She also discovered that inasmuch as Kenya has become a fast paced country and is operating on levels akin to the first world, with stressful work environments and fast food as the norm, Kenyans still haven’t incorporated wellness into their lifestyles. Most people see wellness programs as something for a certain class of people, which most Kenyans do not feel they qualify as. In addition, even though there is a clear need for stress management programs and workshops, corporates don’t always understand the financial and productivity benefits of lowering stress in the workplace.
Vered offers stress management programs for individuals, groups and corporations. Her signature course, Crazy to Calm, guides participants on a journey that helps them understand what stress really is, identify triggers and learn a series of tips and tricks to bring in the calm among others.
To date Vered has worked with clients such as the UN and CISCO, and she has partnerships with various health studios. She has also conducted a number of group workshops on stress management. Her modus operandi involves coming to where you are. Most of her programs are done at the client’s environment, which usually involves the office, although sometimes she meets individual clients at their home or at a cafe.
To unwind, Vered plays with her dogs, goes for walks, watches movies, and hangs out with her family. Of the women she looks up to and who inspire her, her daughter takes the cake, Wangari Maathai makes it to a close second and Mother Teresa too. A quote she lives by is “The world is but one country and mankind its citizens.” A reminder that no matter what your tribe, race or religion is, you belong. And her parting shot to other budding entrepreneurs out there is “Just keep at it.”
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