How Microsteps Inspired Dana Zampieri’s Well-being Journey

The Vice President of Sweet Goods North America shares the small steps that help her thrive.

I’ve implemented a couple of Microsteps that have proven to make a difference in a matter of days. In an attempt to improve my sleep quality, I’ve stopped drinking coffee after 2 p.m. I also avoid looking at my phone before going to bed. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and start ruminating: thinking about issues we are facing at work, to-dos for the next day, etc. In the few weeks I’ve implemented these Microsteps, I’ve noticed I’m sleeping straight through the night and waking up more rested and relaxed.

There are also some Microsteps I use to unplug and recharge from work. The first is setting boundaries: I’m intentionally dedicating weekends to myself and my family. In the event that I do have some work to do, I allow myself a couple of hours on Sunday evening. As a result I am more relaxed and able to enjoy the weekend without worrying or disrupting my family time. I also like to schedule worry time and I have a reminder set for this Microstep in the Thrive app. So far I’ve noticed that it helps me stay focused and I feel more productive. The worry time also sets my mind in a context of problem solving and cuts down on rumination. 

During the pandemic I started a training program referred to me by a friend. It helped me cope with the stress and uncertainty. I keep repeating the program and I now use it as a declaration to the end of my working day. It keeps me disciplined to stop working around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. Not only have I lost weight, but it helped me get rid of some body pains that I had prior and increased my level of energy.

I’ve also implemented the recommendation from Thrive to drink one third of my total daily intake of water first thing in the morning. I also keep a glass or water bottle next to me during the day. For nutrition, a wholesome breakfast is non-negotiable. I’d rather wake up 30 minutes earlier to prepare a healthy, wholesome breakfast for me and my family than skipping it or eating a snack. It takes time but it’s also a time I use to mindfully connect with myself, express gratitude for another day and for all the good things in my life, small and big. 

As I’m participating in Thrive sessions, or when I read content in the app, I always think about sharing that with my team. One step I took to better connect with my colleagues is to add “Wellness Tips” to our monthly meetings. This is when I share the insights I took from Thrive sessions. I plan to continue doing this and asking my team to share their tips as well. I’m also making sure we celebrate ourselves and our successes as a reminder of the great work we do and the amazing experiences we create.

A joy trigger for me is connecting with people: friends, family, team members, and customers. It’s often a stress relief, because there’s such a positive and uplifting energy in human connections. A couple of years ago a friend gave me a joy jar for my birthday. It contains small colored papers to write down things that bring me joy. I keep it within reach and every now and then I add new joy triggers and pick and read some of the ones I already have in there.

Overall, I find Thrive’s Microstep concept very valuable. It helps to make actionable steps towards a major transformation that could otherwise be overwhelming. I’ve implemented several of them and I find that they become a habit in a very short period of time. Perceiving the results very quickly encourages me to try additional Microsteps and to share them with those around me.

I also loved the theme of Thrive’s leadership workshop: putting on your oxygen mask before helping others. It paints an impactful picture of how crucial it is to take care of ourselves to be able to support others. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

I’m extremely grateful to Firmenich for giving us access to Thrive and creating a community that is talking about and taking action on well-being. I feel lighter and I better understand the importance of dedicating time to myself to be able to give to others.

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