In the last two weeks, I’ve added many Microsteps to my routine. One of the most important is taking more microbreaks. I’ve been taking a few minutes to walk around the house at different moments of the day (while we are still working from home), and this helps my brain reboot and recharge before the next meeting or the next email. I am also “closing my day” by closing my laptop. I actually shut it down at the end of the working day to avoid the temptation to re-start working late at night.

One way I try to connect better with colleagues is to ask, “How can I help you?” It’s a very small step, but it’s almost always the best way to start a discussion. But more than any question, being genuine is the key. I also take the time to be thankful for my family, my friends, and all good things that I have the opportunity to try and see in life. Using gratitude to boost my well-being is a great support, and it allows you to reframe both the negative and positive in your life.

Most recently, after a recommendation from a Firmenich colleague, I started a “Five-minute Meditation for Positive Energy” first thing in the morning. This was my first experience with meditation and so far it has been great. 

I am a positive person by nature, but that doesn’t mean I’m immune to stress. If you are positive outside, but carrying too much stress inside, there is a big risk that your temper will explode disproportionately on some occasions. So sometimes I react too strongly to small things due to accumulated stress. This can happen at work or at home. With small steps, I am trying to relieve my stress in drops instead of tsunamis. I confess that I am not there yet, but I’ve started my journey.


  • Luciana de Castro

    SVP Legal & Compliance Strategy and Advocacy


    My name is Mrs. Luciana de Castro and I’m an SVP of Legal & Compliance Strategy and Advocacy. I’ve worked for Firmenich for almost 20 years, starting in my home country of Brazil. I live happily today in New Jersey with my husband and two beautiful daughters. During these past 20 years, I’ve worked in many different positions at Firmenich. In all of them I had the opportunity to learn, share experiences, and share knowledge with new colleagues. This exchange has been a key motivator for me to keep the passion in my day-to-day since I began in 2002.