• Kara Sammet

Announcing #SmallSelf-CareVictories!

In this moment of anxiety-provoking unknowns, among the most important things you can do for yourself is to be in (virtual) community, take steps to practice your best self-care, and express gratitude for small wins that help you integrate your personal self-care with your professional self.

I am looking for ways to integrate my personal self-care with my professional community so that we can find ways, together, to thrive in these challenging times.

So today, to help grow and nurture the kind of community that I want to be a part of, I’m instituting #SmallSelf-CareVictories, every Friday. Please join me if you are also looking to be in community with other professionals who care about building alignment between personal self-care and professional goals.

#SmallSelf-CareVictories is your place to share your wins in self-care, no matter how small, that allow you to lead your best, wholly-integrated life, personally and professionally.

#SmallSelf-CareVictories is about celebrating your smallest action steps toward wholeness and FULL alignment between our best personal and professional selves.

Research from Stanford Prof BJ Fogg on building good habits shows that *celebrating* small wins is even more critical to successfully incorporating these habits than repetition. Actually, taking a moment to celebrate small wins gives your brain a little happy zing. Lord knows we all could use a happy zing about now, right?

Also, celebrating wins is a form of practicing gratitude for ourselves. Practicing gratitude towards ourselves is a superpower on many levels, not least because gratitude can help gently nudge anxiety aside.

I’ll share first. And, I invite you to help build this community that will give us the support we need to show up as our best selves for our workplaces, our families, our larger communities, and ourselves.

Many of you know that several years ago, I spent about six months in a wheelchair after tearing the tibial tendons in both feet at the same time. (Just how that happened is another post!) It took me nearly another year of limited mobility to recover from related plantar fascitis.

For years I’ve lived in fear of reinjuring myself. I limited my movement and, unintentionally, became quite sedentary. I was alive, but stagnant in so many ways. Last year, working with an amazing support system, I finally started moving again. It was glorious. At first, I could barely walk around the 3-mile lake near my house. Last month, I ran 5 miles. I signed up for a half-marathon. Then a couple of weeks ago, my tibial tendon asked me to pause and find something else to keep me moving.

If any of you have had to switch mid-stream from one activity that you love to something new, or if you have struggled to find an activity that you love in the first place, you can probably relate to my struggle.

Anticipating the need to quarantine AND to keep moving, I made a commitment to myself to switch gears, get my bike out of storage, and to actually ride. My poor bike has been rotting up in my attic for about 15 years.

#SmallSelf-CareVictories win: I got my bike, found my helmet, got myself to the store for bike shoes, and took that bike out for a spin! It had been so long, I literally had to figure out how to use the gears.

Getting on a bike is second nature for some folks, but it took a *concerted effort* and commitment to myself to make this happen while dealing with my new tendon strain and also preparing to be quarantined with two kids.

On my first ride out I got lost a couple of blocks from my house (I moved recently) and a nice biker appeared out of nowhere to offer me some excellent options. Thank you universe! I am so grateful for this opportunity - for finding a new activity to bring me joy and for following-through on my commitment to self-care.

So what is your best small win in self-care this week? What have you done for yourself personally to allow you to show up to be your best professional self? Please, share with me here!

If you are a woman or non-binary individual in tech and want to share in a more intimate community, please join my private Facebook group, Gender Lenz.

Sending so much love and good health to everyone this week. See you next Friday!


PS, Thank you to @glennjohson and @dorieclark for inspiring me with #smallvictories in our Recognized Experts community!

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Oakland, CA, USA

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