Throughout the pandemic, I noticed my family had been struggling. I started encouraging my daughter to keep track of her feelings every day since she was having a hard time. I started a tracker too as a way to show her that I was doing it, too. It made me realize that I felt disconnected from the people I was closest to. We needed to think more positively and we needed a change.

My store manager, Katie LeBlanc, told me about the Thrive Challenge.

We were in the training room one day talking about confidence, mindfulness, and small changes she had been making since she’d completed the Thrive Challenge. She suggested I check out the Thrive app, and that’s when I got started. I wanted to reconnect with my family and make sure they have a positive view of the world, even when it can feel scary. 

I changed my work schedule to allow me to be around for my kids before and after school.

It allowed me to make sure the kids are starting their day with a good breakfast, some happy music, and the knowledge that their mom is there for them. It has also allowed us to have more family dinners in the evening and share about our day. We’ve been baking together, looking at healthier recipes with low-calorie sweeteners and whole grains. We also love feeding the birds together. We have found nature can be very healing for all of us.

I started to take time at the end of each day to reflect. 

I use the Notes app on my phone to write out my accomplishments and goals. I’ve also started adding a personal touch each day by writing down the name of someone I’d like to do something nice for. Sometimes it’s as simple as bringing them a baked treat, sewing them a new mask, or decorating their office. I love to look back at the end of the day and know I made another person’s day a little easier. The Thrive Challenge helped me slow down and ask others what they are struggling with. 

We cleaned up my art space to allow for room to keep active over the winter. 

We put up a punching bag and a treadmill, and got a hula hoop and a little bin of weights. It’s nice because I can close the door, put on some music, and just move. We are also going to create a summer bucket list of places we want to explore as a family. I really believe that if I show my kids to stay positive, they will understand that despite this gloomy pandemic, there is still so much good a person can achieve.

I am happier now knowing I am being more positive for my husband and kids.

The Thrive Challenge has made me more aware of the small changes our family needed. We needed to listen more and be there for each other. Sometimes life gets hectic and you need a reminder. It has given me a chance to reset my priorities and put the people in my circle first.

— Carrie Kavanaugh, Walmart Store #1178, North Sydney, NS; $2K Winner