I used to feel exhausted when I woke up in the morning. I’m 41, and I noticed that when I got home after work, I would just sit on the couch after dinner. I was spending too much time on multiple social media platforms and I’d find myself scrolling through posts or videos in the evening on my bed. This impacted my sleep, my demeanor, and my mood. For years I’ve been hearing about the Thrive Challenge, and last year I got started. 

Thrive Resets have helped me learn how to control my breathing.

I also started meditating. I’m more relaxed in the evening and I’m sleeping better. I started turning my phone off 15 minutes before bed, and placing it out of reach. 

I changed the way I was eating with Microsteps.

I’ve stayed away from white bread and sugar in the last few months. I made a list of healthy foods I enjoy, and I’m eating more of those, like fish, cucumbers, peppers, asparagus, strawberries and blackberries. I’m cooking fresh meals with lots of veggies, which have replaced the pizza, quesadillas, and hamburgers I used to eat all the time. The improvements I’ve noticed are amazing. My gut health has improved tremendously.

When I’m eating dinner with my family, I put my phone out of reach.

We’re really connecting. That’s helped reduce my screen time, and the time I spend on social media.

My wife, Andrea, is my biggest supporter.

We’ve been married for 18 years. She’s the kindest, most beautiful person I know. And she’s very artistic. She’s also my best friend and confidant. She’ll tell me things I need to hear when I’m making decisions in business and in my personal life. We take walks together in our town. And we go to the gym to work out together.

Movement Microsteps have helped me have more energy.

I am an HR office manager. And I try to get out of the office every hour and walk for five to ten minutes. That really gets the blood flowing, so I get back to work refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s also given me more floor presence in the warehouse and has helped me strike more personal conversations with our associates. I also walk for 20 minutes after work.

Every day I spend a few minutes with each of my five kids. 

Setting that time aside sparks meaningful conversations. Jessica, my 17-year-old, is passionate about writing, and sci-fi. She wants to major in English, and she’s already begun writing her first novel, and I’m privileged to proofread for her. Ashley is 15, she loves fashion, and Harry Potter! We both love reading. Our 13-year-old, Bret, is on his way to being a musician. He plays banjo and guitar. He and I both share a passion for music. Katy’s 11. She loves to paint and sketch. Cara’s nine, and she’s the baby of the group. She loves to roller skate and draw. She gives me cute drawings every week. 

Thrive meditations and Resets help me relax.

My life doesn’t seem as rushed anymore. I’m able to live more in the moment and enjoy the small things in life. I notice the sound of rainfall and the birds chirping in the evening.I notice the beauty of the trees and the sound of insects and other animals. I hadn’t been aware of these things for many years. It’s awesome.

Our family has done more things together since Thrive. 

We went to a pumpkin patch, and we enjoyed a corn maze, a music festival, a bonfire, and a hayride. My family and I have drawn closer together. This has surprised my wife and I because we were already a close-knit group. I am thankful for what Thrive has done for me, and I will continue to use it to better myself. 

Bret Groves, Distribution Center #6014, Laurens, SC; $5K Winner