As a Walmart Canada store manager, the pandemic brought me many new challenges — and sleepless nights. In addition to worrying about my team of over 200 associates, I was also worried about bringing home COVID-19 to my 79-year-old mum, who was staying with me while she was undergoing chemotherapy. I was afraid my son would get COVID-19 at university. I constantly worried about how my actions would impact those around me.

Life felt very overwhelming.

I knew how lucky I was to have my job, and the opportunity to get my community the supplies it needed as our global economy suffered. But there were still so many times I didn’t know what direction I should go in. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was missing meals, and worrying about everything: my health, my mum and son, my associates, the bills I had to pay, and how to balance it all. As I worried about everything and everyone else, I completely forgot to take care of myself. And as a result, I found myself forgetting things and getting angry for no reason. I lost touch with friends and started putting on weight. I felt alone.

Then, I learned about the Challenge through Walmart’s Year Beginning Meeting.

I heard Arianna Huffington speak and realized I wasn’t alone. I learned that I needed to take time to breathe and let go of the guilt that I can’t be everything to everyone. 

I downloaded the app and started taking baby steps.

I’m drinking water instead of juice and herbal tea instead of coffee. I started putting my phone away an hour before bedtime and setting a wind-down timer for myself. My work phone stays in the kitchen at night.

I say thank you to everyone, simply for showing up.

I am trying not to micromanage at work. I’m letting my team work with me and for me instead of hovering over them. I give them clear directions and let them fly. I set up a Thrive room for any and all associates who need to take a breather and want to enjoy a moment of solitude. 

When my son comes home from college every few weekends, I appreciate the time we have.

I no longer get so upset when he wants to go out — I’ve realized he’s a kid and I need to let him grow. I’m grateful for the moments we do share. When I’m spending time with my mum, I take the time to actually talk with her and listen to what she has to say. I am not only trying to take care of her, but also show up as the friend she needs right now. I thank my family even for the small things, so I’m sure not to take them for granted.

I have a lot of work to do before I feel great about myself, but I’m on the journey and that’s what counts. To me, it’s all about the small steps. I’m breathing more and using two Reset guides I made in the app. I’m reading Arianna’s book, Thrive, and gaining the courage to believe that I, too, am important.

 Jane Threlfall, Supercenter #3184; Truro, N.S.; $2K Winner