I’m a Nurse Manager, and before I was introduced to the Thrive Challenge in March, I was working 13-hour days. I have two sons, and my 12-year-old, Renard, was already going to bed by the time I got home. I was going and going, and didn’t realize how much I was missing. I was also spending too much money eating out, I was gaining weight, and I had no “me time.” 

One of my nurses, Arvis Abban, told me about the Thrive Challenge. 

She explained how the Thrive app had made so many positive changes in her life. Hearing her story, I knew I needed better work-life balance and I needed to change. It was the perfect storm. I was just so worn out that I knew I had to do something to find balance. I knew I was neglecting my family and myself. I started looking at the Microsteps and I was hooked. 

My first step was deciding to only stay at work late once or twice a week. 

I started coming home earlier and it helped me spend more time with my husband, Shawn, and our sons. Now, I handle all urgent needs at work and address the rest the next day. Now that I’m home at around six, Renard helps me make dinner and we spend time as a family and go on walks around the neighborhood.

We’re trying new things, and eating fewer processed foods.

I joined the Thrive group on Facebook, and I like sharing my recipes with others. I’ll even bring some of my dishes into work and give out samples to the other nurses. My favorite recipe is this pita bread pizza I make with barbecue shrimp and kale and couscous. I used to go to Chick-Fil-A every day, sometimes twice a day! Now, I’m only going twice a month. With the money I’ve saved, I was able to pay off a credit card, and my credit score has gone up 12 points. I’m saving over $300 per month. 

I make sure I’m in bed by 9:30 p.m. on work nights. 

I dim the lights, turn on my lavender oil diffuser, and wind down with some “me time.” I remove my Apple Watch, switch my phone on vibrate, and place it in my docking station across the room. I feel more refreshed and relaxed when I stick to my new routine. I’m in a better mood, I have more energy, and I’m more productive at work.

I’m more grateful than ever for my patients and my nurses.

I always realized I had a wonderful bunch of nurses, but during the pandemic, they really stepped up and went above and beyond, administering COVID vaccines to over 5000 veterans. I always let the nurses know how much I appreciate them and their hard work and dedication. 

The Thrive Challenge has given me a new start.

I’ve joined the Thrive Star program and I got 23 people to sign up last month. I came to life! I now have a work-life balance, I see my family more, I’ve developed better eating habits and even paid off a credit card. I go on walks during my lunch break now that I have more energy. I even notice I have clearer skin and my clothes fit better. Small steps really lead to a better life!