I lost my father during COVID, and I was struggling with grief. We were very close. He fought in Vietnam and was a man of incredible strength. Also, our beloved dog, Buttacup, had to be put down. At the time, I was a social worker, and many patients passed away. Since then, things have been difficult. I’d eat out a lot, because as a caregiver it was faster and easier. And the stress affected my health. I’m 52, and I wasn’t moving well. I wanted to focus on exercising and eating well, and I started the Thrive Challenge when I began working at Walmart. 

The first thing I did was to stop eating out.

I’m food prepping and cutting down on sugar. I eat more vegetables and salad, and I love to make stir fries in my airfryer. One of my favorite dinners is baked chicken with Brussels sprouts and jasmine rice. 

At work, I’m making sure I step outside to get some sunshine. 

The store’s really big and I walk around the perimeter three times a day. Every little activity adds up, and I find I always get in my 10 thousand steps. After work, I go to the park with my sister Radhiya, who lives with me. Also, my boyfriend, Tony, and I like to go for long walks. 

Radhiya and I have at least one meal together a day.

I saw a video on the Thrive app that was helpful, talking about how eating mindfully, without overindulging, supports digestion. So we put away our phones, enjoy our food, and talk about what’s going on in our lives. And we find out things about each other — I found out that my sister really loves The Wizard Of Oz. So I got tickets for us to go and see the musical, Wicked in Atlanta. We also went with my best friend and had such a great time. 

I’m meditating in the morning.

And I’m turning more toward spirituality. Talking to God and devoting time to quiet solitude prepares me for the day. It’s a good foundation and gives me energy so I can approach everything in a more positive way.

Thrive Resets help me to stay calm. 

I like them because they’re short, but empowering, and I can always find a minute to watch one or two. I can get quite anxious racing around all day and they’re very relaxing — I love the ones with lakes and mountains. I plug into the app every day — I like watering my plants!

I’m sleeping better.

I make sure the environment in my bedroom is relaxing. I unplug from electronics, like T.V., before bedtime, and I listen to nature sounds on an app, which helps me fall asleep. 

In the past, I really enjoyed racquet sports, and I’m getting back into them.

I’d stopped when I was caring for my father. Now I’m playing tennis and racquetball. I’m also doing other things I enjoy, like going out to tea with my sister. I’m more engaged in every area of my life.

Focusing on self-care has helped me to get over feeling melancholy.

I feel happier and more optimistic. I was feeling sad a lot, and I spent days just going through the motions. I’m an active and open person but I was closed off before. Now I feel OK, my life is getting better, and I know I’m going to flourish.

I feel rejuvenated — I’m a better version of myself.

I work with people every day, and I tell them life can get better. It’s exciting to motivate people by being positive and accessible. Sometimes another co-worker will notice me walking and say, “Hey I’ll take a walk with you!” It helps to have someone to connect to in real life and encourage you. 

My goal is to bring happiness to others and bring it to myself too.

And I’m connecting with family and friends. I don’t have children of my own but I’m very involved with my cousin’s daughter, Madison, and my best friend’s son, Joshua. They bring me a lot of joy. At work, I encourage all my co-workers to do the Thrive Challenge because everyone is facing something difficult and life, and with Thrive we have this great tool we can plug into every day — and it works.

— Tabitia Copeland, Walmart Supercenter #5275, Woodstock, GA; $5K Winner