I raised my three sons as a single mom; they’re all grown now. I’m 58, and I have seven grandkids. I was going through a lot of stress. One of my sons was using drugs and got into trouble, and is now in jail serving a 10-year sentence. It’s a constant worry and I feel sad that he’s losing precious time in his life. He has four kids; his oldest son, 18-year-old Alexis, lives with me. In addition to working, I’m taking a cosmetology course. I was feeling tired and my feet were hurting. I wasn’t exercising or eating well. I decided to start taking care of myself and I downloaded the Thrive app. 

I began with movement Microsteps and started taking walks and going to the gym.

I use the stationary bike and the elliptical, and now I’m running. I had surgery on both knees years ago and now that I’m exercising more and lifting weights, my strength and flexibility are improving. Moving regularly has also changed how I feel.

At home I started dancing — moving to good music makes me happy. 

I like Hispanic music best and I love Karol G. I dance when I’m cooking and cleaning. A few days ago, my grandson walked in from school and was surprised to see me dancing in the kitchen. He was smiling and stood there watching me, but he’s happy for me because he knows it makes me feel good.  

I’m changing the way I eat.

Breakfast is my favorite meal. I’ll make an omelet and add peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and turkey bacon. It keeps me full for hours. For snacks, I make up small bags of mixed nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans. For dinner, I’ll make salmon with green beans and mashed potatoes or steak with a green salad and asparagus. 

To reduce anxiety, I’m taking small breaks and stretching.

I drink some water and walk around for a little bit and that helps me to feel calm. I also like to do breathing exercises and Thrive Resets. I love the one with peaceful mountain scenery. My stomach used to feel bad with all the stress, but now that I’m eating well, moving and breathing, I’m in less discomfort.

I feel less anxious about my son.

I talk to him on the phone and tell him I love him, and I tell myself I’m a good mom. I send him  money so he can buy good food. My son’s troubles happened because he deals with addiction. It’s nobody’s fault. I tell myself he is safe and he’s growing as a person. I say, “Okay Adriana, it’s gonna take time, but things are getting better faster than you think.”

My other sons are doing really well. 

I’m focusing on gratitude for my family. All my boys went to college; they’re all smart, and I have wonderful grandkids. Now that I have more energy, I can grab 2-year-old Luka by the arms and lift him up off the ground and twirl him around so he can “fly!” He loves it. I can run around and play with the older ones.

Getting together with friends is one way I’m connecting and relaxing.

We’ll go for dinner, put our phones away and listen to each other. We talk about our families and our lives. We’re always there for each other. I also like to have a facial or a massage to pamper myself.  

I’m sleeping better and have more energy for my studies. 

I turn the T.V. off a couple of hours before I go to bed. I’m using less social media and I do a short meditation at night so I wake up feeling more positive. I’m at school training to become an aesthetician, which will help me make some extra money. By taking Microsteps, I’m focusing on one thing at a time without multitasking.  

I’m healing physically and emotionally.

My feet aren’t hurting and I don’t feel my age at all. I’m blessed that I’m active and I have energy and I’m heading towards my 60s with more hope.

— Adriana Rubio, Distribution Center #9153, Waco, TX; $5K Winner