I came to the United States from Venezuela in 2017 for new opportunities, but it was hard settling into a different culture and learning a new language. I’m 26 now and recently I’ve been stressed and irritated because I wasn’t sleeping well and I was always tired, which had an impact on my wife, Mariu. Because I was so tired, I felt a little disorganized and it was hard to get all my tasks done. I wanted more focus and peace of mind.

I downloaded the Thrive app, and I began with a Microstep: declare an end to each day, even if you haven’t completed everything on your to-do list. It’s helping me focus on my job when I’m at work, then I leave it behind when I go home, trusting that the next day I’ll be able to finish anything I didn’t complete.  

Another Microstep I’m taking at work and at home is getting one thing done at a time instead of multitasking. I used to do multiple things at once, like paying bills while texting and making dinner. Now I’m focusing on what I’m doing — I feel more accomplished and I have better mental clarity. 

Getting a good night’s sleep has made the biggest difference. At night, I’m spending less time on my phone and going to bed at the same time each night, and I’m getting eight hours of sleep. My ability to focus all day has increased. I work in asset protection and there are always new things to learn. Now that I’m well-rested, I’ve found I can retain much more information and be more creative. I feel I’m giving my best to my team.

On the weekends, I have the energy to play soccer and for my passion, playing my guitar. I love bolero, smooth Latin music. I mostly do covers, but I’m writing my own songs too. I’m practicing and focusing on improving my skills, and I’m getting ready to play some gigs. 

Now I’m not tired all the time, I’m not as irritated, and I have more empathy. I’m waking up happy and my wife can feel the good vibes. I would say I laugh a lot more. I feel settled and peaceful.

— Raul Kunzel, Walmart HVFC #4124, Lebanon, TN; $5K Winner