Laurel (Hajek) Holland ’79, alumna, author, and co-founder of the Women’s Center for Wellness in 


Laurel Holland '79

Laurel Holland '79

Massachusetts shares her Top Three Tips for Wellbeing with the WPI community.

  1. Avoid overwhelm and burnout. Think of overwhelm as a stop along the way to full-on burnout. With any kind of overwhelm, your body, mind, and emotions are seeking a way to return to a healthy balance. These are all good signals that shouldn’t be ignored when you’re cultivating a healthy lifestyle. Burnout requires a long recovery time and can damage vital aspects of your life as you spin “out of control”. Often with burnout, over control leads to out of control. Learning to self-calm, self-limit, and self-accept are best practices for managing overwhelm and avoiding burnout. 
  2. Seek supportive and authentic connection. Healthy, fulfilling relationships are proven to be one of the most critical components of wellness. Research shows that lack of quality time with loved ones is one of the biggest regrets of the dying. College can be a wonderful time to challenge yourself to find friends based on your authentic nature, not on habits you may have developed during your younger years. Feeling well and content includes the right kind of support given what your stressors are as well as authentic connection that allows you to reveal what’s truly on your mind and in your heart.
  3. Question your habits of using any substances. The truth is that substance use and abuse only delays dealing with real problems and unhappiness. As substance use leads to abuse, without being addressed, the harder the recovery road. Full blown addiction creates havoc and chaos. Telling yourself substance use is recreational may be valid on occasion, but if it’s the main recreational experience you have, you do yourself a disservice when you don’t discover what really does “recreate your energy”.  This discovery will offer you the real relaxation and enjoyment you crave as part of a full and meaningful life.