At Thrive Global, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re inviting women business leaders to share how they Thrive. 

Thrive Global: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about prioritizing your health and well-being?

Laura Fuentes: Define your boundaries and protect them. Stand up for what matters to you. It’s no one else’s job to do it for you. This takes courage and consistency, and really strong communication skills!

TG: What’s important in your life outside of work? What helps you thrive? With a demanding schedule, how do you make time for these important things?

LF: Family and travel are key to my happiness and I also love to seek out opportunities to learn and connect with people. I proactively plan for and structure ways to spend time meeting and learning from interesting people – through social, book and discussion groups. That said, it’s important for me to combine that social time with moments of solitude – reading, walking and alone time all help me to recharge. During crazy weeks, I like to put on my jammies as soon as I get home and unwind with a show and some snacks. 

TG: How do you reframe negative thinking so you can feel “unstuck” and move forward?

LF: I come back to my true north – what matters the most to me now, and what will matter when I look back at the end of my life? This practice always helps me regain perspective and gives me gratitude for the things that I have, the people I work with and learn from, the family and friends that I love.

TG: Are there any small actions (or life “hacks”) that you swear by to help you prioritize, focus, connect with others, get solid sleep, or incorporate movement and nutrition into your life? Share any and all!

LF: One practical hack that has changed my life over the last few years is ordering groceries online. I also stock gifts, stationary and stamps to have on hand for special occasions – I love gift wrapping and giving! 

From a wellness perspective, I once heard a yoga instructor say that your breath is always there for you – from your first day to your last. You can always go back to your breath. I often stop and take three deep breaths – before a meeting or when sitting down to answer emails. It calms my nervous system and helps me re-ground. 

Author(s)

  • Laura Fuentes

    Chief Talent Officer at Hilton

    As the Chief Talent Officer, Laura oversees the entire Team Member life cycle: recruiting, learning & development, compensation, benefits, recognition, and diversity & inclusion programs, as well as all people analytics and strategy for Hilton Team Members around the globe. She’s been featured in the Huffington Post and Hispanic Executive for her role in creating an inclusive environment where all Team Members can [email protected]  Under Laura’s leadership, Hilton has rolled out industry leading programs for its Team Members including Parental Leave, Adoption Assistance, and its signature “Go Hilton” Team Member Travel Program.   Prior to Hilton, Laura worked for Capital One in various strategy and human resources roles, and McKinsey & Company.  Laura holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.  She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband Will and their two boys, Alex and Nico.