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Holly Kooi

Executive director & Co-founder

Why she is a part of U!Shine Vienna

After recovering from a severe bout with mental illness, Holly realized she wasn't the only one struggling in Vienna with mental health issues. She also noted the distinct silence on the topic as well as the lack of global understanding. She joined U!Shine Vienna in the hopes of bringing the subject of mental illness to the forefront of conversation to raise awareness, create community, encourage resilience, and roll out a welcome mat of unconditional acceptance.

What brings her joy?

There are an endless amount of things that bring her joy but at the top of the list are hugs, being in community, cat snuggles, creamy cappuccinos, time with family, The Beatles, and chocolate chip cookies.

More about Holly

Before moving to Vienna, Holly worked as an event and wedding coordinator in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A. She and her husband, Will, have been married for eight years and spend a chunk of their time chasing down their two kids. When Holly is out, she is almost certainly at Cafe Little Britain - her home away from home - sipping down another hazelnut latte, eating too many pieces of blueberry crumble, lost in the pages of one of her favorite journals.

How does she take care of her mental and emotional health?

Holly motivates herself (or asks for help from designated accountability partners) to stay in community especially in the midst of mental struggle. Sleep is vital, so she tries to sleep 7 to 8 hours each night with the hope of (though not always achieved) waking up early for personal quiet time. Her most reliable source of mental and emotional strength comes from her daily routine of journaling and creative expression. She also checks in regularly with her counselor and takes her anxiety medication as prescribed.

To connect

Instagram at @hollykooi or hollykooi.com