Army wife Cat Williams knows a thing or two about coping with life’s challenges.
She has moved house eight times over the past 10 years, while at the same time raising two young children and watching her husband go off to the front line in Afghanistan.
Combine this resilience and ability to cope with change with her years of experience as a relationship counsellor and you can see why Cat has become an expert on the subject of coping with stress.
Now living back in the area where she grew up, just outside Chester, she is delighted to be able to lay down roots for her family and to develop her work of spreading the Stay Calm and Content message to people from all walks of life.
Cat talks passionately about the need for people to nurture their own self-esteem and resilience in order for them to better cope with life’s curveballs.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
One of her favourite quotes illustrates perfectly the rationale behind some of her work. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
Cat is all for empowering people to take back control of their lives, arming them with tools to cope with different and potentially difficult situations.
Cat, who is also a public speaker, writer, coach, trainer and author, has appeared on national TV show This Morning and on the BBC talking about her work, as well as writing a book, Stay Calm and Content No Matter What Life Throws At You. The book looks at 26 different life challenges, from divorce and parenting issues to coping with illness and bereavement, with Cat offering advice on how to cope with them.
Crucial life skill
Her Stay Calm and Content programme has also seen her go out to a number of schools in the area to deliver workshops and assemblies on building confidence and self-esteem. This, she feels, is a crucial life skill for young people.
Cat said: “I have moved house eight times in the past 10 years, due to my husband being posted to different places with the army. During this time we have had two children – now eight and five – and my husband has been posted to Afghanistan for a period.
“I think it’s fair to say that I have lived and breathed what keeping calm means and what resilience means over this time. Things happen that you can’t control and I realised I had something to say to others who might be going through similar situations. I found out the answers and put them into a book. It’s jargon free and user friendly.
“I want to give people the confidence to handle anything and to keep their heads above water when they feel like they are sinking.
“I help people climb out of that hole but I also want to prevent them from falling in in the first place. I can tell you where the holes are.
Your own best friend
“Another key thing to bear in mind is that we all have two voices in our head – you can be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. The more you listen to your worst enemy the louder its voice gets, until the voice of your best friend is drowned out.
“Your attitude and mindset play a big part in how you cope with stress.”
Fifty per cent of the proceeds of sales of Cat’s book are going to counselling charities.