Tag: Cat Williams

Three Steps to Coping With Bullying

I can’t tell you how many times I have said under my breath, I cannot believe that this is happening to me. And for a split second, I’m tempted to ignore the situation, not even entertain it. Fair enough since a key thing to do when dealing with bullying is not to let the brutal words in.

Still, it is important to acknowledge what is actually happening–call a spade, a spade, accept that it is unhealthy and then talk about it.

Check out this snippet from Your Wellbeing Matters, offering great advice on how to cope with bullying.  And do listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify and a host of other great podcast platforms. And when you are there leave a review to spread the word.

No matter how you look at it, bullying is unacceptable because the thing is, your wellbeing really matters.

Don’t Let It In

I love Cat Williams’ advice ‘Don’t Let It In’ in our latest podcast Your Wellbeing Matters. The UIO two-time guest, a seasoned rapid transformational therapist, is, of course, talking about the unhealthy words of a bully.

Shame I didn’t fully understand this as a teenage girl all those years ago but to be honest, I don’t remember any consistent episodes of being bullied. There were the people who picked me out to pick on me, sure, but I managed to shake them off rather quickly somehow.

I would be fully ensconced in business–well sort of, it was my first real job–before I experienced real bullying, which can be self-esteem eroding at the very least. And because I didn’t understand the important concept of not letting other people’s misconstrued perceptions get into my head, I fled as fast as I could.

This would mean a different career path for me. My hopes and dreams of becoming a seasoned journalist who would walk straight into a writing or publishing career took a rather crooked path and frankly never arrived at its originally intended destination.

To this end, I have come to understand that tremendous emotional and mental unrest comes with taking responsibility for someone else’s unhealthy behaviour or words, no matter how powerful that person is or seems. Don’t believe them.

In my case, the person held all power at the place where I worked so it wasn’t a bad idea to pack my bags and leave. My mistake was taking the unnecessary baggage with me.

No wonder I can’t get Cat’s advice out of my head. Of course, there will be missteps–that is part of personal growth. But lessons needn’t take years to grasp, thanks to varied  resources such as UIO podcast.  So, if you haven’t listened to Your Wellbeing Matters yet, now is the time to check it out.

And whether you or someone you know is experiencing bullying, or even stumbling into a place where you are the bully, share the podcast for more advice on how to cope with bullying and keep life moving in a forward-facing direction.

When all is said and done, remember the words that serve you and the rest, don’t let it in.

Reaping the Benefits of Waiting Awhile

One of the stories found in our Wait Awhile research confirms that teenage girls still feel a lot of pressure to explore sex, often before they are ready. Of the 16% of our respondents who said they had gone further in a sexual relationship than they were comfortable with, 77% of the girls said they regretted doing so.

And although our survey doesn’t ask girls to tell us the specific regrets, I know from talking with teenage girls through my work and personal life and having been a girl myself, though a long time ago, such regrets are deeply felt and can be long lasting, which is why our Wait Awhile initiative is about taking a deep breath and widening the gap between being a girl and a woman.

Having said that some high risk activities for teenagers, such as sharing sexually explicit material can lead to danger and harm and deep regret at any age. But becoming sexually active prematurely does carry enormous risks during the teen years.

There are plenty of reasons to wait awhile but too often the only reasons that are expounded on are the ones that focus more on the negatives consequences of premature sex instead of the positive benefits of waiting.

At UIO podcast, we believe there are enormous benefits in side-stepping undue pressures and expected behaviour that could result in deep regret. And we are not just talking about sex, though sex is a big deal. Sexuality, for example, is another topic that teenagers feel heated pressure to explore and know all the answers instantaneously.

In our On Dating Inside Out podcast with Cat Williams, the therapist points out that often when we are determined to do something no matter the cost, it might not hurt to step back and let the hormones settle, my words, not Cat’s.

Amongst the benefits of stepping back are living a life without the pressure of worrying about consequences, as well as the opportunity to align with your true values and live your best life in the here and now.  And as you grow-up that here and now changes, as it should, giving you the opportunity to make more informed decisions that serve you, rather than cause regret and grief.

In our On Sex and Sexuality podcast, which we have re-released this week, our guest Rachel Gardener talks about the importance of putting your relationship first, before diving into a steamy romance. The benefits of learning loads about yourself while learning to relate to another person far outweighs living under pressure that can and so often lead to physical and emotional scars.

Waiting awhile is about reclaiming your space as a teenage girl.  After all, you’re only a teenager for a few short years. Enjoy!

The Joys Of Dating

As if there isn’t enough pressure on dating as it is and crops up Valentine’s Day.  Bear with, I’m not really a kill joy about this loveable day, and I do enjoy a good box of chocolates now and again and some lovely flowers, too.  But the thing is, with all the hype around love and romance, sometimes folks who are already dating or even married feel undue pressure and those who are single just might feel a bit left out.

Good thing we’ve released On Dating Inside Out, Episode 4 from Series 2. In it Cat Williams offers insight on what dating is really all about. It is not only an opportunity to get to know another person but you can learn a lot about yourself, too.

When I was a teenage girl, the last thing I thought dating would do was teach me about myself but in hindsight, I can see very well how it did and some of the growth opportunities that opened up through dating, though they didn’t feel like opportunities then, more like hindrances.

For example, dating helps with establishing boundaries.  These boundaries are important not only when it comes to putting the brakes on going further in a sexual relationship than one is comfortable with but also they can play a role in deciding on what type of people you want to hang out with, even at school.

In hindsight, had I understood this last point, I would have found it much easier to stay in a spacious place as a teenager and not feel the pressure of hanging out without someone just because they were popular and so on.

This type of dating doesn’t show the concept at its best at all.  In fact, it can taint the experience and cause confusion about dating.  But lots of good advice out there to clear up confusion.  One tip is to speak to someone you can trust when presented with dating challenges.  This could be a parent, an older sibling or an auntie.  You might be thinking—fat chance that I will be talking to a parent. She won’t understand.

Try her. She has likely been there and done that, though in a different generation with some different challenges. I know, I know talk about dating can be quite awkward. I remember avoiding the topic like the plaque but upon reflection, a conversation about dating opens the door to self-discovery and could bridge communications gaps.

Likely my idea of dating was a totally different idea than either of my parents had.  It wasn’t until I turned about sixteen, the dating age they set, that they laid down the rules, curfews and all.  But still no specific talk about etiquette, if you know what I mean.

I think, however, had we chatted about what I thought dating meant, they would have found themselves far more at ease than they could have ever imagined.  No grand ideas at all, certainly when it came to romance.  Just thought it was cool to have a boyfriend to walk me from one class to another, to carry my books, to chat to on the phone sometimes.

That was my level of maturity at the time and according Cat Williams, we all differ in this area.  Key, I think, is to get to know yourself, enjoy the teenage years, sharing activities and interests with friends, whether you are dating or not. The same goes for Valentines’ Day—enjoy it in any case.

For more tips on dating, check out Series 2: Episode 4 – On Dating Inside Out.  Watch this space for more hot tips on enjoying your teen years.

What Dating Has To Do With Self-Discovery?

When we talk about dating, we often hear about either the romanticised version of it—finding a happily ever after—or the complexities—not finding a happily ever with all the pitfalls in trying too.

There must be a somewhere in between, right! And as I think back to my teen years and consider the insightful information from relationships counsellor Cat Williams in our latest podcast, UIO: On Dating Inside Out, I’ve had a lightbulb moment.

This middle ground must have to do with self-discovery. Great, you might tell yourself. I think I know a bit about me. Of course, you do. But here is the thing: anytime we venture into something new, there are oodles of opportunities for growth and in this growth, we often have revelations, that we might not have otherwise discovered.

And with these revelations, if you don’t like them, you can use the experience to change. And if you do like what you learn, use it to get even better.

Thinking back to my teen years, I had a few experiences that fit the bill. It took me only once to discover that I didn’t like the idea of someone believing he had the right to touch me because we were dating. At a basketball game, my boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to sit behind me, giving me little choice but to lean back on him and from there he proceeded to touch me completely inappropriately.

First of all, I felt humiliated and then mortified. I hadn’t had any physical closeness with him and had no intentions of doing so. Yet he assumed that he had the right to touch me. What gave him that idea? What does he think of me? Next, all I could think was if my mom and dad hear about this, there goes my cheerleading days and rightly so. Somehow, I wriggled out of the tortuous situation and broke off the relationship at the first opportunity, probably the next day. But what I didn’t do was tell him why I broke it off, at least I don’t remember telling him.

So, what did I learn? First, there was the bit about self-confidence. I didn’t have the confidence to speak out on the matter, then and there. This came as a shock to me because I had no problem speaking out at home. Next, I learned how important reputation was to me and still is. In addition, I learned about the importance of family. I felt that I had somehow violated a trust between me and my parents. And it suddenly dawned on me that I wanted to be a trustworthy person, not only with my parents but in general.

For years afterwards, I had a guilt about the experience with loads of questions. Why did I let it happen? Why didn’t I do something about it, then and there. Why did I think it was something I did that made him behave badly and so on? And later, as I was talking to an acquaintance who was in her teens about the experience, I recounted the positive lessons I had taken away, too. I remember how moving forward I escaped such situations by taking responsibility for where I sat and how I sat.

And I left school with my good name in-tact and with my family values in tow and a desire to go off to New York City someday. And I did with the lessons of confidence and much more close to my chest. Fast forward all these years later and I am still learning from the experience or re-learning, that is.

As Cat Williams points out in On Dating Inside Out, objectification has nothing to do with the person being objectified, nor does bullying. What has to do with you is how you handle it. It’s all about self-discovery. For more hot tips, check out the podcast on iTunes as well as Soundcloud or subscribe on this site to hear more about how to navigate dating for the best possible outcomes right in the space you are in. Oh and yeah, don’t forget to have fun. A lesson I stumbled upon, too.

Get The Inside Scoop On Dating

Having been married for nearly 20 years, I’m clueless about modern day dating—the various apps and internet sites and so on but by and large, dating is dating. And when you are a teen it can be a tad bit awkward wading into a new world that quite frankly can be fast and furious.

If you are reading this in anticipation of hot tips to make dating less awkward and slow down the process a bit, the countdown is nearly over. Next Wednesday, we release UIO: On Dating Inside Out with relationship counsellor Cat Williams.

While Cat agrees wholeheartedly that dating ought to be fun, she also points out that it offers endless opportunities to get to know yourself. While some of you might be thinking but I already know me, others could be having a lightbulb moment. And Cat’s got news for us all: getting to know yourself can last a lifetime.

In any case, the podcast offers inside information for everyone and focuses on getting the best possible experience from dating. After all, at the heart of dating is learning to relate to another person while staying true to self, which can be overlooked when the giddy feelings rush in.

Not to worry, we all get them. Still wouldn’t it be nice to put it all into perspective, enjoy the teen space and learn as much as you can about dating inside out! The podcast is out October 24th. Loads of ways to listen. Subscribe to our RSS feed or listen on Itunes, Tunein, Stitcher or Soundcloud. Stay tuned.

Accessing Your Power Toolkit In the Eye Of A Storm

If I could magically make all hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms, tsunamis disappear, I would do so instantly, and I am sure I’m not the only one. With an onslaught of activity pre-season and during season, I am feeling a bit frazzled to be honest.

Last night as Hurricane Michael battered the very city where my father and all of my sisters and most of my nieces and nephews reside as well as many relatives, I felt anxiety get its grip on me. Having been in touch with my father via FaceTime until the lights went out literally, I quickly gave into the dreaded anxiety.

But instead of remembering that it all starts with a menacing thought, I just kept on thinking and second guessing whether my family would be safe or not, whether Albany, Georgia, would even be a city by morning. Thankfully I only focused on one city, though you might say this was selfish thinking, when so many lives were and still are at risk. But let’s face it, I am only human, and it was this focus that kept me from a complete melt down. Imagine if I had thought the Florida panhandle, Southwest Georgia and so on would be totally ruined, how my night might have gone. It could have been worse.

Make no mistake about it, it was bad. After a bit of frustration with the delayed progress of CNN and The National Weather Channel, I happened upon the local television station—WALB. Viola! At last I received consistent communications and interestingly my thoughts begin to calm down. It was in this instance that I, from the outside, could see how bad the storm, if you will, actually was and could then send my family, who are held up in secure areas of their houses, text messages telling them that though the Hurricane was still dangerous, it had gone from category four to three and then to two.

And when I got a few pings back, I had a big sigh of relief but not quite big enough. But it was enough relief to access my power tools for abating anxiety, which was well on its way to panic. The first tool for me happens to be prayer and it works a jewel but to be able to pray peacefully and mindfully, I have to do a bit of practical preparation, which leads to the second tool—shutting down my devices. How very practical.

You might remember in Your Online Wellbeing Inside Out that guest Nicola Morgan suggests signing off at least one hour and thirty minutes before going to bed even in the best times. And here I was in the worst of time, glued to WALB on my iPad. It was nearly 2 a.m.

So, I sent the last text to Daddy and sibs and off the devices went but admittedly, I did stash them nearby instead of in another room as advised. Then I commenced to prepare my mind. In our latest podcast, Rising Above Odds, Hannilee Fish talks about the importance of mindfulness, staying in the moment. So tactfully and gently I reminded myself that I was in London, England, in my bed and not in Albany, Ga, and none of these horrible things that I feared had actually happened.

And only then did I remember a hot tip from Eleanor Segall, our guest, from our second podcast, On Undiagnosed Mental Illness—talk to someone, don’t keep the stress bottled up. I looked over at Paul, who seemed asleep and decided against talking to him, so I talked to God. Good idea and found myself being grateful for the strength to support my family during a stormy time and the actual mental and physical capacity to take care of myself. Off to sleep I went if only for a couple of hours.

As I reflect upon the episodic night, I am so grateful to the women of UIO for sharing their experiences, the good and the bad. What a wonderful tool box to go to in the time of need. So glad I had it not only at my finger-tips but in my thoughts, too.

And the biggest lesson I learned had to do with managing me when I had no control of managing Hurricane Michael, precisely the tip from Cat Williams, guest of our next podcast coming up in late October, On Dating Inside Out. Author of Stay Calm and Content No Matter What Life Throws At You, Cat knows a thing or two about keeping cool in the eye of a storm, okay so I wasn’t in the eye, but it sure felt like it. Stay tuned!

New Podcast Released on Rising Above Odds

As we launch the third podcast in our new series, Rising Above Odds, more research on matters related to young people has topped the news. Loneliness is felt more intensely by 16 to 24-year olds than any other group in the UK, according to a survey by BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust.

Rising Above Odds is timely indeed, offering tips on how to deal with any seemingly insurmountable situation. Loneliness, with the onslaught of emptiness that it brings, tends to cause feelings of hopelessness and despair.

The good news is that these feelings can be managed. Still, respondents who had more friends on Facebook, for example, than real life friends felt the forlornness more than others. Not surprisingly, this theme is consistent with the high use of social media but as pointed out in Your Online Wellbeing Inside Out, there is a healthy and happy medium for engaging in social media, including making new real friends. It’s not so much about spending too much time on social media as it is about spending too little time doing other things that matter such as reading, daydreaming, exercising and so on, according to our guest for the episode Nicola Morgan. The mind really does care about how we spend our time.

In addition, this week’s guest Hannilee Fish points out that every single person is valuable and worthy and suggests engaging in sports and practicing mindfulness to overcome any difficult situation. For more insight, listen on Itunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud or Spotify or simply add a feedreader and subscribe to our rss feed to get UIO podcasts automatically.

Coming up in mid-October is On Dating Inside Out with Cat Williams, founder of Stay Calm and Content No Matter What Life Throws At You. Stay Tuned!