Your Gut is Stressed if You are Stressed

For today’s blog, I asked my friend, reforming perfectionist, ex-corporate exec and creator of the School of Balance, Sarah, to take the reins.

Sarah, you see, has first hand experience in burning the candle at both ends until she was burned right into the ground. Hitting a wall with her health, understanding it was from overwork to the extreme was a life-changing experience for her in any ways.

Not only did it make her realize she didn’t want to be in the corporate world anymore, she realized that she wanted to help other women like herself make their health and time a priority in order for them to keep playing the part of Superwoman.

Sarah began the conversation with these women, sharing her tools and tricks of her own journey in carving out space and boundaries and down time in order for them to feel balanced and non-frazzled.

The results were remarkable, so much so that Sarah decided to consolidate her knowledge into a step-by-step, eight week program that guides you through the process. This program, aptly called SH(I)NE, is worth a look at for you if you feel overbooked, overwhelmed, under rested and even under appreciated.

But, without further ado, here we have Ms. Sarah……


Jillian talks a lot about the link between stress and digestive health. The brain and gut have many interactions and a major reliance on each other so it?s no surprise that one of the major culprits of digestive issues is stress.

What is the problem?

Our modern lives tend to be high paced and full of stress. Our nervous system reacts to this stress in a similar way as our ancestors nervous systems would have reacted to the threat of a bear chasing them. It triggers our sympathetic or ?fight or flight? branch to become active.

The major difference being that in the past this ?fight or flight? response would have been temporary. In today?s fast paced world it can be persistent and our ?fight or flight? branch can become active almost constantly.

What?s the solution?

Our nervous system can only be in one of two modes sympathetic ?fight or flight? or parasympathetic ?rest and digest?. Similar to a see saw, if one is ?on? the other is ?off?

The best way to counterbalance the impacts of the sympathetic branch being active so often is to encourage your body to spend more time in the ?rest and digest? branch.

The main ways of doing this are through good quality sleep and improving relaxation (plus eating the right foods and doing the right exercise for you).

In some ways you?re pretty lucky?

It may sometimes feel unfair that you are suffering from digestive issues, but in some ways you?re lucky. You see, it?s your body?s way of telling you that you need to change something. Your body is letting you know NOW before it?s too late to act.

Some people?s bodies don?t seem to give out these warning messages. In the case of others they ignore them. I was one of the people who ignored the signs, until I got sick. Eventually my body became fed up of me ignoring it and it stopped me. You can read more here if you like.

My wish is for as many people as possible to learn from my mistakes. You have the chance to take action now to take care of yourself.

You only have one body

It?s all very well to say sleep and relax more, but it can feel like there is no time and life is just too busy to fit this in. In reality though, in saying ?I?m too busy? we?re really saying ?it?s not a priority for me right now?. Is that true? Is it really the case that looking after your health and body isn?t a priority for you right now? You only have one body and without it nothing else can happen. You can?t take care of anyone else.

Take a moment to have a think about whether your body really is a priority to you. Do you really get enough quality sleep? When was the last time you did something just for you? Do you nourish your body?


It doesn?t have to mean wholesale change. Baby steps can make a huge difference to your overall digestive health, energy, productivity and body.

Relaxation is key to counterbalance our hectic lives. This doesn?t mean having to take the day off to go to the spa (though that?s always lovely). And before you repeat ?I don?t have the time? prioritising looking after your body can take as little ONE minute 2-3 times a day. Even mini relaxations add up throughout the day to make a difference. You can even do them at the same time as other things – in the shower, on your daily commute, while waiting for your coffee order.

There really is no excuse not to prioritise your body if you want to.

It?s your time to SH(I)NE?

What is ONE thing you can do today to #investinyou? It doesn?t have to be big, but make a promise to yourself now and stick to it.

I created The SH(I)NE Programme to help ambitious, driven women to work out what their individual bodies need in terms of sleep, stress management, relaxation, nutrition and exercise.

No matter what your lifestyle or how many responsibilities you have, it is possible to look after yourself. A few small tweaks or ?hacks? can make all the difference. The SH(I)NE Programme walks you through how to do this through gradual habit changes. It also guides you to find the ideal diet and exercise for you #itsyourtimetoshine

With love,


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