Lisa Snowdon is done with being ruled by her phone.
“The phone causes me a lot of stress and anxiety, because we’re never away from them,” says the TV and radio presenter.
“It’s like our portable office that’s with us all the time – and if you’re not on email, you’re on text; if you’re not texting, you’re on WhatsApp, and then maybe you’re checking your Instagram.
“Obviously we all need our phones, but it’s just 24/7. I want to have a bit more clarity, be more present, more mindful,” adds Snowdon, who regularly appears on ITV’s This Morning.
“I think by being in the moment more, you’re less likely to be worrying about the future or analysing the past, and you’re enjoying what’s happening around you – the food you’re eating, the people you’re spending time with – rather than looking at our phones and scrolling through things or texting people about plans for the future.
“My mantra for the year is to be more present. It’s as simple as that.”
It’s just part of the picture, however. When it comes to wellbeing, Snowdon is all about keeping things simple – and one thing that’s become a non-negotiable is showing her gut some TLC.
Along with the gut health supplement brand Symprove, she’s just launched a spoof 2023 gut wellness trends campaign – poking fun at New Year health fads. The ‘trends’ feature the ‘Bowel Counsellor’ (who will soothingly talk your gut into being better), ‘Bougie Poo-fumée’ candles, and the ‘Anal Crystal’ (Snowdon jokes in the promo video on her Instagram that popping it up your bum will realign your anal chakras).
It’s all in jest, but there’s a genuine message at the heart of it for Snowdon.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love a crystal, I love that sort of stuff,” says the presenter, who explored self-care and holistic wellbeing in her 2021 podcast series Get Lifted.
“But crystals are definitely not to be put into any bodily orifices! They are very nice to hold, and maybe I’ll put a little bit of rose quartz in my bra for confidence,” she adds, laughing.
“But so many people struggle with gut issues, we have to talk about these things. Hopefully this [campaign] will help people feel more relaxed about that.”
Like lots of people, Snowdon has suffered with IBS-type symptoms “on and off over the years – depending on different stresses and jobs”, she explains.
“Stress plays a big part in gut health and I’m fascinated by that gut-brain connection. When I was working in early morning radio [she co-hosted the Capital FM breakfast show for seven years before leaving in 2015], I did really notice that after a few years of, you know – you’re up so early, you’ve got that high stress, high adrenaline – I was really suffering with a lot of bloating and that uncomfortable kind of IBS feeling.”
This is when she was introduced to Symprove, which, now an ambassador for the brand, she still takes daily.
“At the same time, I also became more aware of how my body was reacting to certain foods and certain stressful situations. It really helped me connect with my body to work out what was happening,” she says.
“Minimising stress is obviously very important, but by having a good, healthy microbiome and trying to get that live active bacteria in my tummy to soothe everything, it’s been a bit of a game-changer.”
Gut issues are not just about physical discomfort, either.
“There’s nothing worse than when you’re at work, in a meeting or out with friends, and your stomach is in agony and it’s just blown up. You’re trying to undo your top button and you just want to go home, it’s an awful feeling. It affects your mood, your confidence, your general wellbeing. So it’s really important to listen to our bodies and what they’re telling us.”
Menopause has since come into the mix too for Snowdon, who turns 51 later in January.
“That definitely does upset the gut microbiome, and the stress from not sleeping really causes a lot of anxiety, and all the different things that flare up when you are going through menopause,” she says.
It’s a topic she’s done a lot of campaigning around, to help improve awareness and support for those affected by symptoms. Snowdon cites anxiety as one of the main ways menopause has impacted her.
“And that’s even more reason for me to really try and manage my stress and calm everything down,” she says.
“I do breathwork – just checking in, making sure I’m breathing properly through to my diaphragm, rather than shallow breathing. I try to do that every day, meditation, getting out for walks in nature. And exercise is brilliant for me, I love a class, preferably every day if I can get to one, or if I can get up early and go to the gym.”
Some of it’s about recognising “when I need to slow down”, she adds. “When I need to just sit down, have a cup of tea and just chill, put my phone down, maybe read a book. We need to recognise when things are getting a little bit on top of us.”
For more information, visit symprove.com