Get serious about your supplements
Good-quality supplements can be hugely beneficial for your energy, mood, digestion, recovery, sleep and immunity. “I recommend having your core daily supplements, and then building a little medicine cabinet of remedies over time so that you can dip into them when you need them – that way, you can benefit immediately and don’t need to worry about making a separate trip to find them,” advises Stephenson, who regularly takes her Digest + Debloat when she needs extra gut support.
Increase your movement to boost your energy
We’re all pretty good at getting our workouts in these days, but increasing your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can do wonders for your metabolism, mood and energy. Simply put, it’s the amount of active energy we’re burning outside of our exercise sessions. “This can be as simple as going for a 10-minute walk after lunch or taking the stairs more regularly. My other favorites are having a standing-desk option at work or switching up your at-home desk chair for a Swiss ball. Sitting requires no muscular engagement at all, whereas sitting on a ball is a subtle way to engage more stabilizing muscles – which will, in turn, keep your metabolism active and improve your mental alertness,” says Stephenson.
Have cold showers – they’re worth the hype
Cold therapy is a quick and easy way to improve your energy. “It has benefits that reach across multiple systems – from improving blood flow, nitric-oxide release and reducing inflammation to helping with appetite regulation, strengthening your nervous system and boosting mood. You may find a cold shower a little shocking at first, but your body will acclimatize quickly,” assures Stephenson. “I recommend starting with short intervals in your contrast showers – bring the temperature to cold for 15 seconds to start, then gradually work your way up to longer intervals. You’ll find that once you’ve done it for a full week, you can easily (and enjoyably) handle 45-60 seconds in the cold… even in winter.”
Tailor your perfect breakfast
How you eat in the morning can influence your mood and energy for the entire day. “I’ve found that many people eat things they think they are ‘supposed to’, but that it doesn’t necessarily suit them at all – and leaves them feeling hungry with unstable energy. Porridge may suit some, but for others it can wreak havoc on their blood sugar, especially if it’s loaded with sweet toppings, such as honey or dried fruit. With nutrition, it’s always important to experiment to find out what works for you. Why not try a savory breakfast, for instance, adding an egg as a side to your porridge, leftovers from dinner, a ketogenic (low-carb) option, or even just subbing the oats in your porridge for something like quinoa or buckwheat? Both make delicious porridges but contain more fiber and protein – and have less effect on your blood sugar. The important thing here is to find out what works perfectly for you,” explains Stephenson.
Do your own bodywork
Massages are one of life’s greatest luxuries, but you don’t need to spend the time or money on a full massage to get the amazing benefits of bodywork. “Doing a little bit of manual bodywork every day will give you so many benefits. It can help reduce injury, muscular stiffness and inflammation. It can also help to calm the nervous system, decrease stress and improve your energy/sleep balance,” Stephenson says. “ My two favorite at-home bodywork tools are foam rollers and a bed of nails. Self-massage using a foam roller on your spine, hips and neck feels so relaxing – especially for those who hold a lot of tension in their shoulders, neck and head. A bed of nails is an acupuncture mat that you can lie on at home to help with sleeplessness, stress and enhanced detoxification.”