This has been a challenging year for most, and more of us have spent more time in our homes and indoors. My body has been a real focus of mine during this time, as I start to notice it’s capabilities and the way it has reacted to these slower times. I have been undergoing a series of acupuncture sessions, and was told I have a sluggish liver meaning I have a low flow of Qi (energy). When usually I would be at the yoga studio several times a week or dashing around town for meetings, it has been a challenge to fit in movement during this time so this news came as no surprise. I have of late managed to fit in one hour of walking daily with my dogs- no headphones on- just me in the world, and I must say my mood and wellbeing has improved because of this.

As we turn inwards towards the journey to Winter Solstice, I have been thinking about ways to support my body and nervous system. Joshi has been giving me balance within my body with their Balancing Act food supplement capsules that help support mood, appetite and sleep. They’re perfect for this time of year when the days are shorter, and end of year stress can mount up as they contain the Serotonin ‘positive’ hormone. They’re a great addition to my daily routine, knowing my body is more balanced and well.

Over the course of the year, my hair has become fairly dry and thin, and I have been thinking about ways to nourish it from the inside. Luckily, I have recruited Hair Gain to the top of my beauty cabinet. Hair Gain specialise in ingestible tablets (Vegan Hair Gummies and Hair Gain Capsules) that can improve hair growth, thickness and strength, as well as skin and nail. They contain clinically proven pea shoot powder that can stimulate hair follicles for visibility thicker hair, and I’m seeing gradual results already. I especially love Hair Gain’s Hair Gummies because they feel much easier to digest than regular capsules, more like a tasty treat. I have also been seeking out Vegan hair care brand O Wow’s smoothing treatment, at home keratin kit and shampoo and conditioner. The brand’s founder Georgiana Grudinschi wanted to create hair care that was convenient, healthy and ethical. Most smoothing products I use tend to be overly scented and heavy feeling, but O Wow has a fresh fragrance and leaves my hair feeling as smooth as when I leave the salon.

My favourite period brand ohne never cease to amaze me with their revolutionary natural products that are always backed by modern science. I have been lately leaning on yin & tonic, a tincture product that you can drop into drinking water or tea when you feel cramps coming on. The drops- made from organic ingredients such as cramp bark, ginger and calendula- add a warm and cosy herbal taste to my drink, and help ease any pain that might come on. When it comes to happy periods and pain, this female-led business are really pushing the bar, and I always feel safe and supported using their Vegan and cruelty free products. I sometimes put a drop of the tincture in my Nature Unite Bottle, a water bottle made from Ocean-bound recycled plastic from Central America which has been diverted from entering our oceans. In a smooth, sleek design I love carrying my bottle on the go, and it feels wonderful to use a product that empowers plastic-free and zero waste. Nature Unite is a brand that aims to improve ocean environment and providing sustainable solutions, and I look forward to seeing what they do next.

Many of us are not leaving the house so much these days, and it can feel a little decadent to use heavier scented perfumes. I’ve instead been spritzing on fragrant natural sprays that are easier and lighter to wear. My current favourite is Art de Parfum’s Sensual Oud that contains patchouli and jasmine essential oils, and the fresh lavender and orange flower leaf notes of Encore Une Fois. Art de Parfum’s range is carefully crafted, with the added joy of being 100% cruelty free environmentally-friendly, and free of materials that add to third world exploitation.

I am not one for wearing lots of jewellery, but I have an ear adornment conch (inner ear) piercing that I like to decorate. I have recently been enjoying wearing Cartilage Cartel ear hoops, it’s a brand that aim to use the best materials and craftsmanship at an accessible price point. They specialise in curated ear stacks, cartilage earrings, huggies, hoops and cuffs. Their ear hoops are very delicate, and a perfect understated look for this time of year.

I really lean on products found in nature where possible especially this time of year, and I could spend hours researching the benefits of natural ingredients. With darker nights and colder months to come in some hemispheres, it feels fitting to go back to the source when it comes to Winter self care and seek out brands that are championing this in their ethos. – Natasha

Note: this article is from an archived version of Higher Self- pre 2021