I've been taking some time this summer to focus on self-care. I've been playing a lot with friends and family while the Pacific Northwest summer is in full swing and the sun is here. Trips to the coast, the Sound, the mountains and local favorite spots are high on my list of ways I can care for my soul.
Nutrition plays a key role, and I include taking care of my body under the self-care umbrella.
Regular check-ups at the doctor, blood work to keep my PCOS and sluggish thyroid monitored, and actively looking being kind to my body are all things I do to perpetuate the belief that my body is worth taking care of.
(BTW, if anyone has a different phrase besides self-care, can we use that now? Because the term self-care is done.)
I've set aside 10 minutes a day to do something nice for my body that is an extra. It doesn't involve food or going anywhere or spending a chunk of money. Sometimes it's a power nap. Sometimes it's a hand massage. Sometimes it's breathing deeply while laying in the grass while my toddler sleeps.
And sometimes it's a little extra attention in the shower. (Ok, not THAT kind of extra attention, but that works, too.)
A friend of mine recently shared her favorite shower scrub recipe while we were engaged in a larger conversation about self-care. Her secret?
She brews her coffee, saves the grounds, and does a quick exfoliation in the shower. The caffeine creates a lovely glow and the grounds slough dead skin cells away. Genius, right?
So, I set out to experiment a little. I found the coffee grounds to be too rough on my sensitive skin. I added a little coconut oil. And then a little sugar. And then a splash of vanilla extract because I love the way it made the scrub smell like breakfast treats. Yep, breakfast treats. It was like rubbing my body down with coffee and fresh chocolate croissants.
I count that as a serious self-care win.
1 cup coconut oil, room temp (liquid form but not hot)
2 cups natural sugar (you can use regular sugar in a pinch, but I prefer the grittiness)
1-2 Tbsp coffee grounds
1 tsp vanilla extract
First, brew your cup of coffee. This is important. You need coffee to live, and the world needs you to take care of yourself this way. If this is, indeed, a way you care for yourself.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine sugar, coffee grounds, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
Stir. Stir like you don't give AF about this because the truth is, you can get pretty sloppy with this part and it won't make a damn bit of difference.
Pour into a container that has a lid. Take it in the bathroom with you and scrub yourself down in the shower. Be aware that the coffee can burn a little if you leave it on too long or use too much. If you have sensitive skin like me, you'll want to use 1 Tbsp of coffee to mellow it all out. If you have regular skin that doesn't hate everything except straight coconut oil and head-to-toe UV clothing, use 2 or more Tbsp coffee grounds.
Rinse your body and pat your skin dry. Feel luxurious. Feel how soft your skin is. And maybe go make yourself a second cup of coffee.
PS - This can make your bathtub a little slippery. After your shower, sprinkle a little baking soda on the bottom of your tub and forget about it. No need to scrub or rinse, and bonus, it will leave your shower cleaner when your next shower rinses it out.