I’ve become much more aware of my body since becoming a mother, painfully aware at times. From carrying babies in my womb to c-sections to nursing to lifting toddlers to running up and down stairs for pacifiers, toys, and water bottles, motherhood has proven to be physical work.
Ten years ago, I quickly bounced back after pummeling my body at soccer practice and ate whatever I wanted without immediate consequences. Now, my often worn out frame needs me to be calmer, gentler, kinder. I’m so often unkind to my body, both in words and in practice. But this body is a gift - and three tiny humans, my husband, and I all need it to function as best it can.
Back in January, I set the goal to simply do something good for my body every day for a month. Some days, I exercised or drank more water. Other days I took a relaxing bath or went to bed early. It was a month when I needed to rest and recover, a month to practice simply listening to my body and treating it well.
Despite my complaining at the end of long days, I’m grateful for this scarred, saggy, softer than I’d prefer body that’s able to carry a baby on my hip while chasing my twins. I can get down on the floor to play and stand in the kitchen to cook. It’s a tired body, sure, but it’s been dependable thus far. I don’t take that for granted, and I'm learning all over again what it means to care for it.
Over the past few years, I’ve become much more conscious of not just the food I put in my body, but also the products I put on my body. I’ve found homemade scrubs, soaps, and other natural products to be a great way to treat my body well.
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a magnesium-based “salt” instead of a sodium-based salt, and you can use it for everything from bath soaks to gardening. (Check out this post from Wellness Mama for more about Epsom salt and its uses!) I mixed it with apricot oil, a light, moisturizing oil that won’t leave your skin feeling greasy like some heavier oils. You can find apricot oil at most health food stores and some grocery stores - or on Amazon, of course. I like this cold pressed, organic one from Better Shea Butter.
Grapefruit + Rosemary Salt Scrub
Yields about 9-10 ounces (by volume)
1 cup Epsom salt
½ cup apricot kernel oil
8-10 drops therapeutic-grade grapefruit essential oil*
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight jar for storing or gifting. When you’re ready to use, give everything a good stir since the oil and salt may separate.
To use, gently massage a bit of the salt scrub onto wet skin using a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.
*Citrus essential oils can cause possible skin sensitivity, especially to sunlight. Also, if you’re pregnant or taking prescription medications, please consult your physician before using essential oils.