Welcome to #RitualInBloom. A space where our community shares wellness rituals that help us connect with our bodies—because many of us here at Superbloom can’t “self-care” away our chronic conditions.
We chatted with Maddy Corbin about celebrating your skin, creating space for yourself, and learning by experience how lifestyle changes can impact our health and wellness—both physically and mentally. Keep reading for her take on wellness and what practices she learned that changed her relationship with her body (for the better!).
Where do you live and how do you describe yourself to others? Not just what you are “doing” but who you are working on “being”?
Currently, I am in Indianapolis, IN! I would describe myself to others as a confident, mindful, fearless woman who works everyday on being healthy, happy, and present.
What’s your favorite mode of expression?
The arts! I wish I could narrow it down to just one, but you will find me expressing my most true self through photography, design and fashion.
What are your wellness rituals?
Mentally and emotionally, my wellness rituals include a variety of breathing exercises (I love Wim Hof!), journaling, and therapy! Physically, I have rituals that include yoga and nurturing my skin conditions through food and natural remedies.
What’s one thing you’ve struggled with when it comes to wellness that you feel like sharing could help liberate you and other women going through a similar experience?
I am now 10 years into a diagnosis with the autoimmune skin condition, psoriasis, along with eczema. I have grown and changed with these conditions over the last decade—but when I took my dive into the fashion industry, I noticed the lack of representation for my fellow spotted women. I found myself almost apologizing to brands ahead of time that they could see my skin in pictures, or assuming they wouldn’t want to work with me because of how I looked. On top of the incredibly hard physical and mental burdens that an autoimmune condition comes with, I hated feeling a disconnect with my work. So I decided to not hide it. Instead, I grabbed a virtual megaphone and spoke about it. I’ve gotten vulnerable, bared my skin in images, and shown the hard, unpleasant, yet beautiful side of skin conditions. Because guess what? That new Winter 2020 blazer looks better with some spots to compliment it anyway. 😉
How do you connect to your body? How has that changed after experiencing your psoriasis flare ups?
I find myself able to connect the most with my body in nature—which is ironic honestly because I find my skin will flare the most in high-pollen times, aka when the weather is nice. I find a balance between what is best for my mental, emotional, and physical health and sometimes putting myself outside is just what I need! I think, especially as a woman, getting comfortable with your body, knowing what it likes, knowing how to take care of it, and not being afraid to experiment is super important. There are so many ways that I can nurture and love my body that works for me, but it might not work for other women! Study yourself, learn what works and is best for you. You only have this one body and you don’t have it for long!
When I am in a flare up, I find myself being in constant connection with my body to the point where it can be overwhelming. You are always searching for what is wrong, why your body is acting the way it is, where it is originating—it can, and will, consume you. So, in said times, I ensure I am working with myself mentally and emotionally just as much if not more. Physically, my focus is drawn to keeping my skin comfortable, moisturized, and in the proper clothing.
What rituals have you learned to help support you in navigating your health challenge?
I have made more lifestyle ritual changes than I can count in the last 10 years, but what I have found that has worked best as of now is a paleo diet! I went paleo during my first flare in July and my skin cleared up incredibly fast. I then went paleo again in October when my second flare began, while it did not clear it up at the same speed, and I am still dealing with it, knowing that I am feeding my body in the best way possible that works for ME changed the game for my overall health. I also started working this year with a functional medicine doctor. She helped guide me through various options that I could take to help alleviate symptoms and get my body stronger in hopes it would lessen my condition. While it wasn’t magic, I learned a lot and am currently looking into others that I could work with!
If you had to choose one self-care or wellness ritual that has changed your life or is simply your go-to, what would it be?
Breath work, no questions asked. Not only have I learned about the breath through therapy, yoga, meditation and Wim Hof, I have seen first hand just how much control I have over my body when I am in tune with my breath. You can drastically change how your body is perceiving the present moment just with how you are breathing. When I need to connect with Maddy, the first thing I do is connect with the breath.
How has your experience with your health and your body changed over the years?
I tell everyone I know that I would never be as healthy as I am now and know everything I do about my body—how diet, the environment, your mental health, relationships, work, etc play into it. I think eventually I would have wanted to get my health in order, but because I was forced into it at a young age, it has made me into the strong, healthy, in-tune woman, that I am. I remember being younger and trying to almost revolt on all of it, simply because I was so upset that it seemed like everyone else just got to walk around and didn’t have to make the lifestyle, clothing, and physical changes I was making just to be comfortable and healthy. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to look at it as a blessing. I sure as hell wouldn’t be Maddy Corbin without these beautiful spots.
What’s the wellness advice you would give your younger self?
Hi younger Maddy (and all younger women navigating their way through a tough time with their body), how are you? I’m sure you’re feeling all of the emotions. Upset, confused, angry, and physically in pain. There’s something that I want you to remember. Every single thing that you are going through is teaching you lessons—and these lessons aren’t just about your skin. You’re learning to be strong, you’re learning to be resilient, you’re learning that at any given moment, if you have to change something, you can. But most of all, you’re learning how to put your body first. A lesson so many people take lifetimes to learn. Every day you just need to continue to find what works best for you to be the healthiest you can. This is going to be a lifelong battle. You might as well make the most of it while you can! You got this girl, I believe in you, and it does get better.