Mom and Blogger Sabrina Skiles Shares How to Be Healthy and Stylish and Live with Psoriasis
Where Psoriasis Meets Fashion
Sabrina started her blog, Homegrown Houston, which she describes as a â€œlifestyle resource for millennial women,â€ as a creative outlet to merge her passions for writing and fashion. But alongside cute family photos, inspiring lifestyle tips, and Sabrinaâ€™s take on the latest fashion trends, youâ€™ll see stories about living with psoriasis. (And the psoriasis tips are sometimes fashion-related, too!)
Says Sabrina, â€œI wanted to [show] those living with psoriasis that itâ€™s possible to have a happy, healthy, and stylish life while youâ€™re managing a chronic disease like psoriasis.â€
The Psoriasis Resource She Needed 20 Years Ago
When Sabrina was diagnosed with psoriasis 20 years ago, there wasnâ€™t much information readily available about the disease, much of what was available was unreliable, and you certainly wouldnâ€™t find personal stories online about what it was like to live with it.
â€œI wanted to be that resource that I wish I had,â€ Sabrina says. â€œJust somebody like myself living with a disease like this, who can tell you really what it's like. Not just the good things, but the bad things as wellâ€¦and [who can provide] a source of positivity and inspiration.â€
Itâ€™s Thursday yâ€™all && Iâ€™m excited (and a little nervous) to be speaking at the Pstamp Out Psoriasis event here in Houston tonight Shout out to my #psoriasis flares on my elbows making an appearance tonight Iâ€™ll be sharing my patient perspective on how the @national.psoriasis.foundation has helped me + others in our Psoriasis diagnosis + journey Follow along with me in my #stories So today Iâ€™m thankful for opportunities like this thanks to the NPF What are you thankful for today? Because there is always something to be thankful for #thankfulthursdays #thursdaythoughts
A post shared by Homegrown Houston (@sabrinaskiles) on Jun 20, 2019 at 7: 07am PDT
Self-Care Without Mom Guilt
Self-care is sacred to Sabrina, and she wants her readers to take time for themselves, too.
More than just a skin disease, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder, and flares can be brought on by a variety number of factors, particularly stress. While the most common symptoms of psoriasis are visible â€” dry and inflamed patches of skin that can itch, burn, and bleed â€” it can also cause joint pain, fatigue, and mental stress.
When youâ€™re a working mom with deadlines and two children under 4 years old, however, life can feel too chaotic to put your own health first.
â€œI feel like a lot of us have mom guilt,â€ says Sabrina. With Homegrown Houston, she wants â€œpeople to know that it's okay to take care of yourself and not feel guilty about it.â€
Sabrina finds that the most helpful way to achieve this balance is just by having a routine: â€œMy morning routine is sacred to me â€” my husband knows that, even my kids know that.â€ She wakes up before the rest of the family and takes time to exercise, sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, write, and practice meditation or daily devotions.
There is something so special about my morning time and itâ€™s this feeling right here The calm before my *sweet* craziness happens Take time for yourself because YOU MATTER #MMHWeek2019 #MaternalMentalHealthWeek #MakingOverMotherhood Also, what do you think is the hardest part of taking toddlers out and about with you? For me itâ€™s getting them to stop dilly-dallying Is it getting them ready to go, getting them in their car seat, the temper tantrums? Letâ€™s chat!
A post shared by Homegrown Houston (@sabrinaskiles) on May 2, 2019 at 6: 44am PDT
Starting each day this way puts her in the right mind-set to take on whatever the day throws at her. â€œIâ€™m setting the tone of the day for myself before anyone else does,â€ she says. â€œIâ€™m taking care of myself so that Iâ€™m in a better mental space to take care of my family.â€
Sabrinaâ€™s morning routine is just the tip of the iceberg, though, when it comes to her approach to self-care.
â€œTo me,â€ says Sabrina, â€œ[psoriasis] affects every decision that I make on a daily basis. Whether I'm going to be able to get down on the floor and play with my kids in the morning â€” or are my flare-ups on my elbows going to hurt? Is the cup of coffee that I have in the morning going to affect my psoriasis? Is this different climate going to affect my psoriasis? It's these decisions that I think people don't understand that affects living with this disease.â€
For more on self-care, check out Sabrinaâ€™s Wellness Wednesday blog posts, which break away from mom life and fashion to focus on â€œme timeâ€ tips that contribute to overall wellness and psoriasis care â€” like exercising, eating an anti- inflammatory diet, and taking steps to manage stress.
Psoriasis Chat With Your Kids
â€œThey might not understand that it's an autoimmune disease,â€ she says, â€œbut I can tell them that it's a disease that I live with.â€ She explains to them that â€œdiseaseâ€ means something that makes her sick, and that when youâ€™re sick, you take medication. â€œ[My son] will help me put lotion on, and he'll ask, â€˜Does it make you feel better, Mommy?â€™ I say, â€˜Yes, it makes me feel better.â€™ Just talking to him in a language that he understands helps him understand that it's something I live with on a day-to-day basis but that he can help me, too.â€
Itâ€™s important for Sabrina to use these moments to teach her children about compassion as well, especially toward people who might look different.
â€œIf [my son] is noticing that something is different on me,â€ she says, â€œthen heâ€™s going to notice it on other people, too. So I try teaching him to be compassionate. I want him to know that no matter how people look, we need to be accepting.â€
#TrueLove and Psoriasis Support
Something Sabrina would like everyone to know is that psoriasis affects more than just a personâ€™s skin. â€œPsoriasis is not just living with this visible disease â€” it impacts your mental health, emotional health, and everything else,â€ she says. â€œThe best advice I can give is to find a support system â€” and I think that is the biggest thing that you can do to help with your mental and emotional health.â€
Finding that support can mean joining groups through the National Psoriasis Foundation, connecting with other bloggers and advocates who are living with the condition, and leaning on your family and friends.
Sabrina says that her husband has been a constant source of support â€” ever since they started dating. Early in their relationship, when she opened up about her psoriasis, he responded by saying, â€œI'm dating you for you. The way you look is just a bonus, but I'm dating you for who you are.â€
â€œI knew from that moment that he was a keeper,â€ says Sabrina. And heâ€™s been there for her every step of the way since. â€œHe's been really supportive along this journey,â€ she says, â€œbecause it can be really isolating. Just having somebody who supports you in what you do is very helpful.â€
Part of her husbandâ€™s support consists of knowing when she needs a break and stepping in to help. â€œWhen you have young kids, you can never turn off,â€ Sabrina says. â€œThere are days when my husband gets home from work, and I tell him I need 10 minutes to go sit in our room and regroup so I can get ready for the last two hours of the day.
â€œBecause if Iâ€™m not at 100 percent,â€ she adds, â€œthen I can't take care of my family at 100 percent.â€
The dishes may still be in the sink && I may still be in my workout pants BUT weâ€™re outside enjoying this cool weather because you never know how long it will last Check out my #stories on why I think my kids should probably be in the circus #mondayvibes #happymondays
A post shared by Homegrown Houston (@sabrinaskiles) on Oct 22, 2018 at 7: 44am PDT
Additional reporting by Alyssa Etier
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