It sometimes seems impossible to tear yourself away from work or your gadget even for normal daily tasks like eating, drinking water, brushing your teeth or taking medication. But a new app currently fundraising on Kickstarter plans to help people to do just that. Aloe App was developed by Amber Discko, who had personally experienced the toll that a constantly online life takes on her personal wellbeing.
The 27-year-old New York-based content creator, came up with the idea for the app while working as a creative strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year. And like many people do under pressure, she forgot to look after herself.
Amber told Huffington Post UK that she suffered from anxiety and depression. Remembering to take care of herself was a constant struggle, especially when she was under a lot of stress.
“I’d get so overwhelmed with work and push the cause further that I’d forget to drink water, eat lunch, do things that once made me happy,” she said.
In the interview, Amber, who also founded the blog Femsplain, said she only realized her mental health was suffering when she started having more anxiety attacks. “That’s when I learned and understood that we shouldn’t wait until everything is awful to take care of ourselves, it needs to be a constant thing we’re working on every day,” Amber added.
Aloe App will be a free IOS and Android app that will remind its users to do the little things that makes a difference to their well-being, like drinking water, brushing your teeth and taking a break from the internet. Activities like bathing, taking medication and going to bed on time might seem like obvious tasks to some, but if you’re suffering from poor mental health, a work-from-home freelancer or a busy parent, they can be easily forgotten.
Aloe also supports the emotional well-being of its users by making sure they take breaks from work, get better sleep and text their friends. It asks questions like “How was your day?” and “What’s the one thing you’ll do for yourself tomorrow?” Users can choose the reminders that work best for them.
You will be gently reminded that you haven’t been doing things, rather than being shouted like running apps that keep sending you push notifications.
The Kickstarter video pitch makes it clear that while Aloe doesn’t replace mental health care, it can help fill in the gaps when needed, especially for underserved groups like those who identify as LGBTQ, disabled and people of color.
“Society tells us that when we take time for ourselves, when we're not doing work, we're being selfish or we're not as motivated as other people, which is totally not true,” said Amber in an interview with Teen Vouge.
“I think the more time we spend on our emotional health, the better we will feel, to be motivated to do our jobs or anything else,” she added.
The app will be free in the App Store for download from January 2018, but you can pledge on Kickstarter now and get an earlier version in December this year. Android users will have to wait a little bit longer, but they hope to have a version out shortly after the original.
“We can end the stigma around self-care being selfish, because it’s not. We have to take care of ourselves before we take care of anything else,” said Amber in the video pitch.
You can watch this video if you want to get the sense of what Aloe App is and how it works.
Follow Aloe on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates and information.
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