How often have you worked through lunch and told yourself you’ll grab a bite to eat as soon as you finish a project? Suddenly it’s 5 p.m., and all you’ve eaten for the day is an RXBAR. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially as we work towards the insatiable notion that we have to be constantly busy to keep up with everyone else. Allotting time for self-care rituals shouldn’t make you feel guilty, nor should it be a luxury?—?it’s a necessity. But sometimes we need a reminder.
Introducing Aloe, a self-care check-in and reminders app to keep you accountable for taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Femsplain founder Amber Discko created the tool after nearly working herself into the ground. She worked as a digital strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and, between the grind and doomsday news cycle (same), her anxiety and depression spiked. She’d forget to drink water during the day or brush her teeth at night. Burnout was imminent.
Discko started an online tool to track her personal self-care journey. Aloe manifested into an online quiz used to determine which element of wellness to focus on that day. She soon started a Kickstarter campaign to develop the app and has since raised over $50,000.
The free app’s function is threefold: It pushes self-care reminders, creates a space to check-in and mark accomplishments, and has a place for reflection. Discko, a gardening aficionado, also hopes to foster a supportive community through Aloe’s virtual community garden feature where users send emoji flowers to encourage others.
“I believe people are finally realizing that we can’t wait until everything is awful to take care of ourselves,” Discko tells Brit + Co.
The Aloe app, much like its namesake plant, hopes to be a soothing source of rejuvenation. Discko developed Aloe as a companion to mental health services?—?not a replacement for therapy or medication. She also hopes Aloe can “fill the gap in self-care” for people of color, transgender and queer people, disabled people or those on a limited income. Self-care can mean face masks and bubble baths, but it can also be simpler than that, like drinking a glass of water, taking your medication on time or escaping the Twittersphere to enjoy the moment.
The first version of Aloe is set to launch on iOS by Jan. 2018. Until then, people can still use Aloe’s online self-care checklist and follow the Twitter bot Aloe, which sends out positive tweets of encouragement. People can also help maintain the illustrated community garden by tweeting various emojis.