Self-care may seem like the buzzword of the moment, but for those living with mental illness it can be a lifeline.
For many even simple everyday things such as eating, drinking and taking a shower can slip to the back of the mind.
Technology is often blamed for harming our mental health and distracting us, but one woman is now harnessing it for good - by creating a self-care app, Aloe, to remind users to look after themselves.
Amber Discko first became aware of her own “poor self-care habits” while working on the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign.
“I’d get so overwhelmed with work and pushing the cause further that I’d forget to drink water, eat lunch, do things that once made me happy,” she told HuffPost UK.
Discko, who suffers from depression and anxiety, said she only realised 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,” she said.
“I also suffer with anxiety and depression so remembering to take care of myself is a constant struggle, but especially when I’m under high stress.”
When the Clinton campaign ended, Discko created an online tool to keep track of her own personal self-care. She made it available for others for free and it has since been used thousands of times.
Due to the success she then decided to make an app, which reminds users via gentle customisable reminders to practise self-care.
“Aloe serves a wide range of people, from students to retired folks and everyone in between,” the press release explains.
“We are dedicated to continuing to meet the needs for everyone’s self-care, but we are especially aware of the gap that we can potentially fill for those who are vulnerable or in communities that feel unsupported (people of colour, transgender, queer, disabled, mentally ill, and people on a limited income).”
Aloe App is currently being funded on Kickstarter. To support, click here.
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org