“It’s okay to have some help,” says Femsplain founder Amber Discko. That’s why she created Aloe, an online community focused on self-care. She’s launched a Kickstarter project to turn Aloe into an app that will send “gentle self-care reminders from yourself.” Below, Amber recommends some soul-soothing books, videos, and Twitter bots, and shares her own self-care strategies.
What does “self-care” mean to you?
Self-care is taking steps to maintain physical, mental, and emotional health. For me, self-care is disconnecting from the internet and doing activities that don’t stress me out — things that are soul-fulfilling or relaxing, like cooking soup or taking a bath in the morning.
What is the Aloe community? How does the app build on it?
The Aloe community exists on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. We share daily self-care reminders with our followers, things like remembering to have a sip of water or to have a snack around lunchtime. The Aloe app will do the same thing by sending these gentle reminders to your phone, making it easier for you to stay on top of your self-care tasks.
Three books I'm reading now
Hunger by Roxane Gay
As a fat woman, reading this book feels like self-care. Roxane’s writing has always inspired me to keep learning about experiences beyond my own.
The Whole World Is Meditating by Mu-Tae Seo
I found this in a pile of books at my therapist’s office. It has helped me find clarity and calm on so many occasions.
Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
This book is adorable and relatable, and so many of the characters feel familiar. For example, there’s a bee who doesn’t actually want to sting anyone, he just loves his family and wants to protect them.
Four Twitter bots to brighten your timeline
Three things to watch
Jenn Schiffer’s talk at XOXO
This presentation on how to talk to people on the internet, imposter syndrome, and trolling back as an art form has inspired me to continue putting things out online.
How to Paint Your Mind by Amelia Halls
Amelia uses art as a way of coping with her mental health and spreading hope to others struggling with mental illness. Her story shows that it’s possible to create something positive out of the bad days.
Pokémon Go (to Sleep) by ALB in Whisperland
One of my favorite ASMR videos. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and it can help people relax or fall asleep at night. It also helps people like me calm their anxiety.
This piece originally appeared in our Handpicked Happening newsletter, where Kickstarter creators share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to.
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