Bed rotting – the TikTok trend with over 130 million views so far, is a term that has been coined and used predominantly by Gen Z’ers to describe those few days you might spend in your bed, passively scrolling through social media or binge-watching a new (or old) series or movies.
Bed rotting is a form of self-care that centres around being unproductive, but many times it may occur involuntarily. That means that Gen Z’ers aren’t necessarily choosing to take the days off, but their mental health demands it as a result of burnout.
The plus side to bed rotting
As we’ve heard a million times, all things are good in moderation, or at least most things are. With bed rotting, the same theory applies.
Taking one or two days off to rest or recuperate after a particularly busy week, or even after the denouement of a long-winded project is not only necessary but normal too.
Psychologists claim that it can help to calm the body and mind and it could even help with stress and exhaustion after a particularly draining moment in your life. Bed rotting could be especially important for those who work long hours and for those with mentally and physically demanding jobs.
The fact that this phenomenon now has a name helps us feel like it’s okay to recharge our batteries.
In a society that often romanticizes and glorifies the ‘hustle’ culture, encouraging us to be busy every single moment of every single day, we now have the luxury of enjoying these brief moments without being labelled lazy.
Bed rotting and mental health
While bed rotting might emphasize the importance of rest, there may be a link between the latest trend and the state of Gen Z’ers mental health.
If you’re bed rotting consistently or do so for more than two days at a time, this could be a mental health red flag.
Social isolation and the lack of exposure to natural light could lead to increased feelings of loneliness and depression.
In my experience, this has proven to be true. As a particularly social individual, it is imperative for me to take some time in between to recharge my energy stores.
In doing so, I’ve fallen into the trap of extending my bed rotting moments far beyond a day or two, and with the remote work option, it is easier than ever to do so. While all my days would not be filled with passive activities, I might fall into the trap of not leaving my bedroom, not wanting to talk to people and not getting some sun exposure, which leads to me feeling worse than I did before.
In those cases, I have to force myself to get out of bed and go to the gym to sweat it out to get those endorphins up.
When to seek help
Bed rotting could not only be a red flag, but it could also be a tell-tale sign of a depressive episode. Depending on your overall mental health, it would be good to remain cognisant of the patterns that exist within your bed rotting.
Here are a few things to look out for. Ask yourself:
- How long have I been bed rotting? Sometimes, the amount of time we’ve been in bed just flies by without us realizing it.
- What am I eating when I’m bed rotting? Are you nurturing your body and giving it the nutrition it needs? Or are you simply snacking throughout and/or eating junk food?
- Am I recharged after 1-2 days in bed? If you’re feeling worse than you felt before, perhaps it’s time to check in with a mental health professional.
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