Bed rotting: Is this self-care social media trend bad for mental health?

Bed rotting seems to have taken over the digital world. Many young netizens have given this self-care social media trend a thumbs up. But bed rotting may be bad for your mental health.
A woman in bed
Bed rotting is a viral Tik Tok trend, and isn't good for your health! Image courtesy: Aodbe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 16 Jul 2023, 03:00 pm IST
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When you hear someone say “bed rotting”, you probably come up with images of a filthy bed that needs to be washed thoroughly. But the ‘bed rotting’ term that many are using on social media, especially Tik Tok, has got nothing to do with it. It basically means spending a lot of time in bed by choice. So, you can watch TV or check out funny posts online or just eat your favourite snacks, all in bed. It might seem like a self-care trend that you need in your stressful life. But is bed rotting good for your mental health?

To explore this Tik Tok trend, Health Shots caught up with Gurugram-based clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj.

bed rotting as self-care
Bed rotting is a social media self-care trend. Image Courtesy: Freepik

What is bed rotting?

Bed rotting is all about people spending excessive amounts of time in bed, often for extended periods of the day. It involves staying in bed for long periods without engaging in productive activities or taking care of basic responsibilities, explains Raj. Before you call it just another lazy day, you should know that bed rotting is different. Having a lazy day typically refers to taking a break from work or responsibilities to relax and recharge. It might involve staying in bed or spending leisure time engaging in activities that bring comfort and relaxation. However, bed rotting takes laziness to an extreme, as it involves long hours of unproductive behaviour without any meaningful engagement or self-care.

Side effects of bed rotting

We all need a bit of self-care whenever it is possible. But bed rotting is not the way to do it. It is an unhealthy way of self-care because it promotes a sedentary lifestyle and excessive screen time, which can have detrimental effects on physical and mental well-being, says the expert. It often leads to neglecting responsibilities, social isolation, and reduced physical activity, all of which can contribute to a decline in overall health.

Here are some side effects of bed rotting

1. Increased risk of depression

Spending excessive time in bed, without any social interactions and meaningful activities, can lead to feelings of loneliness, sadness and ultimately increase the risk of developing or exacerbating depression.

2. Anxiety and stress

Constant exposure to social media, often filled with unrealistic comparisons and negativity, can trigger feelings of anxiety and stress. Also, the guilt and self-criticism associated with neglecting responsibilities further contribute to these negative emotions.

bed rotting as self-care
Bed rotting can lead to anxiety and stress. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Decreased productivity and motivation

Simply being on the bed can lead to a lack of motivation and productivity. Spending long time in bed without engaging in fulfilling activities can result in a sense of purposelessness and decreased motivation to accomplish tasks or pursue goals, says Raj.

4. Poor sleep quality

When you spend excessive time in bed during the day, it disrupts the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. That makes it harder to fall asleep at night. This can lead to irregular sleep patterns, insomnia, and a decline in overall sleep quality.

5. Negative body image and self-esteem

Constant exposure to social media can contribute to body image issues and low self-esteem. Seeing carefully curated and filtered images of others can lead to unhealthy comparisons and feelings of inadequacy, impacting your mental well-being.

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If self-care is what you are looking for, exercise to boost your mood or pursue hobbies and interests that you couldn’t do earlier. You can also connect with others and engage in meaningful conversations. And always prioritise quality sleep. Getting up late sometimes is fine, but rotting in bed is not healthy!

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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