Home Society & Culture Expert Reveals Why TikTok “Self-Care” Trends Like “Bed Rotting” Are Dangerous to Your Health

Expert Reveals Why TikTok “Self-Care” Trends Like “Bed Rotting” Are Dangerous to Your Health

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Over the past year, a boom in “self-care” techniques has surfaced on TikTok, as people turn to the social media app for wellness inspiration.

The latest trend making the rounds is what is known as “bed rotting”, essentially where a person stays in bed as an act of self-care, doing whatever they want to help protect their mental health, whether that be eating, sleeping, reading or any other activity that brings them peace and happiness.

While enjoying the occasional “duvet day” is no new concept, the term “bed rotting” has quickly gained momentum, with 220 million views on TikTok alone.

But what exactly does the term mean, and could it prove consequential to one’s mental health?

We’ve asked Kate Bithell, mental health nurse at private rehab clinic Delamere, to explain the sudden increase in self-care trends such as these recently and why they might not necessarily be a positive thing.

What are “self-care” techniques such as “bed rotting” and “Goblin Mode”?

“With individuals increasingly aware of how to protect and maintain their mental health more than ever before, it’s unsurprising that we have seen a boom in self-care trends making the rounds on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.

“The latest trends we’re seeing emerge include “bed rotting”, “Goblin Mode” and “Rat Girl Summer”. Essentially these terms refer to when someone lays in bed scrolling on social media, eating, reading, watching TV or engaging in activities they would otherwise do to relax, such as binge-watching an entire series on Netflix,  instead of prioritising their everyday responsibilities or errands.

“Many gen-z-ers are hailing these new trends as the ultimate way to enjoy self-care due to the fast-paced nature of the “hustle culture” obsessed environment many have grown up in.

“These “lazy days” are appealing as they give people a justified chance to recharge their batteries and rest and encourage them to slow down and take some time for themselves instead of always being productive or needing something to do.

“Hyper-productivity, toxic hustle culture, and feeling like we constantly need to work on a task or towards a goal is a real issue in modern society. We’ve seen this expectation emerge recently in the form of another trend on TikTok, the five to nine, where people were encouraged to squeeze the most out of the early part of their day before starting work.

“Therefore, taking time to reset by having a day in bed may not be bad.”

Why might they be dangerous to your health? 

“Like with any form of self-care, engaging in practices that allow you time to relax is good for your mental and physical well-being, so taking a day or two to recharge in bed is fine, as long as it doesn’t become a regular habit.

“If you begin to notice that you are coming home from work after a long day, ignoring responsibilities and getting into bed and watching Netflix for long periods of time instead of spending time with loved ones, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue such as burnout or depression.

“Both burnout and depression are extremely serious health conditions because they deplete your productivity and leave you feeling helpless or that you don’t have any energy to give to the things you need to in your life, such as your job, your friends, or your family.

“It is therefore important that if you choose to engage in self-care trends such as “bed rotting” and “goblin mode” you are doing so for the right reasons, purely to take a bit of a break, and not as a way to mask or excuse any other underlying problems you might be experiencing.

“If you are worried that you are beginning to spend too much time in bed or are ignoring your responsibilities, it is important to seek health advice from a professional.”

Seven other ways to look after your mental well-being this summer 

If you’re looking to prioritise your well-being this summer, the team of experts at Delamere have revealed some of their top tips that get you away from your bed or sofa.  

Practice yoga

Yoga has many health benefits, including mental relaxation and can be easily enjoyed from the comfort of your home. If you are a beginner, there are lots of entry-level tutorials available online to get you going.

Yoga is often used as part of addiction recovery, as it helps to regulate stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. The relaxation method helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for alcohol and provides a healthy outlet to cope with potential triggers and everyday stress.

Go for a walk and get some fresh air

A walk outside is a great way to fill your lungs and free your mind, as doing so releases the brain chemical, endorphins, that stimulate relaxation and elevate your mood. Your walk doesn’t have to be strenuous to enjoy the benefits of endorphins; you can put on your favourite podcast or audiobook and enjoy a leisurely stroll. 

Have a bath  

A soothing bath helps you switch off and unwind, as submerging your body in water can reduce inflammation and muscle aches, calm the nervous system, and reduce stress levels. There are also a wide variety of calming bath oils and salts that you can add to your bath for additional relaxation.

Read a good book

Reading allows your mind to escape to a quiet place and switch off from the world for a few hours, but it also has many relaxation benefits on the body, including slowing down your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles to help you relax. 

Get physical

Incorporating exercise into your daily routine not only boasts a variety of health benefits but also promotes relaxation, reducing stress hormone levels in the body like adrenaline and cortisol. Whether you choose an exercise class, a bike ride or even a run, exercise will reduce your body’s stress hormones and benefit from the production of endorphins. 

Meditate 

Meditation is another great way to relax and unwind in the evening, as it helps you to silence any noise in the brain and focus. You can download many apps to get you started on your meditation journey that will help you relieve stress and improve your focus and self-awareness.  

Practise deep breathing 

Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a quick and easy way to relax at the end of a day. Proven to reduce stress, calm nerves and make your body feel more relaxed. You can practise a deep breathing session for as little as 5 minutes or as long as 20 minutes.

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