Wellbeing / Wellness

Rotting in bed: TikTok gives our lazy days under the covers a name

bed rotting

Collect your snacks of choice – mine are slices of salami, Takis and soft cheese with a spoon – fire up your laptop, shut the curtains, ensure a litre of water is nearby and descend beneath the covers. It's time to rot in bed. For those without a TikTok account, over the next 24 hours you're going to marinate beneath the sheets. Buckle in!

Bed rotting is not a new concept, although it's the first time those two words have been joined together. The people of TikTok, with their Quiet Quitting and Goblin Mode, have put a name to our favourite pastime: the act of letting ourselves rot in bed like the wilted spinach at the bottom of your fridge. If only Ottessa Moshfegh heard the term before she wrote My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

@girlwithnomind #confidence #girlsgirl #annanicolesmith #2000s #reginageorge ♬ original sound - &lt3

In the distance you can hear the screams of the clean girls and productive five-to-niners. Eventually, they'll come around. For the rest of you, rotting in bed is the antidote to a long week. It's deliberately slowing down after periods of chaos. It's the chance to unwind and luxuriate in your comfort zone. Whether that's rewatching all four seasons of Succession or going for a long and unhampered scroll.

@g0bra77yTalented and very ambitious♬ original sound - hard ahh audios fr🤞

It's the kind of thing you're made to feel guilty about. The sort of behaviour people attribute to a depressive episode. And maybe that's because behind rotting bed is not so much about raging but resting against the machine. It's subbing out a million jobs, pressures and external voices for solo time to recharge. Some have branded it a form of self-care, one that doesn't require you to purchase the latest gua sha tool to enact. Although, you are consuming in your own way, be it Netflix or social media, it's passive and a nightmare to people like Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School Of Business, who thinks home "is for seven hours of sleep, and that's it". (So home isn't for cooking your groceries? Or working from your desk? Sure.)

@thebutterflychild Replying to @missmeadowjewelry sorry just saw this comment now #whatisgirlrotting #girlrot #girlrotting ♬ airiel is the best - airiel

The thing is we all do it anyway. We might as well rot in bed without the shame. As is always the case whenever there's a so-called "trend" extracted from TikTok and talked about in a different context, rotting in bed has its naysayers. And I'm sure it'll get branded as a lazy hobby of even lazier Gen Zers. But this would make it sound as if it's something that we do everyday rather than a reaction to the world we encounter daily; where leaving the house instantly requires spending money and social interactions are thrusted upon us at all hours.

@m1rtazap3n1s untrue my room isn’t this tidy #fypシ #rodgercleye #totaleclipseoftheheart #foryou #rodgercleyeedit #mentalillnessinnit #greysanatomy #pinterest #bipolar #bpdtingz #foryoupage #eupd #rottinginbed #icedcoffee #mozzarellasticks #mirtazapine #quetiapine #greysabc ♬ original sound - Patrick Dempsey enthusiast

So rot in your bed. Reap the benefits of removing yourself from the world for a day. Then wash those sheets, your hair and return to the land of the living with your cup fuller than when you left it.

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