“Bed rotting” has a misleading name. The latest TikTok trend to be popularized by Gen Z is all about taking a break from the world and recharging your social battery by doing one simple thing: nothing.
Touted as a new form of self-care, social media users are lifting the stigma when it comes to requiring time alone to lie in bed, watch a comfort TV show and order takeout.
The “bed rotting” tag on TikTok has over 294 million views. The trend follows other self-care trends such as taking an “everything shower,” pursuing main character moments and repeating positive affirmations.
“I wish it was acceptable to tell people this is my hobby,” commented a TikTok user.
“It’s a lifestyle,” commented another.
The world is stressful, especially for Gen Z. This generation is regarded as being under the most stress in the workplace, according to studies. Poor mental health, burnout, economic hardship, politics and human rights are ongoing concerns for Gen Z. No generation has had so much access to world issues at such a young age.
For Nathalie Savell, a holistic psychotherapist and nature therapy facilitator in Baltimore, dubbing the trend as a form of self-care is worrying.
“People think they’re helping themselves because a stressed brain just wants to shut down, but what it actually needs is healthy types of stimulation and rest,” she tells Fast Company.
Savell points to modern life as overstimulating and a common cause of anxiety. She points to several ways to recharge healthily: spending time in nature, going offline, and even having a good cry.
Yet, for some Gen Zers, bed rotting is about creating a space where you are your only priority. For TikToker Kianna, part of her “bed rotting” routine is wearing a cute outfit, spraying perfume and lounging in her aesthetically pleasing bedroom.
kinda living for the unhinged marie antoinette hair ?? #princesscore
“I’m covered in crumbs with joggers I haven’t washed in 3 months,” commented a user under her video.
“And you know what that is perfectly OK. We’ve all been there,” replied Kianna.
Perhaps the “bed rotting” trend is less about laziness and more about voicing out loud that sometimes, the kids are not OK.