Do we need to stop bed rotting?

Do we need to stop bed rotting?

Wake up, doom scroll tik tok, order doordash, check your ex’s IG story, watch the latest Vanderpump Rules, back to tik tok… The next thing you know hours have passed by, you haven’t left your room all day, and it’s 9pm. 

Rotting, or a pattern of “antisocial hibernation” (thank you, Urban Dictionary) is a period of time where you laze around and do nothing productive for hours on end. It is not usually done intentionally, and is instead both a mental and physical response to feeling anxious, overwhelmed, tired, or stressed. However, while it can successfully distance you from the ever-so draining outside world, it can leave people feeling worse: unproductive, lazy, unmotivated, and even more fatigued than before the rot started. 

Rotting doesn’t indicate someone has a lack of ambition or motivation. It’s nothing to feel ashamed of. But sometimes, it’s a sign that there’s something psychological or physical going on in your body. While an occasional rot day can be both rejuvenating and necessary, sometimes we get stuck in the rot cycle. There are two ways to tackle this: either stop yourself from rotting in the moment, or take preventative measures to stop it from happening in the future. 

How do you stop yourself from rotting if you’re already mid-rot? 

Start by allowing yourself to rot for an hour or two. You feel a need to rot because your body is tired, and that is completely okay. After a couple of hours, start by setting a small goal — take your productivity one step at a time. For example, a goal can be standing or sitting up, going to the bathroom, or brushing your teeth. 

If you’ve managed to get yourself up, think about something that makes you happy and energized! It could be going to get a coffee, strolling through a park, buying flowers, etc. Whatever that thing may be, that can be your goal of the day. I recommend choosing a goal that is not associated with work, school, and isn’t a task you have to get done. A quick Starbucks drive-thru can do the trick. The goal is to get up and go outside for yourself without feeling the pressure of external sources. 

Give yourself as much time as you need to get ready and go out. It’s important to not force yourself to give more energy than you are able to give. Once you’re out, stay out for as long as you can. The earlier you go home, the more likely you are to rot again. Plus, simply being outside is good for your body. I recommend watching LifeAsRaven on TikTok. She has some great —and specific— tips for getting yourself out of a rot.

What if you aren’t able to get yourself out of bed?

If a day of rot feels mandatory… it doesn’t have to be unproductive! If you’re doom-scrolling on your phone, try watching something informative (catch up on current events, look at documentaries on Netflix’s phone app, etc). There are plenty of game apps that work your brain muscles (I Love Hue, Lumosity, Sudoku, and Solitaire are some good ones). My personal favorite thing to do while rotting are crossword puzzles, or any game through the NYT Games app. You can also try setting yourself a small goal that can be accomplished via phone. For example, respond to one text or read one email. 

How do you stop yourself from rotting in the future? 

If you find yourself consistently waking up feeling tired and deprived of energy, there may be something deeper going on. Vitamin D and iron deficiencies often cause chronic fatigue. The same goes for not getting enough exercise, having an inconsistent sleep schedule, and eating too many processed foods. If you’re concerned about energy levels or constant exhaustion, it might even be a good idea to get some blood work done. 

Take this as an opportunity to reflect on your stress levels, sleeping habits, diet, and amount of exercise you’re getting. Where can you improve your habits and your personal wellness? If you want to replace your rotting habit, I suggest starting with small changes like taking vitamin supplements or going for walks more frequently. 

All in all, rotting is normal. To a degree, we all do it and we all need it. Just make sure rotting is an occasional relaxation or stress-relief tactic, and not indicative of something greater. We’ll leave you to kick back, relax, and binge the new HBO show (accompanied by Chinese takeout), but don’t forget to catch some daylight first.

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