Look, taking time for yourself is important, and there is something to be said about finding time to rest and recharge. We also totally believe that downtime, in and of itself, is productive time.
But as Grover declares, bed rotting is not a form of “self-care,” contrary to what many adopters believe. “Any time we disengage from our surroundings like that for a great length of time is not a very healthy choice,” she says.
I would have to agree, and I say this as someone whose bed is her ultimate sanctuary. I’m a proud Earth sign—texture is important to me, and I love being cozy. Perhaps that’s why the idea of bed rotting sounds so alluring; for many, the bedroom is a safe, peaceful space for them to recharge their social batteries.
I’d be lying if I said I never holed myself up in my room and committed to a Netflix binge. But experts—Grover included—warn that the habit can actually damage mental health over time.
See, we as humans are social beings, and quality social connections are crucial for a longer, healthier life. In fact, “Social connection is the greatest factor we know in longevity and happiness,” says personalized medicine physician Molly Maloof, M.D., on another mindbodygreen podcast episode. Research has even shown that social isolation is associated with a higher risk of developing dementia.
Of course, one day of bed rotting won’t shorten your lifespan, but you might not want to let social isolation become the norm. Rather than hiding away when you feel overwhelmed, you may even want to lean into your social connections—and, on the flip-side, help out your friends who may be struggling. According to one study, people who provided emotional support to others ended up living longer lives1.