Bed rotting? Here’s a better way to recharge.

(Photo above by Ivan Oboleninov / Pexels)

Picture this: You’re in bed, outlined in snacks, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” playing in the background while you endlessly scroll. It can be tempting to lie around in bed all day when you’re running on fumes. Some influencers are advocating the power of a self-care routine called “bed rotting.” On TikTok, the term “bed rotting” has over 2 billion views. But experts say there’s a limit to how much it can help.

If you end up feeling worse after a day in bed, you’re in good company. Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist, says that rather than refreshing us, staying in bed all day can negatively impact sleep, contribute to poor moods and even stress us out more.

Dr. Samantha Boardman says, “Many of us look to weekends, vacations and holidays as the best chance to recover from the daily grind but research shows that if we want to feel better, building regular downtime into our everyday lives is a more effective strategy.” She goes on to say that the key to recharging ourselves is to consistently engage in a revitalizing activity.

There are many relaxing and refreshing activities like spending time in nature, reading a book or making dinner with a friend. But, when life gets busy, these might fall to the wayside, and then we burn out. SGI Nichiren Buddhists chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and recite portions of the Lotus Sutra daily, which keeps our battery charged. In the morning, many set determinations for the day. In the evening, we might reflect on our day with appreciation or determine to keep at something that’s taking time to improve. This daily routine helps us maintain a more steadily charged battery, avoiding burnout and the need to take a whole day to lie in bed.

More than avoiding burnout, a daily Buddhist practice can give us the capacity to accomplish more over time. Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda says:

Reciting the sutra is a daily activity in which we purify and prime our hearts and minds. In the morning, it is starting the engine for our day, like grooming ourselves before we set out for the day. Some people have powerful engines, and some have weak engines. The strength of the engine dramatically affects what we accomplish throughout the course of our lives. The difference can be enormous. Diligently applying ourselves in our daily practice of the sutra recitation boosts the power of our engine.

Discussions on Youth, p. 215

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we will never face exhaustion or need time to rest. But with daily Buddhist practice, we can more quickly recharge our lives and break through whatever is burning us out. Daisaku Ikeda says:

When we recite the sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon, the microcosm of our individual lives harmonizes seamlessly with the macrocosm of the universe… When we focus on the Gohonzon while chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, our lives and the universe merge like cogs in a great machine meshing together with perfect precision, and we begin to move in the direction of happiness and fulfillment. We can be in rhythm with the universe 365 days a year—in spring, summer, autumn and winter—manifesting the vigor, wisdom and good fortune with which to surmount any problem or suffering. When we rev up the powerful, revitalizing engine of Buddhahood, we can break through any impasse and boldly steer ourselves in the direction of hope and justice.

Discussions on Youth, p. 218

Whether you feel out of rhythm or like you never got into one, you can start by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo each day. The amount each day is up to you but the key to keeping a charged battery is a consistent daily effort.

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