How the 'Hurkle-Durkle' wellness trend could improve mental health

Woman in bed, practicing the Hurkle-Durkle. (Getty Images)
What is the Hurkle-Durkle morning ritual and can it benefit our mental health? (Getty Images)

Ever been jolted awake by your alarm clock and cursed the fact you couldn't just lounge in bed for a little bit longer?

Well, now you have permission to do just that thanks to a Scottish morning ritual that promises to improve wellbeing if you take that little bit longer to ease yourself into the day.

Like the similar micro-trends, Cosy Cardio and Soft Life, the Hurkle-Durkle trend is all about rejecting so-called "hustle culture" in favour of something altogether more leisurely.

Think gentle, languid mornings, hunkered under the duvet, ignoring the fact you should have been up ages ago.

What is the Hurkle-Durkle trend?

According to Dictionaries of the Scottish Language the term, which dates back to the 1800s, describes hurkle as "to sit huddled in a crouched position either for warmth or secrecy, to draw oneself together like a crouching animal".

Meanwhile, Urban Dictionary defines the trend as "a 200 year-old Scottish term meaning to lounge in bed long after it's time to get up. Happiness is hurkle-durkling."

It cites an example: "I've got lots to do today but as it's raining I'm going to hurkle-durkle instead."

While therefore not a new trend, the idea of hurkle-durkling has been brought to the forefront recently thanks to a viral post on TikTok which has clocked up over 350,000 likes.

"Just thought you guys should know that the Scottish have a word for laying around in bed after it’s time to get up, and it’s called hurkle-durkling," user Kira Kosarin explains. "I do be hurkling, and I do be durkling and once I’ve hurkled my last durkle in a given morning I will get up, but I’m a big fan of a hurkle-durkle."

You could spend your Hurkle-Durkle time reading or just relaxing. (Getty Images)
You could spend your Hurkle-Durkle time reading or just relaxing. (Getty Images)

Is the 'Hurkle-Durkle' trend good for your wellbeing?

Despite the risk of upsetting your boss when you use it as an excuse to arrive late to work, experts say there are some mental health benefits to having a hurkle-durkle kinda morning.

"We live in a go-go-go society where jumping right out of bed and into high gear is the norm," explains psychologist Alyssa Roberts, senior writer at Practical Psychology.

"But sometimes pausing is the smartest path forward. I’m fascinated by rituals like hurkle-durkle that give permission to slow down and ease into the morning—something we know is crucial for health but often forget."

Roberts says easing into the morning supports wellbeing in a few key ways.

"First, it reduces rushing and allows time for a smoother transition from sleep to waking life," she explains. "Waking up slowly gives our brains and bodies a chance to come online gradually, rather than jolting right into high-arousal anxiety."

The practice also embraces non-work activities like reading or relaxing in bed. "Making space for low-pressure pleasures sets a calm, balanced tone for the day," Roberts adds.

Emily Mendez, psychotherapist, wellness expert, and mental health writer at Blog of Tom agrees an extra five minutes of blissful lounging in bed each morning could help ease anxiety, brighten your mood, and buffer against inflammation.

"Consider hurkle-durkle the ultimate morning reset for overwhelmed modern souls," she says. "Rushing through mornings on autopilot is all too easy in our chaotic times. But Hurkle-Durkle invites us to relax into consciousness, honouring natural sleep cycles without jarring alarms."

Mendez says those extra snuggly moments allow our minds to ease into wakefulness while our bodies linger in cozy half-sleep.

"This peaceful sunrise ritual offers profound benefits," she continues. "Allowing our nervous systems to calm sets an intention of self-compassion, a crucial buffer against anxiety and depression. By avoiding early morning cortisol spikes and adrenaline highs, Hurkle-Durkle may also lower inflammation linked to chronic illness over the long term."

Despite being hundreds of years in the making, Mendez believes the practice taps into a desire to slow things down.

"Tuning into natural rhythms through this practice deeply connects us to our core needs for rest, pleasure and inner balance too often neglected," she explains. "And who couldn't use more comforting warmth under the covers these days?"

Woman getting out of bed happy. (Getty Images)
There are some mental health benefits to easing yourself into the day. (Getty Images)

How to get the practice right

Of course, Hurkle-Durkle time has to remain intentional rather than becoming an avoidance tactic.

"Setting limits is important so the morning rituals don't potentially enable laziness or procrastination," advises Roberts.

"Ideally, hurkle-durkle provides soothing buffer time before responsibilities - not a way to dismiss them entirely."

She also advises setting specific time-frames to practice the process of Hurkle-Durkling.

"With moderation and goals in mind, I've seen clients benefit from taking 10-30 extra relaxed minutes each day to decompress before diving into tasks and to-dos," she adds. "However, dragging it out too long could disrupt schedules and undermine productivity."

The key, Roberts says, is listening to what your body and mind need to feel restored, not what sounds fun in theory.

"An extra few minutes of calm may help many start strong, while others may feel best with their regular routines. Overall, a slow, self-care-based wake-up can foster resilience when practiced mindfully."

Like Roberts, Mendez says balance is key.

"Don't let hurkle-durkle become avoidance if negative thoughts creep in," she says. "And guard against oversleeping leading to grogginess or sabotaging obligations."

She also warns against viewing this cosy sunrise ritual as a miracle cure-all cure. "Overdoing the AM snuggles could still make you groggy later or mess up your schedule if you’re not mindful," she says.

"But setting aside just a few minutes for some indulgent lounging and self-care could set your whole day a-glow!"

Mental health: Read more

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