The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The brightest moments of these first weeks back on campus may be triggering a deja-vu for us upperclassmen, stunned to see the world around us return to “normal.” Stadiums packed at full capacity for football games and university-sponsored concerts seemed light-years away last fall semester as COVID-19 cases consumed campuses all around the country.
As the world attempts to emerge from the paralyzing fog of uncertainty—where one day it’s safe to gather inside maskless, and the next cases are exploding at higher rates than they were in 2020—it’s easy to feel the same feelings of confusion and uneasiness emerge again.
Even though the general student experience right now is affectionately referred to as “Covid College,” according to a 2020 survey, “95% of college students have experienced negative mental health symptoms as a result of COVID-19-related circumstances.”
To cope with navigating a busy schedule and the pandemic every day, grounding myself soon became essential to my well-being throughout the school year. I tried meditation, breathwork, and sensory grounding activities — all of which helped until spring was sneakily turning into summer. My focus began to diminish, and I was soon daydreaming of lazy days at the beach while finishing up finals papers.
I figured my dreams were a sign I needed some Vitamin D, so I headed outside. My campus’ cozy parks and courtyards energized me, but something was still missing. A few days later, I found out exactly what I needed after stumbling across The Earthing Movie: The Remarkable Science of Grounding that soon led me to my holy grail.
The award-winning 2019 documentary reveals the miraculous benefits of grounding through several testimonials. Also known as ‘earthing,’ the technique simply requires one to connect their bare skin to the ground for long periods of time. Grounding has been linked to producing a plethora of health benefits, including reduced chronic pain, inflammation, depression, and stress.
Earthing’s modern “founder” Clint Ober explained the concept in an interview by stating, “the human body is the most electrical thing in the environment and throughout all time where we used to be barefoot or lived in contact, wore leather-soled shoes or we lived in contact with the earth, we touched the earth with our hands, we dug in the earth, we slept on the earth. And so when the human body is connected to the earth, it’s electrically grounded, meaning it’s at earth potential.”
While this may seem too literal to be believable, grounding truly made a difference in my mood and energy, spiking my productivity. The first time I slipped off my sandals and buried my feet between the blades of grass, feeling the soil align to the shape of my feet, I immediately wished I had heard of grounding sooner.
As a person who doesn’t really like the heat, usually, I wouldn’t have lasted more than an hour or two studying outside at a table on a sunny May day. I sat underneath the shade of the trees and finished a major project in 5 hours that day, feeling that same gentle burst of energy you get from running along the shore before going for a swim — coming up from the earth and flowing through my veins.