By Vanessa Martinez
With a global pandemic upon us, we have changed many things. One of those things is working from home. Whether you are a student or a professional, we have all been pushed to learn a new way of communicating using online video conferencing, most notably with the app Zoom. Zoom is great but being on a screen for too long can be an issue for many of us. Enter, Zoom fatigue.
Zoom fatigue is real and debilitating. What is zoom fatigue? It is the feeling of being mentally and physically worn out from looking at a screen most of our day. According to CBC, psychologists say several factors lead to Zoom fatigue. First, when software continuously displays to a user their own live image, adding an element of self-awareness, we can feel like we are performing for the camera more than we would while meeting colleagues in person.
Being a full-time student during this pandemic has been a lot, so I can only begin to imagine how it is for everyone else. College is already tiring, and connecting virtually should not have to be harder for us. So what are some ways to help beat Zoom fatigue?
Here are 5 ways I found to be helpful…
1. Take small breaks
We are on the screen all day, so take a break and pace yourself. Listen to some music in between your meetings. Walk around your house to get some fresh air. Let your eyes rest for a moment and just relax. Your break is not the time to start doing something else on your list; just enjoy the free time you have.
2. Stop trying to multi-task
Yes, you read that right! Stop trying to do multiple things at once, especially if you’re in a meeting. As much as we live for our social media, refrain from checking it. If you have other things to do and you think you can multitask, it will not work out. Just concentrate on one thing at a time at least for that moment. As a student I would rather take in all the information I possibly can. It is already hard to concentrate while being at home, so why make it harder on yourself? Studies say that multitasking can reduce our productivity by 40 percent. Head over to Science Alert to know more.
3. Grab your favorite snack
It is the little things that make us happy. So, treat yourself to something you enjoy eating. We all have our favorite cravings, so make yourself happy by indulging in something you enjoy. Take your break and grab yourself a coffee or anything that can possibly boost your dopamine levels. Higher dopamine levels in our body means we feel good and if we feel good it will boost our motivation and attention.
4. Turn your camera off
If possible, turn of your camera. While it could seem a little rude in a class/work setting, it is understandable that we do not always have to have it on. It is nice to not focus on how we look in the camera (I am sure no one will admit it, but we simply all do it.) Not only that, but it may be distracting to some people. Any normal human being that is looking at multiple screens is going to focus on what is on our background.
It is very important to get some sort of activity throughout the day. It does not have to be some hardcore exercise, but it is good to get your body moving. In times where we will be sitting in front of a computer it’s nice to take a break from that. A 10-minute stroll around your block can do some good. It might sound contradicting to fight fatigue with some exercise, but it has been proven to help. So many fitness influencers have provided free workout plans throughout this pandemic; you might as well take advantage while it’s free. Not only will you feel better, but you can also end up looking better while fighting Zoom fatigue.
We are all going through these hard unprecedented times; therefore, it is important to keep yourself feeling good. Learn to listen to your body and know when you are feeling tired and worn out. It is normal to feel this way as we are adjusting to a new way of working and communicating. Take that break that your eyes are longing for, it is needed as we live in an era where technology and social media play a crucial role in our lives. Whether you are a college student, or a professional needing to increase your productivity, after a long day of video meetings, it is good to know there are ways to help beat that feeling of Zoom fatigue.
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