Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of social interactions have been taking place virtually. Technology has helped us continue to stay in touch and get work done, it cannot be argued though that it has been quite overwhelming. A lot of us are working just as long and hard – in some cases, even more – over virtual platforms such as Zoom. By now you are probably experiencing fatigue from constantly staring at your screen.

You are most likely beginning to ask yourself why zoom meetings are so exhausting seeing as you are not required to leave your couch or even dress up. Shouldn’t it be less stressful? Not necessarily. Here are four major factors why:

  • Physical factor: Unless you have a well-equipped office at home, you might find yourself having to make do with your furniture at home which might result in back pain, headaches, etc. Also, staring at your screen for long hours could lead to dry eyes, poor posture, and more.
  • Mental factor: Prolonged screen time means your brain is working overtime trying to process information differently. There is so much information flying around and the brain has to try to deal with all of that without making too many errors.
  • Social-economic factor: A large percentage of our communication is done non-verbally. Not being able to effectively communicate non-verbally can be tiring coupled with having to deal with issues such as frozen screens, and connectivity issues.
  • Challenge of self: Working from home has made a lot of people lose track of time much like when put in solitary confinement or trapped on a deserted island. People are on call all day, every day. There is no longer a start or end time or time to escape the work scene. The boundaries that enable us to form identity have been disturbed.

Here are 10 ways to recover from zoom fatigue:

  1. Take breaks between meetings. Giving yourself 5 to 10 minutes between meetings would help reduce the stress. You could use this time to take a drink, do quick breathing exercises, stretches. Do something that doesn’t involve staring at the screen.
  1. Move around. If you can, try walking around while having your video call. If you can’t, alternate between sitting and standing.
  1. Practice the 20-20-20 rule. This means you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This would reduce the stress on your eyes from looking at the screen.
  1. You can opt for a voice call instead of a video call. Voice calls can be less stressful than video calls, so if you do not have to do a video call then stick to voice.
  1. Adjust your zoom view to enable you to see just the speaker instead of the gallery view where you are seeing everybody. That way you can focus on the speaker and what they are saying instead of being distracted by various faces.
  1. Create a space dedicated to work. This would enable you to avoid distractions and set boundaries for you and others in the house.
  1. Avoid multi-tasking. It’s not a good idea to do multiple things while thinking. Just a small percentage of people can do it successfully; the rest just end up making a mess.
  1. Start a project that isn’t work-related. This would act as a space to express yourself and can become an extra stream of income post COVID-19.
  1. Have a regular sleep time. This helps your body to relax and deal with external stress better.
  1. Don’t be afraid to say no. if you don’t have to attend that meeting, then find a polite way to excuse yourself from it.

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