By: Maddie Boyer
With class, work, studying, clubs, and socializing all online, Zoom fatigue is real and exhausting. If you’re feeling burned out, you’re not alone. But fear not, Deacs! We’ve compiled some ideas to help you get through another day of staring at your screen and get back to thriving.
Did you know that your brain should take a 5-15 min break every hour or so to recharge? This is especially important during long, screen-filled days. Here’s the catch: try to get away from all your screens. Instead of reaching for your phone, take a short walk. Getting your body moving and getting some fresh air will help you re-energize. We also recommend stretching, chatting with a friend, meditating, or journaling.
Choose “Speaker View”
This selection can help you focus your attention on the primary speaker or presentation, limiting distractions that can keep your brain even more active. Additionally, one of the things that can add to the sense of fatigue is being able to see yourself on camera. Since we can’t see ourselves in face-to-face interactions, we can’t worry as much about what we look like and what others are seeing.
Avoid Back-to-Back Meetings
I understand that this can be a little out of your control if you have back-to-back classes. But if the choice is yours, really try to break up your meetings so you aren’t stuck in marathon calls all day. If your schedule forces you to be on Zoom for hours at a time, try scheduling calls for 25 or 50-55 minutes so you can take quick brakes and get away from the screen.
Focus On One Thing At a Time
Trust me, I understand. The urge to multi-task is SO tempting. However, not only is it better and more respectful to give your full attention during meetings, but your brain will thank you for it. Zoom already provides more to process, and the feeling of exhaustion is likely to only grow if you’re trying to do several things at once.
Change Up Your Space for The Occasion
Shaking up your workspace can provide a sense of variety and decrease exhaustion from being in the same spot. Best case, do some studying somewhere on campus or even at your kitchen table rather than your desk. Take a class at a table outside or on your patio. If you must be at your desk, try shaking up your space depending on what you’re working on. For clubs or social calls, put all your schoolwork away to set up a boundary between school and life. Keep your space organized and clean to give yourself fewer things to worry about and decrease clutter.
Invest in Blue Light Glasses
If all else fails, blue light glasses can be your new best friend. Personally, my survival trick is setting my computer to ‘Night Shift’ at all times and wearing my blue light glasses for the last hour before I go to bed (yes, that includes while I’m on my phone in bed). If you have to be staring at a screen all day, taking care of your eyes and helping yourself sleep better by blocking out blue light becomes all the more important. Help yourself recharge and sleep more soundly at night.
Zoom burn-out can be too relatable, especially as we enter midterms. Keep pushing through, Deacs, and remember to take care of yourself!