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Your first virtual meeting of the day is in exactly ten minutes and you’re still in your pajamas feeling exhausted. But it’s okay – you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world have transitioned to working and taking classes remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom fatigue is very real.
As a college senior taking six online classes and interning remotely, lately, I feel like my eyes are looking at a computer screen more than reality. While I sometimes feel like I’ve been experiencing Zoom fatigue for some time, these 5 tips have helped me stay motivated and connected.
Our homes have been transformed into our new gym, office, and classrooms. When there is no clear distinction between each of these environments, you may feel overwhelmed and stuck. According to Lifespeak, “when the sense of space has shifted, it affects your physical and emotional energy.”
Create a separate space where you work and a separate space for your leisurely activities, which might include doing yoga, crafting, or watching TV so your mind and body feel a sense of change. For example, I rearranged my room so that my desk and bed are on opposite sides, rather than right next to each other. This allows me to better transition from work to leisure mode and vice versa.
Remember, you don’t need to set up your desk in your bedroom. My housemates and I put a big table in our living room so we can study together. Get creative with your professional and personal space! Show us your space by posting a photo on your Instagram and tagging us at @AscentStudentLoans.
You may be spending a lot of time in the same (uncomfortable) position when taking online classes and working from home. Be sure to take breaks to help you reenergize and avoid Zoom fatigue. This doesn’t mean looking at your phone screen for ten minutes. A meaningful break will leave you feeling refreshed and motivated to continue your day strong. Try doing a quick exercise, stretching, or simply going on a walk to get your blood flowing. You’ll be surprised by how much this can enhance your mood.
Between virtual meetings and classes, I like to stretch and do yoga to loosen my stiff body. I even like to walk into my housemates’ rooms to chat for some real social interaction during my day. It feels good to step away from my laptop and look at something (or someone) other than a screen.
We’ve all tried to multitask during meetings or classes. Don’t worry– you’re not the only one who scrolls through social media, checks emails, and online shops while on mute. It’s definitely tempting but try your best to stay focused during the meeting. Multitasking can “cost you as much as 40% of your productive time.”
Close all unnecessary tabs, put your phone away, and be present! Taking notes also helps you to stay engaged and retain more information.
According to Harvard Business Review, “Zoom fatigue stems from how we process information over video… having to engage in a “constant gaze” makes us uncomfortable — and tired. We’re all guilty of checking out someone’s background or glancing at ourselves more than the person talking. One way to combat the issue of constant gaze is by hiding your video on display. This will help you to really focus on the person talking, rather than how you look on camera.
Some professors record their class lectures, which means you can watch the recording on your own time. If you’re feeling extra drained, you could use your class time for some self-care. But be sure to catch up on your lectures later!
Remember, you’re not alone. Your friends and family may be feeling exhausted from working and taking classes virtually too. Give them a quick phone call during the day to check up on them. This gives you a nice break from school and work. Plus, you’ll be getting some valuable social interaction. Now more than ever, it’s important to check up on our loved ones. One phone call can make all the difference in your (or someone else’s) day.
We know this is a challenging time for so many people around the world. Take it easy on yourself as you adjust and adapt to a new daily routine.
For more tips on how to maintain your emotional, physical, and financial wellness from home, visit our blog below.