There are many resources full of helpful tips online. graphic by Emma Palmer

Tips to decrease Zoom fatigue

It’s real. We all have it. Hours upon hours every day spent online. How do we fight zoom burnout? What are things we can do instead? How do we let our brains have a rest? For example, when I have free time, I want to play video games or watch television … but that’s just more time staring at a screen, ugh! How do we break this?

Zoom fatigue and burnout is real; students and professionals have all experienced it at some point throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Hours of screen time is not good for anyone, but what else can you do when you have no other choice but to sit and look at the screen all day for classes and extracurriculars? Here are a few tips and tricks to beating Zoom burnout.

One trick is to utilize speaker view on your ZZoom calls. It can be overwhelming for your brain to be looking at and processing the faces and expressions of your classmates. By switching your meetings and classes to speaker view, your brain will have less to focus on, and you will retain more.

It can be really tempting to work on another assignment or send an email during a Zoom meeting or class, but multitasking takes a toll on your brain, and should be avoided if possible. By focusing on one thing at a time, your brain will not be as tired by the end of the day, and you will retain more from your courses.

A habit to work on forming during long days full of Zoom calls is taking breaks. Taking a few minutes between classes or meetings will give your brain time to refresh and reset. Taking the time to get outside is ideal, but if you are in a time crunch, standing and stretching will do the trick as well. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness activities are all good to practice and incorporate into your day between Zoom calls.

Trying to limit the time you spend looking at yourself in the camera can make a world of difference. The time that your brain spends looking at yourself could be used paying attention to the call. This does not mean turn your camera off, but simply try to spend less time looking at yourself or turn off the self-view option, if possible.

Eating well and getting enough sleep are simple things you can work on that will also work against Zoom fatigue. If your brain is tired when the day begins, you are not setting yourself up for success. The same thing can be said about eating well. Power your brain with fruits and vegetables, and it will fight against the Zoom burnout.

If you are willing to make a small investment, blue light glasses seem to be pretty popular. These special glasses can come in prescription or without, and they filter out the blue light that comes from screens. Blue light glasses make long Zoom calls easier on your eyes and brain.

There has been a lot of research coming out surrounding online learning and working, such as which software works best, how to keep students and staff engaged during long calls and how things might be different even after things get closer to normal. COVID-19 has shown that people can get a lot done virtually, and we might see more and more virtual and remote positions. Companies are willing to invest into this kind of research because Zoom meetings and classes might just stick around. Next time you find yourself getting tired or distracted on Zoom, remember these tips. We are all in this together when it comes to fighting Zoom fatigue.

Post Author: Maggy Crawford