Video calls have become a normal part of our routines recently with astronomical speed. As we see more and more of our lives move to the digital sphere, we rely on our technological devices more than ever in order to stay in touch with the people in our lives. No area of our lives is immune- business, education, and recreation have all found a brand new home on video calling platforms and social media.
While this can sometimes be a blessing (no one can deny that the ability to take calls from the comfort of your own home has felt lovely now and then) it can also be a curse. Reportedly, almost half of all people regularly using Zoom (and other video calling platforms) are experiencing the new phenomenon that’s been dubbed ‘Zoom fatigue’. This can have some potentially disastrous consequences if left unaddressed, so it’s vital to keep our relationships with the internet healthy.
What is Zoom fatigue?
Zoom fatigue is the new term coined for that exhaustion that can hit you after overexposure to constant video calling. It can be tempting not to let yourself take the breaks you usually would when you’re confined to working from home, but this is not the case. Work, even when it’s from home, is still work, and we still need time to decompress. This decompression, however, is only getting harder and harder as our home and work lives bleed into each other.
Zoom fatigue can have a number of side effects that can negatively impact your life if left untreated. Staying calm and focused in the face of such challenges can be difficult- but luckily, there are a handful of things to consider that can help minimize the effects of Zoom fatigue and keep you happy and healthy.
Schedule regular breaks for yourself
One big culprit behind Zoom fatigue’s prevalence is that it’s easier than ever to overwork yourself. Back when workplaces were more regularly attended, it was easier to compartmentalise. Work had little to no place at home, which made it easier to leave the stresses of it all behind when clocking out for the day. Now, however, we’re increasingly living and working in the same spaces, which can sometimes make it hard to remember to log off.
When you’re planning out your calls and workdays, remember to schedule your breaks for whenever you need them. By setting aside the time for them, it’s harder to ignore them. It might even be worth setting an alarm on your phone if you’re likely to accidentally work through them. Sometimes, all it takes to help is a little moment away to catch your breath.
Take care of your technology
Our technological devices are the center of all Zoom communication. Sometimes, when these machines aren’t functioning at their best, it can only serve to add stress on an already burdened mind.
Many of our laptops and devices are seeing a sharp uptick in usage- something that can sometimes be reflected in the quality of performance you experience. Lag, disc errors, and even system crashes can sometimes start to occur, and there are a number of reasons for such events. Luckily, there are often hints regarding the root cause of the problem which can act as an entryway into diagnosing the cause and remedying it.
While keeping you laptop running smoothly won’t entirely absolve you of your Zoom fatigue, it’s sure to avoid any potential disaster or additional stressors. Where possible, it’s always helpful to be safe rather than sorry.
Create a ‘work’ space and a ‘rest’ space
Another way to help yourself make the most out of your time away from work is by dedicating a space in your home only to work- and sticking to it. While it’s very tempting to work from bed sometimes (we’ve all been there) this can actually be quite detrimental to your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Our brains form associations all the time, so if we start to regularly work from bed, we’ll be conditioned to feel the stresses associated with our responsibilities when we’re meant to be relaxing. The same principle goes for all areas of our homes. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to be strict with yourself regarding your workspaces. Put aside a desk in your home to be your ‘work’ space and, unless you’re seated there, don’t engage in work responsibilities.
You can put all manners of effort into creating a hospitable environment at this desk, which is the fun part. Splash out on a comfortable desk chair (back pain is a real danger) and make sure your surroundings are conducive to a focused and motivated headspace.
Give mindfulness a try
If you’re still finding that Zoom fatigue hard to shake, it might be worth giving some mindfulness a try. Meditation is a very quick and easy way to clear your mind and help yourself relax. Stress is a persistent affliction that can be difficult to get rid of. Sometimes it takes a firmer effort in order to help center yourself.
There are plenty of great resources out there to help guide you through the meditation you need. Or, alternatively, if you’re feeling confident in your abilities, you can even give it a go on your own. All you need is a comfortable environment and some spare time to clear your mind.
Zoom fatigue is something that can have some serious effects on our ability to do our best. It can impact our ability to socialize, complete work to the best of our ability, or even our sleep quality. Luckily, there are a few things that you can try to help minimize the impacts of this fatigue on your everyday life. By setting yourself up with some support systems and self-guided help, you’ll give yourself the tools you need to stay happy and healthy- it’s just as important to take care of our mental health as it is to take care of our physical health.