Video calls take up a lot more focus than face-to-face chat, and we've all felt the effects. It's easy to get distracted and hard to get back up to pace.
But even more than that, Zoom calls take more focus than regular face-to-face meetings and conversations. It takes more mental energy to process things like tone, facial expressions, and body language.
It takes a lot of mental energy to keep up with constant Zoom calls, so don't beat yourself up when you feel tired earlier in the day than you used to.
Once of the best things we can do is take breaks. If after every class, we turned off our computer and relaxed for ten minutes, played with a pet or did ten jumping jacks, it would give our brains a chance to relax. Variety and breaking up the monotony of screens is one of the greatest things we can do for our mental health right now.
Go For A Walk
If it's still nice weather where you are, go for a walk! Gatherings and public spaces are risky with COVID-19 still on the run. But going for a walk is safe and would give us a chance to get up and move. Exercise is a huge mental health booster after all.
Work Offline If You Can
Look, I get it. All of my classes are online. All of my classwork is online. But every once in awhile, I have the opportunity to print out a worksheet and take a picture of my work to turn it in. Working on it without a screen gives my eyes a break from the blue light and the strain.
Designate An Hour Screen-Free
This is the best thing I've done all semester - I schedule an hour screen free. It's usually right when I go to bed so that I have a chance to relax before I fall asleep. But I've also started doing one in the middle of the day (like a lunch break) to help me recharge. Giving yourself a scheduled screen free time can really help with Zoom fatigue. Plus, it gives you a chance to go on that walk!
The temptation to check your email during a Zoom call is strong. But don't do it. Unlike face-to-face meetings, we can't rely on quick whisper side conversations to get back up to speed. So as soon as you tune out, you're screwed. Which is a double whammy because staying focused on Zoom calls is a skill I do not have. But try to close all other windows on your computer, put away your phone, and resist that email notification.