Recognizing the Signs of Zoom Fatigue
You might not even realize that you’re experiencing it immediately, especially since ‘Zoom fatigue’ became an umbrella term that encompasses many other video platforms that companies use. The word ‘zoom’ has become associated with videos in general. But Zoom fatigue is different from other types in that it is specifically referencing feeling exhausted from participating in much higher amounts of video calls than ever before.
The factors that make Zoom fatigue go from generally feeling drained to eye irritation, social isolation, lack of motivation, and emotional irregularity, according to a Stanford study. These signs are what you should be looking for.
That means, to help understand whether you are experiencing Zoom fatigue, you would put yourself in a scenario saying “After video conferencing…”:
- General Fatigue – I feel tired, exhausted, and/or mentally drained
- Visual Fatigue – My vision blurs, my eyes are irritated and/or there is pain around my eyes
- Social Fatigue – I avoid socializing, want to be alone, and/or need time to myself
- Motivational Fatigue – I’m not looking forward to doing things, don’t feel like doing anything, and/or feel too tired for activities
- Emotional Fatigue – I feel emotionally exhausted, irritable, and/or moody
This type of exhaustion impacts mental and physical health hurts both your professional and personal life – including how often you get active. And since these feelings happen after a call is already done, they’re taking over time that you could’ve been using for better things. Imagine, if that keeps happening with back-to-back meetings, how much it’s affecting you as a whole. Maybe you don’t need to.
How is Zoom Fatigue Creating More Focus on Exercise?
Even if you have no control over the number of video calls you’re on, there are tools you can use to help combat those feelings of exhaustion. What started as a means to maintain communication during the lockdown turned into a tiring way to get through the days, which ultimately fueled the need for effective coping mechanisms.
What Can Be Done About Zoom Fatigue?
Of course, minimizing screen time and sitting sessions is standard advice, which can be difficult to follow depending on your job. But for you as an individual, whether you have a say in the frequency of meetings or the necessity of having the camera on, still have tools to take advantage of that might minimize these feelings of fatigue.
Take Short Walk Breaks
You’re more likely to follow through with routine breaks throughout the day if you plan ahead for them. Try to set aside 10 or 15 minutes every so often to step away and get some steps in. Starting the day with a little bit of a longer walk has been shown to kickstart energy and mood levels while maintaining that feeling happens with the shorter walks you sprinkle into your schedule.
Make the Most of Your Time Away
Take your downtime and use it to your best advantage – things that reward you and your brain outside of work tasks or coworker events. It’ll be more refreshing for your body and mind if you get in a short workout, stretch, call a friend, etc. so that you’re better prepared for the next day.
Try Not to Multitask
The more things you work on or think about at once, the quicker you drain your energy. Combining that with a lineup of Zoom meetings, you’re on a fast track to burning out. Instead, when you’re planning your breaks during the day, take a moment to also plan out your tasks. One thing at a time. And put the phone away, you know it will help, even if it doesn’t sound appealing.
Change Your Scenery
If you’re working from home every day, virtual workouts might become more of a nuisance to you than anything, because you’re hopping on yet another video call. New scenery can make all the difference in mindset, separating your schedule and keeping the focus on the proper tasks.
Plan for breaks (or workouts) that keep your interest. Consider joining in-person classes that get you out of the house, meet new people, and benefit from professional fitness advice all at the same time.