To protect ourselves and others, we spend a lot of time Social media even on virtual meetings. Here, psychology professor and neuroscientist Jason Chein explains what can cause the burnout we feel after virtual encounters and how we can fight it.
Nowadays we do more and more online. We meet colleagues and classmates, visit doctors and financial advisers, meet neighbors or grandparents, take yoga classes, shop, and even buy cars, all in virtual spaces.
As a result, “zoom fatigue” is a term we hear a lot about. It describes the exhaustion that follows after spending a full day in Zoom sessions, sometimes one after another.
And it’s happening at a time full of other pandemic stressors, such as social isolation and fear of the future.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to face a new normal that requires strict adherence to public health and safety guidelines designed to protect our collective health and safety, our minds and bodies can have difficulty adjusting to ours continuous online presence.
Chew another flavored gum.
It sounds simple, but it works because input from the surrounding context is useful for recalling unique memories, explains Chein. Chewing gum with a different flavor, lighting a candle to change the room’s smell, adjusting the lighting above the computer, or sitting in a different chair can all increase our ability to swallow what’s happening and remember later.
Jumping Jacks is your new best friend.
We know that physical activity can improve attention and motivation. So it’s essential to remember to stay active. “Incorporating mobility exercises at intervals during the Zoom meeting day can help combat the feeling of exhaustion later in the day,” said Chein.
Seven is your lucky number.
According to Chein, the focus on a presentation, lesson, or task starts to wane by about seven minutes. Therefore, teachers and speakers must take this into account when preparing lectures and powerpoints, adding breaks for questions or comments of up to seven minutes. Those with long zoomed conversations can set their timers if necessary to ensure they change positions or drink herbal tea at regular intervals.
Don’t be fooled by arrogance.
While you can feel completely comfortable in front of a screen, studies have shown that digital multitasking negatively affects performance on attention and memory tests, Chein said. Replying to emails or text messages during a Zoom lesson, therefore, makes no sense and can lead to an extra sense of fatigue. Also take advantage of opportunities to distance yourself from the screen, for example by chatting with a friend or colleague instead of FaceTime whenever possible.
Be intentional with your screen display on virtual meetings.
Customize the way you view Zoom meetings or lectures based on your individual goals and preferences. If you see your attention on the screen in the gallery view, which is distracting your attention, you should turn off the auto preview feature. If you are just listening to a lecture, you may not need to see the other participants, so the speaker’s point of view may be the best. But, said Chein, keep in mind that watching other people during conversations and recording their facial expressions and social cues can be an important part of the overall interactive experience, so viewing the gallery, in this case, can really help you maintain the is being discussed.