Since COVID struck, many of us have spent countless hours and days in virtual space on communication tools like Zoom. Days started flowing together. We had to be ‘always on’. What was a sprint, became a marathon. And another marathon. And another. And it hasn’t stopped!
It is taking its toll. Many have become overwhelmed or irritable. Some have become withdrawn and passive observers. I started developing migraine headaches for the first time in my 61 years on this planet!
Here are four punches to help you knock out this evil thing:
1. The Hook – Regular Breaks.
You need at least 5 to 7 minutes every hour. Productive, self-care minutes. No emails. No interaction with work. Get some fresh air or sunshine on your face. If you feel the need to scream, go do that in a washroom or on top of a mountain! I go out on our balcony and stare at the river. I’m blessed as we live in a beautiful spot.
2. The Jab – Get Off The Stage.
Once you’ve checked your image onscreen at the start of a session, switch off self view. You don’t need to see yourself all the time! It makes it feel like you are performing all day; that you have to ‘be on’ all the time. Instead, focus on the discussion, the speaker and other participants. You’ll save your energy for what’s important.
3. The Cross – Your Posture.
Get your camera eye on the same height as your own eyes. This way you can keep your back and neck straight and level. You won’t get tired as quickly as if you were looking down to the camera and screen. I started using a standing desk (at first just simply boxes with my laptop on top). It not only allowed me to move a bit and stretch during the sessions, but most importantly it helped me to be more alive on screen; to be able to animate more, use my hands better and express myself better.
4. The Uppercut – Me Time.
Every day for at least an hour take some Me Time away from all screens. Get exercise. Get into nature. Walk the dog. Sing. Play with the kid. Do a downward dog in the living room. Live! Every week, for at least 12 hours (preferably 24) do the same. Enjoy family and friends. Do your favourite activities. Disconnect totally!
Use this four step approach faithfully throughout your fight with Zoom fatigue and soon you will find yourself in the position to deliver the final punch: THE KNOCKOUT!