Virtual work meetings from home have become a way of life for many of us over the past few months. Just when one meeting ends, another one is scheduled to begin. All those back-to-back virtual meetings can start to wear on you after a while, and cause “Zoom fatigue” (this can happen with any virtual meeting platform though). And it’s not just the amount of daily meetings that can make you feel drained. Worrying about how you appear on screen, knowing that others are watching your every movement and facial expression, sustained eye contact, and our brains having to work harder at interpreting non-verbal communication and processing information over video can cause exhaustion and anxiety.
So what can you do to inject life back into yourself before you decide to throw the laptop out of the window? Here are three easy ways:
1. Look Away
You’ve probably heard of 20/20 when it comes to perfect eyesight. But have you heard about the 20/20/20 rule? This rule says that every 20 minutes you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is because the longer you stare at a screen, the more your eyes will feel strained and tired. And it’s easy to stare at a screen for hours if you’re not conscious of it! The logic behind this is that it takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to completely relax. It doesn’t matter if you know what 20 feet is exactly; the point is to look at something far away. Years ago before virtual meetings was a thing, I remember my ophthalmologist telling me to look out of my office window to give my eyes a break from my computer screen. It really does help. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to take an eye break.
2. Get Moving
What are we usually doing while on video calls? Sitting. It’s pretty tough to walk around while on a call, even though that would definitely help keep you alert! You can, however, alternate between sitting down and standing up to maintain your energy. And there are health benefits for shifting positions (i.e. better circulation). It’s recommended that we stand 15-20 minutes every hour. Slowly add in more time, as feels comfortable for you. Just get moving!
3. Change Scenery
Are you taking all of your video calls from the same place at home? It might be time to spice it up a little by changing your location. Think about when you take the same route home vs. when you drive a new route. You’re usually on auto pilot when driving the usual route because it’s second nature to you, but your senses are heightened more on a new route because it’s unfamiliar. You’re more alert. Try switching from your desk to standing near your back patio doors to gaze into your yard, or standing near a window that gets lots of sunshine. It’s an easy way to get mentally and physically refreshed while on calls.
What is working for you to stay energized while on your virtual calls? Share your best tips below! I’ll include them in a future social media post.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
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