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Wait, so my video call fatigue is actually a thing?

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve become more dependent on our gadgets for day-to-day activities. 

For those working from home or about to take online classes starting this month, chances are, many spend a huge chunk of the day glued to computers, some even beyond recommended hours. 

A smartphone is practically an essential item now, especially when we want to communicate, make transactions and distract our overworked brains with entertainment.

While we’re grateful for having multiple means of virtual communication, facing a screen for several hours a day for the past five months is just too draining, whether we admit it or not. 

According to Psychology Today, humans are sensual beings, which means we use our senses to process information about things around us. That includes our eyes, which suffer the most from all those hours we’re glued in front of a screen.

A solution? The 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds and stare at an object 20 feet away.

It’s similar to the Pomodoro method, a time management technique that uses a timer to break down work hours into intervals (ideally 20-25 minutes) so we can take breaks in between and avoid overworking ourselves.

“We can only pour out to others from a full cup and filling our emotional reserves takes intentional effort.”

Though it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, it helps our eyes relax and avoid eye strain. Eye strain can further damage your eyesight and lead to myopia or nearsightedness, which the World Health Organization considers both a health and social problem globally.

That’s just the physical kind of fatigue, though. Constantly seeing our own pixelated face, lagging connections and lengthy virtual meetings are only some of the issues that take a toll on our productivity each day. 

It’s okay to feel exhausted during this pandemic: Productivity is not a requirement. Take a mental health day if we must, but remember that burnout isn’t simply a phase. Even with short-term solutions, we have to acknowledge that it won’t go away from simply taking a day off doing nothing.

“If we are feeling overwhelmed, emotionally dysregulated, or exhausted, it may be best to decline an online connection or two in order to preference some intentional connection with our own selves,” Psychology Today suggests. “We can only pour out to others from a full cup and filling our emotional reserves takes intentional effort.”

 

Art by Jan Cardasto

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