How to Zoom and Not Lose Your Mind

Zoom fatigue is real, right? At least, we think it is. Hours and hours of virtual meetings, happy hours, and online learning have kept us in front of our computers for most of the day. Who would have thought we’d miss the days of back-to-back office meetings?

When we’re confined to our homes, anything can happen. Jill, our Operations Director, has an office near her kitchen. Her two boys like to make smoothies (while she’s working), and her husband will walk by now and again. Having a virtual background can really help in such instances, but be aware that Zoom can pick up on people as they move about behind you. Your call mates may see a floating head or torso here and there, making for some interesting views.

Mich, our CEO, shared that she has learned to only use the robot vacuum when not on calls, as it tends to “complain” (beep, beep, beep) when it gets stuck. She also often introduces callers to her cat Friday, who likes to hang out on top of her office chair. If she happens to have a virtual background turned on, she finds herself explaining that the black furry thing around her neck is not a necklace, but a cat tail hug from Ms. Friday.

Other team members with small children have encountered toilets flushing, kids calling for mom, and kiddos walking in during important meetings or interviews. Such situations have been met with a laugh or smile, and without anger, as it should be.

Of course, there’s plenty of really fun, viral content out there that makes us smile: check out these Zoom calls gone wrong, read about what really happens in video meetings, or see some embarrassing moments sure to make you cringe. If you’ve not had a moment that made your face turn a little red, you might be due for one soon!

While the world has realized that we can pivot to working from home (for the most part), it doesn’t mean we aren’t feeling the burnout. Stress is at an all-time high for many of us as we juggle our jobs, our families, and some form of schooling if we have kids. Working hard every day is already in your bones. Taking a few breathers as we work through this new normal that’s been forced upon us might not be. We’re here to give you a few tips when it comes to balancing virtual meetings and taking good care of yourself.

Here are a few simple tips you can follow now to help with video meeting burnout:

Prepare for the call. A little prep can go a long way! Jot down your thoughts on the meeting. This can be especially helpful if you’re a little anxious. Setting your thoughts to paper can help you clear your head and ensure you listen to others while on the call.

Grab some blue light glasses. If you’re in back-to-back virtual meetings most days, the screen can take a serious toll on your eyes. Protect yourself from that extra strain and improve your sleep as well!

Get up and move. Remember that sitting all day in front of a screen won’t do you much good, no matter how many tasks you’re crossing off a list. And while we’re here, you’ll need to do more than just stretch at your desk! Changing your body position will help you stop rigidity and give your muscles a break. If you can, block out a little time on your calendar every few hours to step outside, drink a glass of water, or take a stroll around the block.

Sit up straight. This isn’t just something your parents told you when you were younger. Ensuring your posture is straight will save your shoulders, neck, and upper back from aching for hours after you’ve logged off. Posture correctors may help your cause if you’re preoccupied.

Change up your background. Many video conferencing services allow you the option to change your background. This is a fun way to keep yourself engaged. You can choose soothing backgrounds, something that makes you laugh (if you’re with the laid-back crowd), or pretend you’re on vacation with a travel-based background. Mix it up and enjoy!

Remember to take good care of yourself and do little things that will benefit your mind, body and spirit each day.

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