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4 Ways to Combat Virtual Burnout

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Since the pandemic began, we've been glued to our computer screens more than ever. But, waking up every day and sitting in front of a computer is exhausting. With many of us attending school and work online, people all around the world are beginning to feel overwhelmed by work-from-home operations. From migraines caused by excessive screen time to feelings of loneliness brought on by the lack of in-person interaction, WFH life can take a toll on our emotional, mental, and physical health. The formal name for the digital fatigue employees and students around the world have been experiencing is called virtual burnout. Ahead, I'm sharing four tips to help you combat virtual burnout:

1. Take a Break

When you make your schedule for the week, make sure to carve out time for a daily break. During this break, put away your laptop or desktop and turn your cell phone notifcations off. Take this time to eat a snack, go outside, or take a quick nap. The goal of this time away from your computer is to take your mind off of virtual life for a while and center yourself.

2. Talk on the Phone


 
I'm sure you have heard the expression "This meeting could've been a phone call!" 
At times, virtual meetings can be unnecessary. Before you meet online, think about the meeting topics and how many people need to hear it. Reflecting on those components can determine if an appointment needs to be via video chat, over the phone, or via email. 

3. Turn Your Camera Off

Turning on the camera for a virtual meeting can sometimes cause pressure and stress. Attendees of a virtual conference tend to worry about how they look or their surroundings. If being on camera is a source of anxiety for you, ask the host of the meeting if the camera is necessary.

4. Check Your Internet Connection


 

The quality of a virtual meeting matters. When technical difficulties occur, people are afraid they will miss important information due to technology's mishaps, leading to stress. Before a virtual meet-up, conduct a test-run. Have a back-up plan in place just in case the technical difficulties cannot be fixed right away. 

 

Between listening to my professors' lectures on Zoom to studying for tests, I'm on my laptop all day. Implementing these four tips into my daily life have helped me avoid virtual burnout. The critical point to remember is never to over-extend yourself virtually. Do not attend more virtual events than you can handle. Balance is important. 

How are you avoiding virtual burnout, sweat sisters? Share your tips below!

Zakiya Payne is a Multimedia Journalism major at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. The first-generation student enjoys writing in her journal, telling corny jokes, and shopping! A Mantra that she repeats daily is, “I am busy becoming the woman of my dreams!”