Date Published: October 22, 2020
Like people in many different walks of life, there’s a good chance that you’re suddenly spending more time on Zoom or other video conferencing platforms than you ever thought possible during your time as a nursing student. What’s worse: video calls/meetings/classes are uniquely exhausting. It’s difficult to read facial expressions, and internet speeds and connectivity can cause lags that force you to work harder to make sense of what you’re hearing. If you find yourself suffering from Zoom fatigue, here are some tips to help you bust through it and keep going so that you can bring your best self to your online nursing classes.
1) Use a pen and paper when you can: When so much of your time is spent staring at a screen, it helps to ground yourself with something more physical. Do more of your notetaking and studying using a pen/pencil and a notebook of paper – your eyes will thank you for getting away from the glare of the screen when you can.
2) Avoid multitasking: Switching between tasks can cost you time and energy as your brain works to keep up. Closing out distracting tabs and turning off notifications can help you focus more on your class and help to limit exhaustion.
3) Cut down on onscreen distractions: It’s easy to find your attention bouncing around on the screen, especially in cases when you can see everyone else in the class – your attention can get pulled in by their backgrounds as much as their faces. The biggest distraction on screen? Your own face! If there’s a box showing your face onscreen, remove it. You’ll feel more able to pay attention if you’re not judging your own image.
4) Turn off the camera when you can: It’s nice to see everyone’s faces when you’re spending most of your time isolated. That said, we don’t have many ways on camera to show that we’re paying attention, so people tend to stare at the screen – and that gets exhausting. When you turn the camera off, you don’t have to prove that you’re focusing by always looking at the screen, so when you can, indulge in a no-camera moment and relax a bit.
5) Schedule your breaks: Make sure that if you have back-to-back classes, you’re scheduling in at least five minutes between them to get up, stretch your legs, and get away from the screen glare for a minute.
6) Limit the amount of time you spend on Zoom: If you’re not in class or a study group, cut out video calls as much as possible. If you’re chatting with friends, pick up the phone for an audio-only call, or enjoy conversations via texting or a messaging app.
Sometimes it helps to focus on the positive: The technology is available to make sure that your nursing education hasn’t been completely derailed by the pandemic, and by now you’ve probably mastered it. Keep pushing through your online classes and take breaks from your screens when you need to – you’ll be finished before you know it!
Related read: How to create a home study space