Self Care for Zoom Classes

Zoom fatigue is real. Sitting in front of a computer screen for hours a day gets exhausting quickly -- your eyes get bloodshot, your legs sore from sitting so long, and your focus starts to go. During this crazy and bizarre time of doing classes in this deeply unfamiliar way, taking care of yourself during your Zoom sessions isn’t a luxury, but a total necessity. Here are my top five tips for online school self care. 

  1. 1. Stretch it out

    I know this one is a classic, but sometimes you don’t realize how much your body needs to move until you actually start doing it. Whenever I stand up after sitting in classes all day, I realize my legs feel totally weird and I’m tight all over. Doing a quick series of stretches to wake up your body can be a huge help! This is a super simple five minute yoga sequence I’ve been enjoying after a long day of staring at a screen. 

  2. 2. Rest your eyes

    I swear, nothing gets my eyes more exhausted than staring at the bright screen of my laptop all day. With not only all of our classes, but all of our work itself online, my screen time is up to crazy levels. I’m a big fan of blue light glasses -- my eyes after definitely less bloodshot by the end of the day when I remember to use them (Alina wrote this awesome article about blue light glasses with lots more information). And I know, I know, no one wants to put away their phone or Netflix when they chill out, but taking time to relax by reading or exercising, instead of heading back to your computer or another screen can be effective too. If you’re noticing sore eyes after classes, blue light glasses combined with screen breaks can make a big difference. 

  3. 3. Fuel your body and brain

    When you’re stuck at home all day, it can feel like all the structure of your life is out the door. Even though we’re in our houses, we’re still in school -- this means eating three good meals a day, plus snacks, the way you would when you’re in school. Take the time to make yourself a nice breakfast to start your day off on the right foot (I’m a vegan breakfast sandwich connoisseur), and make sure you’re in tune with your body and grabbing snacks throughout the day to keep yourself fueled. Being hungry will increase your general exhaustion, which is definitely not a good combo with all day Zoom meetings. Munch away and take care of yourself! 

  4. 4. Embrace social time

    Being outside of the traditional classroom means we’re not getting the casual social connection we’re so used to. Take your time into your own hands and make sure you’re reaching out to friends and family for conversation and connection, particularly if you’re living alone! If you’re with roommates, set aside time to hang out together and socialize in a way that brightens your day. Zoom hangouts can really be fun! Even when we’re in class, there’s definitely the sense that we’re alone, so making sure you have human connection and support can really improve your day.

  5. 5. Be okay if you have an “off” day

    Zoom school is hard. We all know it, but it’s easy to forget we’re living in (ready for the classic professor email quote?) unprecedented times. If you’re genuinely having an off day, give yourself grace and be okay with that. Mistakes are allowed! You might find yourself procrastinating more than usual or even more wiped out by school than you’re used to, and if that’s the case, it’s totally okay. Being a person is challenging, and being a person right now can feel especially challenging. Give yourself the space to make mistakes and feel “off”, and your mental health will feel a lot better for it.