Self-Care for Zoom Classes

To make it this far through 2020 is a gift. If you are reading this, I need to start by saying, I am glad you’re here. While this year has brought us so much pain, as students, we are starting our new academic year and maybe it’s the optimist in me, but the beginning of any period always feels hopeful.

And while I’m hopeful, I’m also painfully aware of the struggles of Zoom calls, isolation and the impact it has on our productivity and wellbeing. I’m very introverted so I didn’t think quarantine would affect me negatively. Let’s just say I’m embarrassed at how wrong I was. I am still struggling but I realize that if I want to do well, I have to be well. I want us all to do well this academic year, as we all deserve it after the many painful experiences we’ve had during the past months. This article is a reminder to be well with a few key tips and ideas.

brunette woman shot from behind facing a window, wearing headphones listening to music and holding them with her hands Photo by Burst from Pexels

  1. 1. Get Dressed

    Getting dressed can help you feel like you’re getting ready to actually go to school. It can be as simple as getting off your bed to shower, brushing your teeth and changing your clothes to something comfortable. The idea here is that getting off your bed is a small act that can help you feel a bit energized, as opposed to opening your professor’s Zoom link as you’re waking up.

    a person sits crosslegged on the ground folding laundry, including jeans and shirts which sit in piles before them
  2. 2. Choose a Few Locations

    If you have the space, deciding on a few locations and switching them up can help you feel less stagnant because usually, our classes are held in different locations. For me, these locations are my dining table, the chair outside the front door of my house and the floor in my room. I don’t have a desk and absolutely cannot function if I’m doing work on my bed. Although it’s very tempting, I only end up feeling guilty if I’m in my bed. If this happens to you too, avoid the bed! 

    women with mug and laptop
  3. 3. Turning your Camera On and Off

    Whenever the camera is on, I often find that I feel self-conscious about my appearance. It’s been months and I can’t get over it. I also feel guilty about having the camera off the entire time in class. These are both taxing emotions to our wellbeing so my solution to this is turning my camera off when a PowerPoint is being shared and turning it on when the professor is speaking without a PowerPoint.

    woman on a conference call with 3 others
  4. 4. Take a Break

    Here, I am referring to after the Zoom calls. For me, Zoom calls drain my energy. I feel tired after them and it can be so easy for me to call it a day even if I have work to do or more classes to attend. Taking a break after these calls can restore that energy. The most effective activity for me has been going for a five-minute walk straight after the call. I can’t lie, the most tempting thing to do after a class is to curl up in a ball on my bed but whenever I do this, I just end up staying there for the whole day. If you’re anything like me, I don’t recommend this as an activity for your break!

  5. 5. Have Snacks/Tea Nearby

    My last tip involves snacks, because let’s face it, snacks help us to cope. For an anxiety-inducing activity such as Zoom classes, snacks can be comforting and tea can be calming. My mom usually has fruits around so that’s my best suggestion.

    computer with tea and two notebooks

Regardless of if you do one of these everyday or something different, my hope is that you’ll do something to care for yourself. As this school year starts, please remember that your wellbeing is essential. These are tough times but you deserve to be well.