By: Amina Khan
Online school can be hard and fatigue is real. As the Omicron wave peaked, Western University announced it was going online until January 31st for graduate students and undergraduate students in years 2, 3, and 4. First-years are expected to be back in classrooms after reading week according to Western University’s phased return to campus plan.
As everyone returns for the second semester, all students are on Zoom for their classes—which felt a lot like 2020. As a lot of us learned in 2020, it can be easy to get Zoom burnout. But hopefully this article can give you some tips to ease the stress, especially if you are someone that struggles with online learning.
Tip #1: Check your work environment
The first key for excelling in online learning is ensuring your environment is sufficient for maximum focus. It is easy to get distracted at home with factors you cannot control, such as family members or a bed within arm’s reach.
Taking the time to build your dream learning environment will do wonders for your ability to focus on those Zoom lectures and assignments. Having a spacious desk to do your work on, a bright lamp, a comfortable desk chair with good back support, and a coaster to put your coffee cup on are all great ways to make your environment good for yourself.
Tip #2: Set a routine
Having a routine plays a crucial role in your ability to feel good while navigating Zoom lectures and meetings. Being in-person forces you to have a routine set, with knowing what time you have to be out the door. However, things look a bit different during these pandemic times.
Making sure you are waking up at the same time every morning allows you to start your day well and get on with the first task of the day. Waking up at a certain time, making your bed, and eating your breakfast are three examples in an everyday regimen that you could include in your morning routine to prep for a day of Zoom learning. The more consistent you are with your routine, the better!
Tip #3: Take short breaks
Taking short breaks away from your screen is an important part in fighting Zoom fatigue for both professors and students. Having back-to-back Zoom lectures for a full day can be tiring. Which is why making sure to fit in the 10 minutes of break time between each class, and preferably a break that does not involve looking at a screen, can do wonders.
Taking a 5 minute walk outside to get in fresh air, brewing yourself a cup of coffee, getting a snack, or catching up with family members or your housemates are all great ways to rejuvenate yourself for another Zoom class after just finishing your last one. Taking these breaks are good for the brain to give it a rest and not overburden it.
Doing classes on Zoom is not an ideal situation for some. It can be difficult to focus or create an environment where one can perform well on assignments and attend lectures. Hopefully, these small tips can give aid in making the learning situation better and avoiding Zoom burnout.