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Mindful.Org: Zoom Exhaustion is Real. Here are Six ways to Find Balance and Stay Connected (and other WIFI Articles)

Read Zoom Exhaustion is Real. Here are Six ways to Find Balance and Stay Connected by Steve Hickman, from Mindful.org.  Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

Over the last few weeks, I have heard about the effects of Zoom and other online platforms making people feel exhausted. When I managed a student center, I didn’t have to spend this time much in front of a screen – so the strain is very real. Steve Hicks from Mindful.org offers six ways to deal with the strain.

Six Ways to Manage Zoom so we Can Find Balance and Connection

Here’s what I am going to try starting today (and suggest you consider) when my new reality resumes anew and I find myself on various calls with all manner of people looking to connect in various ways:

By Steve Hickman, Mindful.Org, April 6, 2020

Take a few moments before clicking “Start” to settle and ground your attention. 

Take a few breaths, feel your body on the chair, notice whatever is present in your mind and allow yourself to arrive fully to the moment at hand. If you’re feeling unsettled or preoccupied, you might place your hand on your heart in a supportive and comforting way as if to say “I’m here for you. It’s ok to feel how you feel at this moment.”

Take the time to truly greet whoever is in the room with your full attention

Offer your attention to each face that appears (if the group is not too big). Give yourself a moment for each person to make an impression on you, and “take in the good” as Rick Hanson would say. Give yourself an opportunity to feel what it feels like to be in the presence of another.

Choose “speaker view.” 

In Zoom, one can choose Speaker View or Gallery View, and I think I prefer Speaker View so that the one person who is speaking has more of my attention and the others are more peripheral. This seems to be more like sitting around a conference table where we are aware of everyone there but we direct our attention primarily to whoever is speaking. Tracking an array of 24 (or more) faces on the screen can be a challenge!

Resist the urge to multitask. 

I sheepishly have to admit that I am a multi-tasker on Zoom many times and have been known to read and fire off several emails while also sitting in a meeting. This has got to stop. Not because I need to hyper-focus on just what is happening in the meeting, but because I can’t be putting additional effort into attending to anything else. If anything, I need to let go of a bit of “efforting” and let my attention rest more lightly and lovingly on what (and who) is before me.

Try to take measured breaks between sessions. 

As a clinical psychologist, when I used to do psychotherapy, I was fairly good at enforcing a 50-minute hour. That gave me ten minutes to write notes, run to the restroom, get a drink of water and generally settle and decompress.

Remind yourself periodically that this is a new place between presence and absence that we will have to learn how to accommodate as we go forward into the uncertain future.

It is both better than absence (imagine life in a pandemic without FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and the rest) and not quite as resonant as presence (do we know if mirror neurons still function over the internet like they do in person?). Let’s see if we can simultaneously refrain from high expectations without dismissing the clear benefits of online communication.

Read Zoom Exhaustion is Real. Here are Six ways to Find Balance and Stay Connected by Steve Hickman, from Mindful.org.  Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

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