Since the coronavirus pandemic has hit the world, we have been on video calls more than ever before–and many are finding it exhausting. For students, the increased time spent in front of a screen, due to online classes, is taking a toll on their well-being. They have to not just attend zoom classes for hours but also make notes, learn the new concepts taught and on top of everything else, prepare those materials for the upcoming assessments.

This ordeal is leaving more and more youngsters struggling with what is being called Zoom Fatigue. Named after one of the most ubiquitous video-calling platforms, it is a term used to define the mental and physical exhaustion caused by constant video calls. This is a relatively new phenomenon, birthed amidst a pandemic.

So how can school and college-goers dial it back? Here, five students share with SheThePeople how they are giving themselves the much-needed mental break amidst back-to-back online classes.

Pallabi Dutta, a second-year political science student from Delhi University says that she usually listens to some soothing music to cheer herself up–80s songs being her favourite mood boosters. “Apart from that, I write blogs for my site and also create content for a start-up company. I love to spend my time writing. At other times, I try my hand in baking, or I simply play with my sister. Since I am an out-station student, getting to spend time with my family after such a long time has been a quality experience during this quarantine.”

Maia Bedi, a student of Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai, shares, “It’s not a fantastic idea but usually once I’m done with online class, I shift right to another screen and watch some episodes of Gossip Girl. But say if my eyes are burning way too much, I either take a quick nap or nibble some chocolate.”

Shreya, a second-year student from St. Xavier’s Kolkata on the other hand says that she refrains from using her laptop camera in her online classes, and instead focuses on voices. “This stops me scrambling to look for which student/professor is talking. I feel that watching them talk tires me out much faster. When I’m only listening to voices, it becomes more like a podcast, and I feel my brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard.”

Also Read: Five Reasons Why Zoom Meetings Are So Exhausting

The Importance of Physical Exercise

Aishi Sharma has taken a drop year to prepare for engineering entrances. She likes to go for a jog after a long strenuous day of back-to-back online classes. “There’s a park nearby which usually remains empty, so I go there and sit for some time, watching and absorbing the greenery around me. Days when I cannot go outside, I practise freehand exercises on my terrace. Basically, any physical activity that makes me stay away from the screen for an hour or so helps. My eyes and back-muscles feel much less tired after that,” says she.

Aditi Rai, a student at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi also hails workout as a perfect antidote to Zoom fatigue. She says, “After I am done with my classes, which is usually in the evening, I go out to walk my dog. It’s a time I just spend with my pet, and somehow that cheers me up considerably. In between my lectures, I keep with me a stock of soft drinks, ice-creams, lemonades and so on. Basically any cold beverage or food that can give me an instant energy boost to carry on for the rest of the day. I also try and practise yoga for half-an-hour daily as it helps my mind and body stay fit.”

Also Read: Will I Walk Out Of This Pandemic With Hypertension? Courtesy Work And Study From Home!

The harsh truth is that online classes are going to be a long-term reality for students, and so will Zoom fatigue. But it doesn’t mean we cannot win against this exhaustion. Be it setting a time when we are away from the screen, spending time with family and pets, or indulging in food that cheers the mood up, there are numerous ways in which we can battle zoom fatigue. We just have to make sure that we give ourselves the much-needed break that our brain and body deserves.

Dyuti Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.