Overcoming Screen Exhaustion

Article by: Brianna Reineke, LPC, LCDC

April 30, 2021

This August, we celebrate National Wellness Month!

National Wellness Month is an opportunity for all of us to establish healthy habits, such as stress management and remaining present – both for ourselves and others. Establishing practices for self-care and wellbeing is essential to enhancing our quality of life, both as individuals and members of our community. Focusing on topics such as nutrition, sleep patterns, and exercise could all enhance your well-being. The benefits of self-care patterns and wellness often result from a range of simpler changes, as it takes 21 days to create a habit. It is important for you to feel comfortable with the change you create for yourself as well!

Events related to the COVID-19 pandemic of the last two years may make establishing self-care habits overwhelming or even make them feel like daunting tasks. Reframing these habits to fit your needs can help them to feel less challenging. For example, If you want to set a goal to “drink more water,” but struggle to drink water or do not like the taste, you might consider changing the goal to, “stay well hydrated.” This also might allow you more room to drink fruit juices, or some sports drinks if those appeal more to your tastebuds.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or otherwise sick of virtual meetings, you are not alone.  Recent studies have begun to examine the effects of virtual meeting and screen fatigue, recently called “Zoom Gloom” by folks on social media.  Whether you are a therapist seeing clients all day, a teacher or student attending online classes, or part of a remote work team, you might be at risk of developing Zoom Gloom.  Of course, it’s not like what we are seeing is specific to Zoom – just like “Googling” something is synonymous with doing an online search, “Zooming” has become synonymous with virtual meetings.  However, if you are attending back-to-back virtual meetings during your work day, then chances are you’ve felt the effects. 

Check out this video to learn more:

What are the signs of screen exhaustion?

Short term:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Head fog
  • Performance anxiety

Long term:

  • Chronic stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Burnout

How can you cope? 

The research offers three main suggestions for coping with Zoom Gloom:

  1. Be physically active and take good care of your body
  2. Schedule sections of meetings to be audio only (e.g., phone call or turning off camera on Zoom)
  3. Take at least 10 minutes in between meetings to get away from your screen and destress

Need more help?

Contact us today!  Our team of therapists are experts at helping people overcome stress, depression, anxiety, and more.  Get the help you deserve and contact us today.  

Want to work with one of our Deep Eddy therapists?