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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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How to combat online meeting exhaustion

November 19, 2020

I’ve been finding online meetings to be: 

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When I first noticed it

I noticed it first during MyStart: Orientation. As a Peer Leader, we love to share faculty spirit with the incoming students! This was my third orientation experience and I was so excited that we were able to do it online. It was a fantastic experience and I think Ontario Tech did an amazing job welcoming the class of 2024! While I’m usually super tired at the end of in-person orientation days, this time I was feeling a little different. I was more tired than usual. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I was scrolling on Instagram and came across this post: 

The term “Zoom fatigue” was so novel to me, I’d never heard it before. This is the first time I realized that I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling. 

What is Zoom fatigue?

Zoom fatigue is the mental exhaustion we feel from online meetings [1]. This informational video by CBC News does a great job of summarizing what Zoom fatigue is and the reasons we experience it.

Why do we experience it? 

Interestingly, the main reason for Zoom fatigue includes the act of “performing” [1]. When the camera is on, it amplifies the amount of attention we feel. In face-to-face meetings, I don’t pull mirrors out at random to check what I look like. But online, I know I’m guilty of clicking on my video box to see what I look like from time to time which is a weird thing to be doing during a meeting. I definitely feel more self-aware of how I’m sitting, where I’m looking, and how engaged I am in the conversation I’m having. The feeling of having a large group of people looking at us can also be nerve-wracking as opposed to having more one-to-one interactions [1]

How I combat online meeting exhaustion

In addition to the Instagram I shared above, I try to do a few daily tasks to avoid burnout from online meetings. 

Making time to get fresh air every day

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I’m most inconsistent with this one. I have to make a conscious effort to go outside because I usually don’t have any other reason to on most days. A little vitamin D can never hurt and the crisp Fall air is magical, I find it can have an instant energizing effect on me!

Getting up from my desk between meetings 

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Stretch breaks are crucial for me. My posture has gotten so bad from slouching all the time, so getting up from my desk is a relief from sitting in my chair all the time!

Taking breaks without using devices 

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I love Netflix, and in the beginning, this would be my go-to break option. However, my eyes will start to burn if I’m staring at screens too much. I quickly realized that it was essential for me to take a break from my devices to have an effective and rejuvenating break!

Talking to a family member 

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This is my favourite one. I like to snuggle my little brother or chat with my parents. Face to face human interaction is priceless in times like these.

Resisting the urge to change into my pyjamas 

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My fashion motto is comfort over everything. Even at school, I was always in comfy clothes. So, my natural reaction to working from home was to be in my pyjamas at all times. But I found that this was contributing to my lethargy. Getting dressed up in clothes that I could walk out of the door in has been so helpful to me!

Keeping a tidy workspace 

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If my desk is crowded or messy, I’ll default to sitting on my bed or near it. By keeping it tidy, I have no excuse but to sit upright and in my designated work spot! 

I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me!

References

[1] https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/zoom-fatigue-is-setting-in-1.5585933