• September 2020 Newsletter

    SOUDER’S IDEAS FOR HANDLING ZOOM GLOOM

    Zoom Fatigue - is that a thing?  I think it may be.  I am hearing about it from students, parents and colleagues, so it must be real.  Oh yeah, and I’m feeling it too, so it is definitely real.

    Here’s a cool site with lots of great ideas for yourself or others: https://crushingthecurve.me

    What am I doing about it and will some of my strategies or ideas help you?  Well, I’ll tell you what I’m doing most days and then you decide if any of this will make your life a bit more manageable.  The ideas on crushing the curve may be even better for you, so check that out too!

    • I rise at least 90 minutes before work/school starts in the morning because I don’t want to be rushed or spend the day wishing I had showered or being seen with my wild bedhead
    • The Calm app on my phone plays relaxing waves lapping onto the shore while I do some stretches and deep breathing (while I do this and push all of the ‘to do’ lists out of my head - well, most of them, anyway) 
    • I hit the shower and figure out a way that at least the top half of me will look presentable enough to get through the day 
    • I fix a healthy breakfast - usually yogurt, blueberries, banana and toasted almonds 
    • Over a relaxing (15-20 minute) breakfast, I read something that interests me (although the urge to read emails is powerful and sometimes I can't resist)
    • Brushing my teeth before I settle down at my laptop ensures that no one will say, “Hey, is that an almond stuck in your teeth?”
    • Sitting for more than 45-60 minutes at a time is not healthy, so I get up and walk and stretch for quick breaks, I reward myself with healthy snacks throughout the day (watermelon slices, pears, avocado toast)
    • I fix a healthy lunch every day (even if I sometimes eat it while answering emails)
    • Most days at 4 pm, I brew a pot of tea in a beautiful teapot, then relax and enjoy it with a real book (not an ipad, kindle or phone).  I spend at least 30 minutes enjoying the tea and the book (seems like an eternity when there are pressing work issues, but always well worth it)
    • Weather and air quality permitting, I go out for a nice long walk
    • In inclement weather, I take an online yoga or Tai Chi class, or use my water rower to get in some exercise (OK, I admit it, I do this while binging Netflix)
    • I call at least one friend per day to connect and chat, since getting out and about to see friends is limited, at best
    • My evening ritual involves some puzzles (either crossword, Sudoku or jigsaw), then a good book as I climb into bed no later than 9 pm
    • A good night’s sleep is almost guaranteed if I follow this rhythm
    • Even a restless night, if I turn in early enough, will result in at least 8 hours of sleep

    While I know that mine may not be the perfect recipe for you, perhaps there are a few ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine that help you alleviate fatigue and remain optimistic. I find that structure for my work/school day helps me to better (not perfectly) manage all the things coming my way. I also have to admit that I am not always successful. I often work too long, sit too long, miss my workout, etc.  But then I am kind to myself, forgive myself, and agree to give it try again tomorrow.

    Other things to consider:

    • 5 minute music rewards - something from your playlist that boosts your spirit and gets you pumped up for a burst of homework
    • Push ups - I do mine in the morning, but anytime during the day they can give you a burst of energy - plus they build great muscle tone
    • Homework with a study partner - even if it is just the two of you with your phones on so you can chat as you work (no screens necessary)
    • Cooking - so many students are chefs in the making. It’s relaxing, the kitchen will smell great, and the reward is a wonderful meal you can share with family and friends

    Hopefully, you will develop your own personal strategy for success in these strange times. Know that this is a temporary situation, you have the resilience and stamina to get through this, and I will look forward to seeing you all in person on the other side.

    Sheila Souder, Counselor

    “Today I refuse to stress myself out about things I cannot control or change.”- Anonymous

    “Stress spelled backward is desserts.” Loretta Laroche

    Last updated by Sheila Souder on 9/24/2020.