Video conference after video conference has some people feeling strained. Is this true of you? If so, what can you do to help? Julie’s got your back! She will be sharing some practical tips for reducing your stress and engaging your brain that will have you feeling better in no time!
Tip #1 – Breathe! Try to breathe deeply, in through your nostrils and out through your nostrils. While breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth is more effective for relaxation, breathing in through your nose and out through your nose will really help your brain be more engaged and ready to focus. This will help to engage your brain in a positive way. Try to accomplish this deep breathing exercise before each meeting or conference you have, this will help to calm the automated system of your brain and subconscious.
Tip #2 – Move it! Try to get up and move every thirty minutes throughout your conference if possible. Watch the clock and set a timer if needed. Amazingly, going from a sitting position to a standing position will increase the oxygen level in your brain by 10-15%!
Tip #3 – Hydrate! It is essential to hydrate as only a 2% percent drop in your body’s water will cause you to have trouble focusing, give you a fuzzy, short-term memory and will actually reduce the problem-solving portion of your brain. Always try to constantly hydrate by keeping your water near you.
Tip #4 – Ask questions. Be sure to ask for clarification if you are unsure of someone’s body language or not understanding what is being said or the point being made. If it’s not possible to ask questions during your video conference, make a not to follow up via email or phone call. This will help lessen the stress on your brain.
Tip #5 – Avoid multitasking as much as possible while on video. Considering that your brain is already mentally juggling on its own level while on Zoom, try to avoid other digital distractions. Strive to not allow your brain to get used to micro distractions by trying to put away unneeded technology (e.g. your personal phone) and by turning off notifications on your computer if possible.
Tip #6 – Break! Building in breaks is especially important. Every 30 minutes or so, give yourself a brain break, stand up and move around, and remember to hydrate. If you have control of the time, build in the breaks to your conference. If you are not the one in control, aim to simply stand up and move a bit. Turning off notifications on your devices and trying not to have multiple screens and tabs open will help reduce screen distraction and stimuli.
Tip #7 – Spread em! Spread your video conferences out if possible. If you can, create time blocks and portions of your day and week where you have no meetings. Can you say no or combine some of your meetings? If you have a lot going on in a day or week, try to reschedule to give your brain a break. Work hard to not have too many Zoom meetings on a daily or weekly basis. Endeavor to make your time on Zoom more efficient with an outline and agenda, and by sending it to the people you have the video meeting with to help you stay on point and in your predetermined time frame. Knowing that disorganization can have a toll on your brain, try to keep your meetings at a reasonable amount of time. Break up your meetings into multiple parts if you have a lot to cover.
Tip #8 – Consider your surroundings. Make your video background a visually calm area for others. Do your best to not be in a busy, hectic environment. If your décor or setting is chaotic, the brains of your fellow Zoomers will get overwhelmed.
Tip #9 – Your comfort matters too! Make your area functionally comfortable for you. Have a designated spot that is physically comfortable for you and will allow you to have good posture. If needed, try to do standing meetings. Being able to stand and move parts of your body is extremely healthy for your brain and will help you to have more energy.
Tip #10 – Invest in blue light blocking glasses! If any part of your body is stressed your brain will be distracted. Protect your eyes with blue light blocking glasses, you might be surprised at what a difference it makes for you!
To sum it all up, attempt to keep your brain from multitasking as much as possible. Take those deep breathes in and out through your nose, hydrate and move around by taking breaks, be functionally comfortable, ask questions and have an agenda. Spread out your schedule if you can and make your physical background visually calm by avoiding busy backgrounds. Also, try out blue light blocking glasses! Applying these tips will help to keep your brain engaged while helping you destress. Remember, you got this!
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Written by Rebecca Younger | Staff blog writer