It's been a year since the pandemic closures first came into effect, with children, teens, and young adults being swiftly moved online to access their education. While the 'Zoom School' has had its many ups and downs, especially in Ontario, there is something to be said about the overwhelming fatigue that young learners are experiencing. Even with policies that call for reduced workloads, kids are feeling that burnout: the inability to be productive due to complete exhaustion from working too hard. But as Parents in Ontario are being asked to make quick decisions regarding their child's education, and young adults are preparing for a wildly different school year, even if they are back on campus, the world of remote work and education likely won't be going away - at least not entirely.
So how can we help young learners cope with the intense demand and attention required of online education? There are a few things that parents and young adults can do to reduce 'Zoom Fatigue and burnout for their children and themselves. Check out the list below for more info!
Designate a workspace and time. This may seem simple, but you would be surprised at how much designating a specific place and time can help combat burnout. By setting aside a certain corner of the room and limiting any screen use after a certain time of day, you will notice a significant improvement in one's ability to concentrate during learning/work hours. It allows you to leave the stress, demands, and eye strain behind, giving your mind and body a break from the constant connection.
Go outside as much as possible. The last few months have been very hard for Ontario students because of how cold and long this winter seemed to be, but with the weather warming up, it's a wonderful time to breathe in fresh air! There's a reason kids need recess, and why two 15 minute breaks used to be common in the workplace. Humans, no matter their age, were not meant to sit at a desk for long periods of time, maintaining perfect concentration for that duration. Taking a break, specifically going outside, can help boost concentration during online class time.
Open windows, creating a fresh airflow in the room. While you or your child are sitting in a classroom, having a window open to let in some fresh air will help keep your mind and body at a comfortable state. Fresh air always works wonders and can improve one's mood, which in turn helps to improve concentration.
Don't stop doodling If you find yourself or your child doodling during class, let it happen. Doodling can actually help improve concentration and cognition because it can act as a physical expression of mental processing, and help start and maintain creative juices.
Keep online video calls to a bare minimum This one may be difficult, depending on the class structure, but try to keep any form of virtual video calls to a minimum, especially if it's a school-related video call. If it's not necessary to attend, simply don't attend. This will help combat and prevent remote-learning burnout.
I hope this handy list of methods helps you and/or your child combat any burnout you may be experiencing. Remember, it's also important to practice compassion and kindness, both for others and for yourselves. We're all in this together!
Online learning is difficult for anyone, at any age. That's why we're here to support you and your learning needs. If you or anyone you know is struggling with school, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Have any other tips? Let us know in the comments!