CLEVELAND, Ohio — As we continue to communicate virtually, many people are feeling frustrated and exhausted.  

Experts are calling it “Zoom fatigue” and there are ways combat it.

    What You Need To Know

    • Video conferencing is more taxing on the brain than face-to-face conversation

    • 85 percent of communication is nonverbal and much of that body language will get lost virtually

    • Try and space out your video conferences and virtual meetings to give your mind a break

“According to what we know about the brain, video conferencing is a whole new ballgame, in terms of, it requires us to process information in a brand new way that we don't typically do in face-to- face conversation and requires much more attention and hyperfocus,” said Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Susan Albers.

She says these virtual meetings take far more effort than a face-to- face conversation and that extra effort can be mentally exhausting.  

“85 percent of our communication is based on nonverbals, or body language expression, and through the screen, a significant portion of that can be lost or distorted. So, our brain is working on overtime to try and fill in the gaps and process everything that's happening that we easily do when we're face to face,” said Dr. Albers,

And speaking of our faces, we arent used to seeing our own this much— especially while talking with others.

“We don't tend to stare directly at ourselves during conversations, and suddenly we're realizing we're on stage, and we feel this enormous amount of pressure to perform or smile throughout the entire conversation. And at the end, this can be exhausting and draining,” Dr. Albers said.

Dr. Albers says there are some things we can do to make connecting a little easier on us.

“Strategically schedule your Zoom meetings. Give yourself a little bit of a break in between so they're not stacked on top of each other. And in that gap, make sure that you stand up, move around, and this is going to help to refocus and re energize you,

And when you’re on a call, eliminate distractions as much as possible.

“Place your videoconferencing morning on speaker mode instead of gallery mode. This is going to help you to focus on one person at a time so that your brain isn't trying to decode multiple different things that are happening at once,” said Dr. Albers.