How To Reduce Your Child's Zoom Fatigue And Maintain Mental Energy All Day

| by Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed., TPT Teaching and Coaching, 8/4/2021|

Have you ever wondered why you still feel quite fatigued even if you spend the majority of your Saturday catching up on your favorite shows on your couch and not doing anything particularly physically strenuous? To begin with, our energy is a finite resource. There are two types of energy: physical and mental. Excessive use of one can drain the other out. Despite for entertainment purposes only, lavish television watching is extensive use of mental energy because you still use your vision and cognitive faculty to understand the shows, too much of it can exhaust you physically. Body and mind are intricately linked. Or, if you just played four hours of soccer on the field, that may feel great physically, but it is unlikely you will have any mental energy left to do homework after that. Even if you do, your cognitive power will not perform at its highest level. Like most things in life, balance is key. However, a breakthrough research done by Helen Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California and her co-authors presented the compelling argument that idleness in the brain is a misconception because our brain needs downtime not to rest but to perform deep, mental formations such as cementing new information you recently learned, developing new understandings, and strengthening other vital mental processes when you allow your brain to take a break from the lightning-paced world in which we live in (Scientific American). So no, surfing our routined social media accounts after homework completion does not count as giving our brain a break (just because one is not engaged in academic work doesn't equate an automatic vacation for the brain). In fact, tech demands so much more of our mental energy than we realize because of its endless features and functions when comparing to reading a hard copy book with just your naked eyes and the organic page (there's less to manage both physically and mentally when we are offline). So where does this leave us? If you want to not feel tired during or after Zoom, you have to protect your mental energy by not splurging it on trivial tasks. Based on the aforementioned research and our organic, everyday experiences, the ultimate solution to reduce Zoom fatigue and elevate our mental energy throughout the day is to give our brain more pure, uninterrupted downtime. You should be able to feel the difference right away if you follow the proposed steps below. I believe students will also benefit plentiful if parents can get them accustomed to the following concepts: