Since July this year, between friends, family members, colleagues and clients, there was a huge outcry for ways to identify and manage digital fatigue.

On Saturday during an online dinner with friends, this topic surfaced again with a vengeance. Some mentioned carrying excess weight around their abdomen which is an additional factor that is making them irritable and, in some cases feeling very low. We discussed ways to cope and simple things we can all do so that the holiday season doesn’t become a time to sleep our vacation away. The conversation definitely gave them hope, so I thought why not share with many other people who are going through the same pain.

What is Digital Fatigue?

Digital fatigue is a recognised state of mental exhaustion and disengagement that occurs when people are required to use numerous digital tools and apps concurrently and in an ongoing way.

How to Identify and Overcome Digital Fatigue?

Are you experiencing any of the following? If you are, then chances are that you are showing symptoms of fatigue, feeling worn out by endless virtual meetings & events and of course end of year examinations and assessments. For each of these symptoms, we have outlined how you can become accountable for yourself and with some tried and tested coping mechanisms make small, but effective changes in your life.

Sore, tired, burning, or itching eyesTake regular breaks from your computer screen.A splash of cold water to provide relief to tired eyes.
Sore neck, shoulders or backTake regular breaks from your seated position.Participate in one online meeting in a standing position.Stretch your arms overheadA few shoulder rolls will do wonders.
Difficulty concentratingTake a break.Go for a brisk walk, even if it is around your home office.Factor in a few stretches for your neck, back and shoulders.Drink a tall glass of water.  Add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or a few berries.
Displaying snappy or irrational behaviourTake a few minutes at the end of every day to reflect.Identify what is bringing on your change in behaviour.Make a change and check in again during your reflection time.Continue adjusting.  You got this!
HeadachesTake a break.Choose healthy foods to strengthen your immune system.Drink lots of fluids.  The weather is warm, and a few tall glasses of water will go down well and get rid of toxins.Ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
Increased sensitivity to lightLimit your screen time.Many of us enjoy unwinding in front of the television after a hard day in our home office.  Try something different like going for a walk, jumping into the pool (if you are fortunate to have one), playing a game or just relaxing your eyes while listening to music or in complete silence also works.
Feeling hopeless and overwhelmed by the repetitive nature of your dayThe work/life balance has become a bit of a blur, so it is up to each of us to create some variety in our day.Start your morning with a few gentle stretches.Start a veggie patch or plant veggies in a container if you have limited space.Include a new recipe in your menu.Ask your family to rate your recipe.Include some meditation or relaxing music in your bedtime routine.Get a good night’s sleep.

Our current way of working is here to stay. We do have choices; continue as we are now or be kind to ourselves and start making some smart and effective changes to boost those feel good hormones. Holiday season is around the corner. Have you started planning how you are going to unwind after this difficult year? Look out for our next blog as we share more of our thoughts with you.