I’ve read the insightful article on why Zoom sessions tire us out. “Zoom fatigue,” explained here, refers to the exhaustion felt after virtual interactions and has become an issue in our shift to the online world. I would argue (and I think most would agree) that what we are currently experiencing goes beyond the impact of our interfacing platforms. Life itself is wearing us out.
For the last few months, I’ve been too consistently tired to reflect on why I’ve felt drained. However, a weekend break from our humdrum reality gave me some clarity. We took a trip to a mountain cabin (immediate family, brought food, and didn’t do extra touristy stuff) and spent two wonderful days hiking and hanging out–trying to temporarily escape from the weight of the world.
Our return prompted me to ponder why we are so generally tired, even on days that we seem to do little. We now have so many decisions to make, all shrouded in tension and uncertainty. As I wrote about in my blog post of questions, none of us really know how to approach this reopening stage. What we feel comfortable doing is constantly changing. At the same time, we, in effect, clouded by our own teeter-totter about the present contagion: Are we going to get the virus? Have we and didn’t know it? Are others the threat or am I (even though I haven’t had symptoms)? I can definitely relate to this post:
But it’s not just about the ever-present COVID-19. Minor decisions are hard now, partly because we have so many of them to make. With no school for the kids, suddenly we are deciding what to feed our herds numerous times per day. We are also deciding how to keep them entertained, engaged, and learning, while trying to navigate working from home, which comes with its own bundle of decisions.
Every big choice now leads to a hundred little choices, as we are all venturing into uncharted territory. It’s like we are living the least fun version of Choose Your Own Adventure, guided by a bombardment of conflicting media messages.
Adding to that, our support system outside of our own households has been reduced to only phone calls and social media. No FB Messenger post is a substitution for a face-to-face friend lunch at a local restaurant. It’s hard to make decisions. It’s even harder to make them alone, while your kids pop in and interrupt you (5 times in the writing of this post).
It’s not that we are tired from doing nothing, then. Our brains are fatigued from the endless decision-making. What was seemingly effortless must now be intentional and it is exhausting–especially without in-person friends or childcare.