As we enter the 7th month or so of the pandemic, some components of day to day life are almost guaranteed. Take video calls, for example. Telecommuting isn't going anywhere anytime soon for a great deal of us, and thus, neither is the mysterious exhaustion that comes from staring at our own faces on a screen for hours on end every single day. Turns out that Zoom fatigue is definitely a real thing—confirmed by Dr. Frank Lipman Chief Medical Officer of The Well. And while we're all feeling it—sluggish, tired and generally zapped by our various electronic device, there are some ways to supplement your daily routine so that you don't feel so blah.
If you ask Lauren Roxburgh, structural integration practitioner and wellness expert, quarantine and lockdown has deeply effected our ability to transition into a resting state, and that's partially why we are all feeling so drained—because our nervous systems are constantly being engaged with, whether we are conscious of it or not. So to combat the constant stimulus of doo-lally news and the many hours logged in front of tablets and monitors, the easiest thing anyone could do for themselves is to take magnesium in the evening. This mineral is crucial in supporting neurotransmitters that help move the body into its resting state. Better rest can only help the cause.
Similarly, Dr. Lipman suggests a host of minerals, herbs, and nutrients that are great at supporting the nervous system and help the body recover from stressors. Aside from magnesium, which also helps with muscle relaxation, chamomile, lemon balm, and L-theanine (the latter of which is an amino acid that has been shown to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness—crucial for remaining fresh during the daylight hours) are all great bets.
Beyond feeling mentally drained after hours of video conference calls, the mind wanders not to just, "what is this doing to my brain," but also, "how does this impact my eyesight?" When asked, Dr. Lipman says supplements alone aren't enough: "Rather than supplementing for eye health, we recommend eating a diet full of colorful vegetables, such as red peppers, orange carrots, and leafy greens, which are rich in a variety of antioxidants and vitamins." But if you want to add a little something else to ensure your eyes remain healthy after so much screen time, then he suggests turmeric. "Turmeric is another ingredient that is rich in antioxidants and has shown health benefits for the eyes," he explains.
Another wise investment in combating Zoom-related fatigue—and tiredness in general—is a pair of bluelight blocking glasses. "Screen time could be disrupting sleep or increasing anxiety levels," Lipman explains. "Blue light is not necessarily a problem for most during the day, but becomes a problem if you are on screens after the sun goes down. The artificial light can prevent your body from making melatonin, which is responsible for winding down and sleeping at night," he continues.
These days it is generally fairly common to feel low energy, beyond just our attachment to our computer screens. Some causes may include: poor sleep quality or not enough sleep, prolonged, elevated stress levels, and specific nutritional deficiencies such as a lack of vitamin D. One way to address sleep related issues is to use scent and aromatherapy to help yourself unwind at night. " Scents are a great way to help the body unwind—your olfactory system is more powerful than you realize. Soothing scents include lavender, buddha wood, vetiver, rose, vanilla and chamomile (which can be found in THE WELL’s Relax products). To experience the benefits, diffuse or mist a relaxing scent and simply breathe. With regards to stress levels, Dr. Lipman also advises a regular mindfulness practice such as meditation or a mindful movement.
When it comes to nutritional deficiencies, of course, Dr. Lipman suggests getting tested for what you need to account for, but on a basic level advocates for a whole foods diet and a good daily multi-vitamin that is complete with vitamins D, K, and B vitamins (which are important in the production of energy.) All of this could help combat the fatigue you are feeling as lockdown progresses into a new season.
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