Route Fifty: Four Causes of ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and What You Can Do About It. “In the first peer-reviewed article that systematically deconstructs Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective, Jeremy Bailenson, communications professor and founding director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford University, took the medium apart and assessed Zoom on its individual technical aspects. The paper appears in Technology, Mind and Behavior.”
University of Colorado Anschutz: Writing Proves a Therapeutic Outlet for Pandemic Stress. “Writing patient notes is just part of the daily routine for doctors, nurses and other providers. It’s a rare occasion, however, when providers are asked to look inward, to search their own feelings and write about them. What happens when they get this encouragement? What kinds of stories emerge, especially during a historic pandemic? Some of the answers can be found in “Narrative Expressive Writing (NEW).” Expressions about this challenging time — waves of sorrow, nightmares, paralyzing guilt, fear of death and other stressful feelings — have poured forth through this flexible, non-intrusive program launched at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.”
News 18: Indian Covid-19 Doctors Are Turning to Music and Movement to Get Rid of Stress. “According to the report, Anainah [Patel] first thought of adjusting some ballet moves like plie and pirouette during her breaks in shifts. It wasn’t possible for her to fit the course in her life though. However, her failed attempt inspired some artistes to think of healthcare workers like her. It gave birth to Project Move- an online library consisting of music and movements to help our healthcare workers spend some minutes on their self-care.” I took a look at the site. Everything I saw was in English. I briefly looked at a couple of videos. The speaker’s English is accented but she’s easily understandable.
Lifehacker: How to Take a Digital Break. “We’re entering the ‘doomscrolling and snark’ portion of our collective response, which is fine if it helps you cope; but if you’re like me, though, you get frustrated or anxious when we continue to spin our gears. To counteract this, consider scheduling a digital break. And you have plenty of options, each with varying degrees of severity.”
New York Times: In a Stressful Time, Knitting for Calm and Connection. “If you Google the two words ‘knitting’ and ‘pandemic’ together, you will get about 23 million hits. You’ll also do very well with ‘knitting through the pandemic,’ and ‘knitting’ with ‘Covid’ will get you 266 million options, the very first of which, at least when I tried this, was a British pattern for a Covid-19 teddy bear (he wears a mask).”
Slate: The Dark, Forgotten History of Coloring Books. “What if the recent popularity of coloring books comes not from the creativity they purportedly inspire, but from the submission they induce? This, after all, has been their mission from the start. It may be lost to the fans of coloring books that their success peaked in the 19th century, when such publications taught children how to behave. And obedience seems to be what many of us crave in these pandemic days.”
Mashable: Best yoga apps and YouTube channels for practicing at home. “Maybe you want to start the day with yoga, boosting your energy and encouraging clear intention. Or perhaps you want to use yoga to ease that pack pain from sitting in the house all day. Different yoga instructors, apps, and YouTube channels offer different styles and approaches. And what’s best is what works best for you. There’s no universal answer for the single best app or YouTube channel for yoga, but you’ll find one that suits your groove with a little trial and error.”
New York Times: In Vintage TV Ads, a Curious Fountain of Hope (and Cheese). “Search YouTube with the word ‘commercials’ and the decade of your choosing, and you will find hundreds of compilations, including transfers of old broadcasts with everything but the advertisements and the breaking news updates edited out. I put on these compilations as background noise when I’m doing chores or eating dinner. It allows me to make believe that I live in a world I never got to inhabit but is still familiar, a time that seems simpler by virtue of the fact that it isn’t actively making me miserable.”
The Next Web: Disney debuts Zenimation, which mixes soothing sounds with familiar art. “Disney today launched its latest series, called Zenimation, a collection of shorts that combine the company’s animation with some soothing sound effects.”
Broadway World: Audible Announces Sleep & Meditation Focused Audio Collection Featuring Diddy, Nick Jonas, & More
Broadway World: Audible Announces Sleep & Meditation Focused Audio Collection Featuring Diddy, Nick Jonas, & More. “Created in part through a collaboration with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Audible is introducing a free collection of new sleep, relaxation and meditation content. Performers such as Diddy and Nick Jonas join sleep, meditation and wellness experts and enthusiasts including Arianna Huffington, Gabby Bernstein, Sara Auster and Jesse Israel to lead these meditations, bedtime stories, sound baths, soundscapes, ASMR sessions and more.”
MakeUseOf: 5 Meditation and Relaxation Apps to Beat Stress and Anxiety. “The entire planet is trying to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. But apart from the virus itself, the changes and upheavals in lifestyle can take a heavy toll on mental health. Time and again, meditation has proven to be the best practice to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Apart from mindfulness meditation for beginners, there are other techniques like self-reflection and mind training to counter those negative thoughts. And you can get it all for free with these apps.”
Thanks to Esther S. for this pointer. BGR: These nature live streams will lift your spirits during lockdown. “Being stuck inside is a bummer. Being stuck inside because there’s a global pandemic and coming within six feet of someone else could make things even worse? Well, that’s even more of a bummer. If you’re self-isolating in a rural area or small town it might be easy to get a bit of nature every day, but millions of people cooped up in big cities don’t really have that option. As someone who works from home anyway, virus or no virus, I’ve found that being stuck inside doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon your love of the great outdoors. Let me introduce you to the world of live nature cams.”
Metro: Mental health support website launched for NHS staff battling coronavirus. “Trained cognitive behavioural hypnotherapists Slee Parrish and Alex James designed NHS in Mind after feeling that staff were being ‘sent out with watering cans to put out a bush fire’. The new website features instructions for a set of eight techniques, accompanied by simple YouTube videos, for employees who are experiencing feelings of fear or stress while at work.” These are basic, quick exercises that look like they’d be good for anybody experiencing anxiety or stress.
AdAge: Meditation Brands Like Headspace Offer Free Services As Coronavirus Anxiety Rises. “As coronavirus anxiety rises among consumers, many popular meditation apps and wellness brands are making their services free and adding more offerings.”
Harvard Business Review: Anxiety Is Contagious. Here’s How to Contain It.. “Perhaps the most difficult part of this pandemic is the uncertainty we are all facing. Uncertainty about how contagious and deadly Coronavirus is. Uncertainty about the travel that we have planned. Uncertainty about the economy. Uncertainty about our jobs. Yet, uncertainty can be compared to a virus itself, one that is only adding fuel to the anxious fires burning in many of us. This is because uncertainty triggers the fear centers in our brains. Knowing how this process works, however, can help us take proper countermeasures and develop better mental hygiene.” Thoughtful, gentle, hopeful.