Suffering From Zoom Fatigue?

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 15, Number 3

(Photo by Varun Gaba)

2021 appears to be a more promising year here in South Florida. Since people have become vaccinated, there is more social activity. Closed businesses are reopening. Restaurants are busy. Travel has increased. Yet social problems remain and politics are still a great source of worry. We hope that both the media and politicians can find common ground for the benefit of all people.

Those of us who work completely or partially from home have experienced what has been referred to as Zoom Fatigue. This relates to feelings of exhaustion from virtually communicating when working at home and missing in-person social contact. Zoom Fatigue is not just related to the Zoom platform but to any platform that allows for visual telecommunications. This month’s E-Letter is about Understanding Zoom Fatigue and what you can do about it.

KimmelPsychology has provided a monthly E-Letter for over 15 years, that is educational, informative, and helpful. Topics change every month but the format remains the same; brief information about the topic as well as suggestions for improvement. The topic of interest can be downloaded and used as a handout or a “tip sheet”.

Downloads of this handout and others from our previous E-Letters can be found on our website, KimmelPsychology/e_Letters. We encourage you to read and download them. You are invited to email your thoughts to Dr. Kimmel at [email protected].

Make sure to read the latest blog addition near the end of this E-Letter.


We are pleased to announce that Dr. Camille Benitto, Psy.D. has joined our practice. Dr. Benitto is a Clinical Psychologist who has been providing therapy for over seven years. While she likes to work with young adults, she has experience working with children, adults, and couples. She takes an empathetic approach and is intentional about creating a safe, nonjudgmental space to meet clients in whatever stage of their therapeutic journey. Using evidenced-based techniques, her work promotes insight and empowerment of her clients to achieve their therapeutic goals. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Benitto, call our office at 954 755-2885.

KimmelPsychology has committed ourselves to being available for anyone who is in need of support, therapy, psychiatric consultation, professional coaching, and online psychological and psychoeducational evaluations. We practice telehealth and have recently returned to safe, in-office visits on a limited basis. We can be reached by calling our office at 954 755-2885 or by going to the Our Staff page on our website,

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                                                    (Photo by Chris Montgomery)

After videoconferencing, how exhausted do you feel? Are your eyes irritated? Do you feel emotionally drained? Are you just too tired? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may be suffering from Zoom Fatigue.

Professor Jeremy Bailenson of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab in a study lists four reasons why people experience Zoom Fatigue:

1. Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense. Most natural conversations do not involve constantly looking at the speaker. The size of the monitor can also make the speaker’s face much larger than natural. This intensity for hours at a time can lead to fatigue.

2. Seeing yourself during video calls can also be fatiguing. Watching a reflection of yourself while talking to others is unnatural and can lead to self-criticism.

3. Video calls reduce our mobility. In natural conversations, we tend to walk around more and generally move. In video calls, movement is restricted to the camera.

4. During video calls, we have to think a lot more about our conversation and what we are listening to. If there are internet connection problems, the frustration level increases. Our verbal gestures need to be seen and understood by the receiver to ensure that they understand our comments. Distractions from family members or others also cause us to go off-screen and can be misinterpreted.

Symptoms of Zoom Fatigue include:
1. feeling physically tired between calls and at the end of the work day
2. feeling mentally tired
3. having eye strain or irritation
4. difficulty maintaining concentration
5. having headaches or migraines
6. anxiety concerning how you are seen by others.

But there are remedies.

Solutions to Zoom Fatigue include limiting video calls to only those that are truly necessary and turning on the camera should be optional. Cameras really don’t have to be on throughout each meeting. Adjusting your screen to the side can also help in paying attention and concentrating. Building in transition times between calls can help to refresh a person and give them an opportunity to get up and walk around. This can also help to separate a person’s business identity from their personal identity when working from home. Do not multitask or schedule back-to back calls.

We offer the following information on: Understanding Zoom Fatigue! This information can be downloaded as a handout at KimmelPsychology e-Letters.


I think the one thing about the Zoom calls is unlike being in a room with people where you can look away or drift off, I feel like with Zoom, everyone’s face is just dead center, head on, there is no drifting. It takes a lot of energy from me … Mellody Hobson


    • Zoom Fatigue has been used to describe the feelings of exhaustion and burnout one experiences when using virtual video platforms to communicate
    • Zoom Fatigue is a widely used and relatively new term that refers to any video communication platform that produces drowsiness or weariness
    • During Zoom calls, physical movement is decreased, concentration is increased, self-awareness is increased, and frustration tolerance is decreased
    • Typical signs of Zoom Fatigue include:
    • Feeling tired during a call
    • Difficulty maintaining attention during the call
    • Eye strain and tired eyes
    • Headaches
    • Feeling exhausted at the end of the work day
    • Napping frequently during the day
    • Anger and frustration with technology problems
    • Excessive concern with appearance when on camera
    • Sources of Zoom Fatigue include:
    • Increased eye contact due to constantly looking at others on the screen
    • Social anxiety about directly speaking to a group
    • Monitor size can increase personal discomfort if faces are too large or close
    • Watching yourself on the screen can increase self-criticism; the mirror effect
    • Reduced moving around due to communicating on a screen
    • Excessive attention and concentration can mentally exhaust a person
    • The pandemic has exacerbated Zoom Fatigue as it increased existing anxiety from financial problems, unemployment, lack of in-person social contact, and restrictions on freedom


  • Focus on only one task at a time; do not do other tasks while on a Zoom call
  • Take a break between calls and get up and walk around for a few minutes
  • Do not let your calls run over the allotted time set aside
  • Take Zoom out of full screen and minimize the screen to a smaller size
  • Write more, make phone calls, and use emails to communicate
  • Reduce the amount of virtual meetings
  • If you can, turn off your camera during a meeting
  • Minimize or use the hide-your-image function
  • Seek professional help if you are unable to overcome Zoom Fatigue


Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
Coral Springs FL 33067

Copyright © 2021 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D.