Zoom fatigue is real, but you don't have to resort to plastic surgery or sabotage to make the experience easier.
Let's face it most of us don't sit around staring at the mirror all day. Seeing your own image stare back at you for long stretches can be distracting. The longer we look the more we tend to focus on the flaws and what we are lacking, rather than what is really important, the content of the conversation.
There are a couple of easy steps you can start with to make your Zoom experience less stressful.
1. Make sure your computer camera is eye level. I am surprised a year into the shift to virtual so many people are still looking down into the camera. Even if you are on a laptop in a hotel, pile up some books or grab a small box to place the laptop or phone on so that you are looking straight into the camera.
2. Make sure you are properly lit. If you have to video conference often, invest in a ring light to put directly behind your camera to shine light on your face. Buy one that has different tone options so you can adjust it. People think bright light will age them, but the opposite is true. Dim or uneven light throws shadows and can make you look tired. Whatever you do, don't sit with a window in back of you. No one can actually see your beautiful yard, the sunlight throws the camera's iris off so there is only bright light and your face in a dark shadow.
3. Remember who is in control. It may be hard to turn your camera off completely when everyone else has theirs on, but you can compromise by hiding your image from yourself. When you are in a meeting, right click your video to display the menu button and then click Hide Self View. To return just hit the menu again and tap Show Self View.
Taking these first steps should make the process a little less stressful.