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7 Self-Care Strategies for Beating Zoom Fatigue Through Poetry

After more than a year of working from home and connecting with friends through virtual happy hours, let’s face it—you’re likely facing some serious Zoom fatigue. Though the term has only been coined in the last year, it’s already been studied by both Harvard and Stanford researchers. Zoom fatigue, like other forms of burnout, can be lessened by stepping away and devoting time to the interests and hobbies you love. The next time you finish a challenging workday filled with meetings or feel your eyes glazing over after another Zoom game night, log off and opt for one of these seven poetry-inspired self-care tips. 


1. Take poetry outside.

According to Harvard Medical School, getting outside can boost your mental health. And what better companion than poetry, with its deep appreciation for nature and penchant for botanical themes? Grab a favorite or new poetry collection and hit a nearby park, garden, body of water, or even your patio. 


2. Form a socially-distanced poetry circle.

Build on the outdoor theme by gathering your friends, family members, or regular poetry book club for a socially-distanced poetry circle. Having a discussion IRL about all of your poetry opinions can be a welcome change from on-camera conversations. Discuss a collection everyone’s been looking forward to, or invite everyone to read from their favorite books. 


3. Make your way through a poetry reading list.

Take a break from your busy schedule by removing one task from your plate: deciding what to read next. It can be comforting to read pre-selected poetry recommendations. They can also help you meet specific reading goals, whether that’s reading more poetry by Black authors or delving into a queer reading list. For a more encompassing list, check out Book Riot’s list of the best 50 titles, which incorporates both the ancient and the modern. Working your way through a reading list can result in a sense of pride, as well as help you grow your understanding of the genre.


4. Send poetry postcards. 

Sure, you can send texts or video chat, but there’s something thoughtful and unexpected about sending a friend snail mail. Write a favorite line or stanza of poetry on a postcard or in a greeting card so they can unwrap a surprise. Bonus: Write a note about why that line made you think of them and how it speaks to your friendship. 


5. Get artsy with poetry.

In addition to being fun and creative, crafts reduce stress. That’s because they help you achieve a state of mindfulness and flow. Plus, when you’ve been on a screen all day, working with something tangible—such as fabric, paint, or freshly sharpened colored pencils—can be a powerful grounding technique. Crafts can be poetic, too. Consider cross-stitching a favorite line of poetry, or trying your hand at some poetry calligraphy. 


6. Meditate with poetry podcasts.

What’s your favorite poetry podcast? Whether it’s Commonplace or The Slowdown, you’ve probably noticed a trend among the poetry podcasts you subscribe to: They’re all reflective and soothing. Put down the books and let someone else read you their favorite poems while you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and gently stretch. 


7. Indulge in a poetry spa night.

One of the best places to read poetry just might be the bathtub. Fill your tub with bubbles and Epsom salt, light candles, and let a book—or one of the aforementioned poetry podcasts—be your spa night entertainment. A skincare mask or home pedicure can provide an added dose of relaxation.