As we continue our shelter-in-place practices, employees across the country are reporting that they are taking fewer breaks, spending more time in their chairs and in front of their screens, and experiencing an increase in competing work and family demands. Many of us are feeling “Zoom exhaustion.”
To help us all stay mentally and physically healthy, we recommend that Zoom hosts consider shortening meetings to allow for breaks and transition time. For example:
- Schedule 1-hour meetings for 50 minutes
- Schedule 30-minute meetings for 25 minutes
- Include breaks in longer meetings
If possible, avoid scheduling meetings during the noon hour. Many employees have family or other commitments (such as children who need to be fed, helping with school work, picking up groceries, etc.) and need time during the day to complete these tasks.
Tips to avoid Zoom exhaustion are also posted here.
Finally, consider taking some vacation time or taking advantage of the paid administrative leave related to COVID-19. While we may be restricted from travelling or enjoying public events, taking a real break from work can help you refresh and refocus.
Directors and supervisors can set the example by making these changes to their meetings and supporting vacation leave requests. Together, we can help each other stay healthy.
UCCE San Diego has traditionally had a presence at the in-person County Earth Day Fair. For this year's Virtual Earth Day Fair event due to COVID-19, the team provided online 4-H and Master Gardener links and activities for youth, offering families a wealth of science-based, fun and interactive activities to do together.
Ventura County UCCE and Hansen Agricultural Research Center (HAREC) donated nearly two tons of fruit and vegetables to Food Forward and the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD). Additionally, Ventura County Master Gardeners propagated seedlings of vegetables and herbs that would normally be destined for schools with gardens, but because of the pandemic they were given to schools for direct distribution to families. Learn more here.
The Publications team has been actively promoting ANR's free and for-sale gardening resources. As a Davis nursery owner says, “In times of crisis, people want to have agency over their own food supply.” There is renewed national interest in vegetable gardening and there has been very high engagement with these promotional emails.
Christine Davidson from EFNEP and Michele Byrnes from CalFresh Healthy Living, UC started a "Zoomercise" physical activity program for ANR employees every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30-1pm. Activities include yoga, walking, and family-friendly activities on Fridays. A spreadsheet was created to share the schedule and links for videos; staff members are encouraged to host a session.