How to help employees manage lockdown fatigue

Lockdown fatigue Elllis Fox Blog

A new year is supposed to be a time of fresh thinking, goal setting and planning. Yet the current lockdown working environment makes that very difficult for managers and employees alike. One can’t even switch on the television to switch off because the news these days is downright depressing. Changing lockdown rules, concerns over economic impacts and not to mention uncertainty about the rollout of vaccines. It certainly feels as though there’s not much to feel positive about. So how do you motivate team members and inspire positivity when everything feels so overwhelming

Change what can be changed

Everyone is not only feeling the stress of the situation but also the fatigue. It all feels so out of control with no end in sight. Now is the time to have really honest conversations with employees. This is the situation you’re all having to work through. It’s not what you want, but you can’t change it. What can be changed is their response.  It’s natural to feel depressed about the situation and even angry, but none of those emotions will get the next project done. What will get it done is just focusing on the next thing that needs doing, taking each day one small task at a time. What this does is change the focus from all the negatives people are surrounded with to taking action. Achieving something in itself will help employees to feel more positive and more in control.

Celebrate the wins

Small things matter and should be celebrated. Many successful people have a gratitude journal and this daily practice helps to keep things in perspective. If on a daily basis you look back and count all the things that went right, that felt good and that were achieved, it highlights that despite challenging circumstances, there’s always something to be grateful for. It helps to change the perspective from what is being felt on an emotional level, which most likely is negative, to what went right or what was achieved.


Taking a deep breath is not just a saying, physiologically it actually does help to calm and strengthen the body. Just the simple act of stopping to take a deep breath can stop an emotional downward spiral. When employees are feeling overwhelmed, work with them, remind them of things to be grateful for, help them to focus on what they can change, and before they set out in a new direction –  to simply breathe.