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How to Stay Motivated During Extended Covid Lockdowns

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It’s becoming increasingly hard to stay positive and motivated during Covid lockdowns, especially extended ones as Greater Sydney are experiencing now. We’ve done it before but when a lockdown keeps getting extended, it’s easy to feel hopeless and withdrawn, especially in the middle of a cold Winter. There is lockdown fatigue also and a sense of dread realising this is our new normal for now.

It’s even harder as a hospitality business owner if you have had to stand down staff while trying to retain them for when things open back up. One of the best things we did to stay connected during Melbourne’s longest lockdown in 2020 for staff at Impos was a 30-day positivity challenge with a daily task, and we awarded a winner with an Apple Watch as a prize to incentivise participation. It’s important to make staff feel connected and like they are still part of a valued team.

Here’s a few handy tips for our NSW friends to try and stay mentally strong and buoyant over the coming weeks.


We’ve heard it all before, but exercise really is key throughout lockdowns. It’s not just about fitness, or trying to lose some Covid kegs, but it also helps enormously with mental strength and an overall positive outlook. Even a 30-minute walk daily while you head out to grab your morning coffee can do wonders for lifting your spirits.

Remember to Take Breaks

If you’re struggling with productivity during work, make sure you take breaks away from your work area, including lunch. Having a new routine will help you manage your time in work, as well as your work-life balance. It can be easy to get distracted by your phone or other members of the household during breaks, but staying strict on your break allowance will enable you to reel yourself back in.

Stay Connected

There are heaps of resources online if you are looking to keep your staff motivated and connected throughout lockdowns. The 30-Day Positivity Challenge we did at Impos was easy to implement and tasked people with a daily challenge like create your bucket list, try a new healthy recipe and share it, make a list of things you are grateful for etc. It allowed staff to stay in contact and learn more about each other outside of work.

Practice Self-care

A lot of the motivation for productivity may also be impacted by your time out of work. Ensure you’re still doing things for yourself in your spare time and practise self-care, whatever self-care is for you; be that exercise or not. If you’re struggling with adapting to your new working environment, try reaching out to your employer, HR or co-workers for support.

Don’t Cave into Peer Pressure

There is a lot of pressure at the moment to use your free time effectively and do everything you’ve been meaning to do. While this may work for some people, others may just need this time to directly invest in their mental health and simply do less. Instead of focusing on what you ‘should’ be doing in your free time, focus on what you ‘want’ to do.

Set Boundaries at Home

Share your ‘office hours’ with any loved ones using the space, along with what level of interaction is acceptable during those hours. You may also want to create some fun new rituals like mid-morning coffee or lunch with the family, so they have a stress-free space held to connect with you throughout the day without feel like they are getting in the way.

Have a Wind-up and Wind-down Routine

Kicking off the day with a ten-minute HIIT class or yoga workout on Youtube, whilst mentally listing all the things you’re grateful for, is a great way to start.

At night, you may find that quickly jotting down everything you need to do the next day helps clear the head and aids better sleep. Followed by a simple guided meditation – there are loads of free apps that offer night-time mediations, which can work wonders for waking up feeling more motivated for the day ahead.

Listen to Your Body

Sometimes lack of motivation isn’t down to lack of drive, but exhaustion and poor self-care. Ask yourself if you are doing all you can to keep your energy levels high; like eating breakfast, staying hydrated and getting as many doses of vitamin D as possible.

If you’re feeling sluggish and unmotivated, then going for a brisk work or dancing to your favourite song can be a great pattern interruption giving you that hit of endorphins your body needs to get back on track.

Take a Break from Social Media

Another struggle for a lot of people during extended lockdowns is how differently we all cope. Some people just keep their head down, while others become incredibly angry and active on social media. Lockdowns divide people politically so all of a sudden, we are dealing with strong opposing views, sometimes from good friends. Views we never would have been made of aware of if not tested with Covid restrictions and ongoing lockdowns. This can be particularly hard to deal with given it is such an emotive topic. Sometimes it’s best to just take a break all together to keep friendships intact.

Be Grateful

We’ve saved the best until last because this is a big one. While it is easy to think we are all in the same boat with Covid, this just isn’t the case. One of the best quotes we have seen is:- “We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some of us are in yachts, and some in rowboats, while some are clinging to driftwood. We are all in different boats in the same storm.” Take time daily to be grateful for your family, friends, safe warm home and full fridge of food. Go back to the basics and take stock of how lucky you really are compared to so many.