Finding Purpose While Distancing at Home

18 May 2020

By Charlotte Hayes, Head of Diabetes, Wellness & Education at Team Novo Nordisk

Five months ago, most of us were looking forward to a new year, a new decade, and achieving meaningful goals in 2020. 

According to plan, a few weeks into January, Team Novo Nordisk riders and staff came together for a Training Camp with a full-on schedule of training, performance testing, planning and preparation for the upcoming season. News of COVID-19 was already making its impact on the cycling world with the early-season racing calendar affected by race cancellations in Asia. The team was agile and quickly adapted to a revised racing calendar. 

Six weeks later, the cloud of the pandemic had spread, now having a global effect, and everything we knew changed. Cycling and other sporting events were cancelled, businesses were shuttered, and borders were closed.  Orders came to shelter in place leaving us wondering “What do I do now?”. 


If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of the COVID-19 situation we’ve collectively been challenged with, you’re not alone.  Many people describe feelings of loss, sadness, uncertainty, anxiousness or fear.  Though it’s important to recognize these feelings, it can be extremely beneficial to do some thought work to re-find what will give us a sense of purpose, direction and fulfillment in the upcoming days and weeks.  


Take time to pause and reflect on what’s happened and what your life’s situation is now. Recognize that plans and goals have drastically shifted making it necessary to reprioritize. Look for opportunity and think about:  

  • What drives you?  How do you want to use your time and talents?
  • What will bring you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day?   
  • What do you want to get better at doing?                                                
  • What necessary and routine tasks have to be done to support your job, household and others in your life?
  • What things have been on your “too do” list that you can now get around to doing?


    Develop a routine and specific plan of action to keep yourself on track with making stepwise progress toward goals. 

    • Prioritize what you want to do or what is most important to do.
    • Decide what you will tackle first, keeping it at an achievable level.
    • Be action specific.
    • Define what you intend to do, how much time or effort you will put into it, when you will fit it into your schedule and how much time per day or week you will commit to the task. 
    • Stay nimble. If plans need to be revised (which is likely during this time of uncertainty), that’s ok. 


    Have a growth mindset. This is an extraordinary time that has handed us big challenges.   Facing and overcoming challenges through creative problem solving, being adaptable, and having the drive to perform at your best will help you survive and eventually thrive.


    Stay connected. Though physically distanced, check in with others to share experiences, offer and receive support, find inspiration and gain a shared understanding of what you’re going through.   


    Focus on the small things that are right and good in your world.  ocusing on the positive and expressing gratitude can elevate your outlook, boost positive emotions, increase productivity and improve overall health.


    Keep fitness and exercise, healthy nutrition practices, moments of relaxation and a good sleep routine a top priority each day. 


    Staying home and sheltering in place is a big sacrifice. I often think of our Team Novo Nordisk athletes who, out of necessity, have adapted to alternative training plans including hours of stationary, indoor cycling. As a team they are committed to being prepared when racing resumes and to inspiring people around the world who are affected by diabetes and impacted by COVID-19.

    Cycling is a tough and challenging sport which requires grit and resilience. It’s also a sport that has developed many mental and physical strengths that athletes can tap into to keep moving forward during this time.    


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