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10 Daily tasks to keep you motivated through the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Angela Naeth offers insight on how to stay positive and motivated through the challenging times of the pandemic.

COVID-19, stay at home advisories, closed businesses, fear, worry, concern, and anxiety. This is the reality we’re all living in today.

Angela Naeth on the run at Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast. Photo: @higgybabyphotography

When I first learned of pools closing, etc. and how this was going to effect me personally, as an athlete, I wasn’t too concerned. I have been through a lot worse with my own health and dealing with Lyme disease. Well, that thinking and thought process sure ended quick!

This has been a very challenging time for all of us. Some, have lost family members, jobs, sources of income and, for many, we’re working from home. We’ve lost access to gyms, health clubs and isolation is our new reality.

At one point, my head/mind spiraled. I went downhill, fast.  Emotional despair and distress took over. I started to ruminate. I was stuck. I was wallowing feeling fear, worry, anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness. I found no value in who I was.

I found myself not being able to focus, let alone do anything. I sat, I ate, I cried, I zoned out for a few days. I’d get out of this funk, for a while, but I’d then go right back to where I was. Many, I’m assuming, can relate.

Related: 5 Tips for triathletes navigating a global pandemic

Thanks to Craig Manning (a high performance coach I have been working with for over five years – www.fearlessmind.com), I’ve been able to get out of this dead-end ruminating cycle.

“Hi Craig. I’m doing terrible,” I said to him. “Yesterday, I literally couldn’t do anything. I jogged, and then completely broke down. I was alone all day, and completely spiraled into feeling I have no value in life.  I can’t do anything, I’m fearful, worried, and just don’t know what to do.”

Craig helped me break down this tough process.

Rumination creates distress – BAD stress, which causes mental and physical fatigue, to a point where we simply don’t enjoy life. We then feel we deserve a break we decrease our overall productivity, in our life and work. We think the break will help us. Perhaps it will – but it doesn’t stick.

The action of doing NO action creates empty space for more rumination, and more emotions to then take over.

And then, guess what? We keep spiraling.  It’s a never-ending rollercoaster, with no end in sight.

We need to change our perspective and look at something we do have control over.  Be part of the solutions, not part of the problem.

Angela Naeth racing to an eighth place finish at the 2018 Ironman World Championship. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Things don’t just work out.  PEOPLE work things out. 

By acting, giving ourselves tasks to do, our motivation goes up, and so does our sense of motivation.

For me that means staying active, being part of the community – online, writing, coaching remotely, and getting busy with engagement.

We (me, you, all of us) need to learn to live with the virus. Challenge yourself to be proactive, not reactive.

Be honest with what you’re doing every day. Every hour, every minute of your day.

If you stop occupying your mind and engaging in life (your life), fear and despair will creep in – and you’ll continue to spiral, and ultimately try to escape reality – which in and of itself, in my opinion, is simply not living.


Just becoming aware of this and talking through how this is for me, I have been able to stop the spirals.

How this looks for me:

Every day I make a task list, ideas, things I know make me feel productive, part of society in a meaningful way, and give me overall health, and love for life.  I look at this list and make sure I’m focused on tasks, and ideas that I have control over, and well, just start doing them.

So here’s my daily list:

  1. Continue my training, and program as a professional triathlete
  2. Connect with my community and reach out to family, friends.
  3. Use FaceTime, Zoom, meetups and other online platforms to connect with others, and be part of bringing joy and good energy to others
  4. Join virtual events and activations
  5. Be informed on the news, and work with it by doing my part to help lower the curve of this pandemic.
  6. Coach my athletes remotely, with vigor and support.
  7. Support and create events/challenges/meetups with @iracelikeagirl team members and the entire endurance triathlon community. Reach as many people as I can to help support others
  8. Make dinner nightly. Take my supplements, Athletic Greens, and a salad a day.
  9. Be creative (this is my big one!) – the more I write, create avenues for others (check out the BIG INDOOR RIDE CHALLENGE angelanaeth.com/ride-challenge), and find solutions, the better I feel.  The more engaged I am with the process.
  10. And finally, Be grateful. I have been using my 21-day awareness journal again (check out amazon.com/Your-Internal-Landscape-Awareness-Journal/dp/1699789304 ) and writing.

Let’s focus on task, focus on solutions, and keep moving forward.

I encourage those that find themselves in a spiral, to reach out. Talk to someone. It was the key for me to get out of my own funk. Feel alone, are alone? Happy to connect! Just email me at angelanaeth16@gmail.com. Let’s get through this together.