• Colleen Lamb McDonnell

This. Is. Hard.

How many times have we all wished we had more time on our hands? More time to do what we love, more time to relax, more time to explore hobbies, more time with our families? Having the world shut down due to COVID-19 has certainly given us more time. Even if you are able to work from your home, you are probably finding that your nights and weekends are suddenly open...indefinitely. And while having "more time" is such a desired commodity, endless "more time" amid a backdrop of uncertainty and fear, can quickly snowball into panic, anxiety, and loneliness. This is when more time can be dangerous.

Last week for me was challenging. Our schedules and routines turned upside down. I needed to create work spaces in our home for 6 of us and create new routines and expectations of my family. We've had family meetings to discuss each of our needs, and also to check in with our kids to see how they are coping with their new normal. My oldest is struggling with missing key moments of his senior year in high school. My daughter is grieving the postponement of her school Mini-THON which she was helping to organize. My 6th grader is missing his friends and track season, and my 4th grader who had landed his largest role in a local musical is saddened that it has been cancelled. My husband spends his days in intense back-to-back conference calls in a makeshift sunroom office, managing a staff all new to working-from-home. And I'm juggling the needs of four kids, while missing being a part of my clients homes and lives and gathering with extended family.

This. Is. Hard.

So what can we do? What can we do so that this "more time" isn't detrimental to us? What do we do to move forward and stay out of the helpless feeling that I've been calling the corona funk? What do we do to make some lemonade out of these lemons?

1. Create new routines. Add structure to your day (and your children's) by creating set meal times, chore times, work times and social times. Make sure your schedule includes exercise and time outside if that is an safe option at your home. My free habit tracker

can help you map out your new routine.

2. Connect with friends and family. Download apps like Zoom meeting, or Skype, or Facebook messenger which all allow video conferencing. I've been enjoying connecting with friends and family this way. Added bonus: If you video chat, you will be more likely to shower and look presentable :)

3. Be a helper. To me, part of the "corona funk" is feeling helpless and powerless. Reach out to a friend or neighbor who is isolated or at risk and see if there is anything you can do to help them. Just the act of reaching out is helpful. Donate blood. Look on social media for ways you can help your community.

4. Make a list of what you CAN do. What are the projects you have been putting off? What are outdoor activities you can still participate in? Put some of these items on your schedule.

5. Reach out for help. This is a tough time, especially if you are already prone to anxiety and depression. Thankfully there are many doctors and counselors who are now offering tele-health services so you can get help from the safety of your home.

How Set Me Free! can help:

One of the challenging parts of this quarantine is missing being a part of a community. Set Me Free! will be offering a FREE 6 Week Home Organizing Challenge beginning March 29. I hope the meetings help provide you with some needed structure, routine, and accountability during this challenging time. Sign up here.

Additionally, Set Me Free will continue to offer private 40 minute Virtual Organizing sessions via Zoom to help you continue to move forward on your projects. These virtual sessions are $40/session paid via Paypal, Venmo, or credit card (fees may apply). Current and former clients will be offered this sessions at a reduced rate of $30/sessions.

Finally, if anyone local needs help getting food, supplies, or getting connected to a tele-health service, please let me know. I was a Social Worker long before I was a Professional Organizer and I sincerely need to be working on #3 of this list to help me combat the "corona funk".

Stay healthy & Stay home!



(717) 514-9494

Harrisburg, PA  USA

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