Pesach is approaching fast and for some of us the thought of it can bring on a panic attack! For some, being exhausted and stressed is part of the Pesach ritual – but it doesn’t have to be. It is possible for you to do it differently this year!
That is how Shoshanna* always felt. She was making Pesach for the second time and last year had been a total disaster. She had spent the whole week before Pesach shouting at her kids — after all, she was constantly cleaning and they were constantly making a mess. She was putting toys into cupboards and they were leaving them on the floor. And they always seemed to be hungry! Shoshanna was sure that she had made it perfectly clear that food could only be eaten in the balcony but cookie crumbs were everywhere. She even found chocolate wrappers in their bedrooms. Pesach cleaning became synonymous with shouting at her children. What was worse was that her parents-in-law were joining them for the whole of Yom Tov. Her mother-in-law tended to be critical and liked everything to be neat and tidy.
Things all came to a head when her three-year old took his cheerios into the already clean playroom and spilled them everywhere. Shoshanna totally lost it with him. He was so upset by her reaction that he took a really long time to calm down.
By the time that the Seder night came, Shoshanna was exhausted, stressed and a bundle of nerves. She couldn’t keep her eyes open. It was her worst Seder ever and she felt so bad that she had taken out all her stress on her children. Her mother-in-law kept making comments and her husband couldn’t understand why she was so stressed. She promised herself that this year she would do it differently. She didn’t know where to begin so she gave me a call.
We started out working on what Shoshanna wanted and what her priorities were for Pesach. We made the important distinction between spring-cleaning and Pesach-cleaning. We examined the different options that were available for child care in the run up to Pesach and then we made a plan of action. Additionally, we also worked on some techniques and calming exercises which are useful for all times of the year.
Shoshanna slowly found that her attitude was changing and that she could approach Pesach with a much more positive frame of mind. She still had her moments of stress but it was a vast improvement on the previous year. Her marker of success was that she was able to sit at the Seder. Although she was tired, she managed to participate with a smile.
If you, like Shoshanna, are dreading preparing for Pesach, give me a call to work through your anxiety and learn some valuable tools to use all year round.
Register for my pre-Pesach Workshop and learn how to sit at the Seder without falling asleep and feeling stressed out! You will also be given practical tips for preparing for Pesach and making it manageable, and proven techniques for staying calm. You will come out with a positive attitude toward Pesach cleaning!
There will be two workshops — one in Rechavia, Jerusalem (March 9: 9.30 a.m.-11.30 a.m) and one in Ramat Bet Shemesh (March 10: 9.30 am – 11.30 am).
*Not her real name and all identifying features have been changed.