There are so many situations in life when I think to myself, “I don’t think I can handle this.” Moments when my home looks like a hurricane named “Toyland” swept through, or moments when the laundry or dishes are so high that I don’t know where to begin. Moments when every child needs me or wants me, and the telephone rings and it’s my mother who wants me more.

Moments when I say, “Yes, I can do that for you,” to too many people, stretching myself way too thin.

Moments where I enter the supermarket,My baby starts to cry, and I feel like crying, too and it’s packed with people and shopping carts, and I brought my baby with me who starts to cry, and I feel like crying, too.

Moments like now, before Passover, when I feel that I am barely managing to get done just what I normally do on a daily basis, and on top of that I know that I must (and want to) clean and shop and cook for Passover.

Yes, there are lots of situations in my life, small and big, when I think to myself, “I don’t think I can handle this. What should I do?”

I sit down with myself and try to talk to myself like I would talk to a client or to a friend. If a woman were to come to me, nervous about birth, feeling overwhelmed by the process, what would I advise? If a woman were to come to me anxious about an upcoming event, the start of a new job or a wedding, what would I say? If a mother would tell me that she feels overwhelmed by household tasks or feels pulled in too many directions, what would I suggest?

First, I would validate her feelings and tell her, “It’s OK to feel that way.”

I tell myself, “Elana, it’s OK to feel what you feel.”

Then I would take a look at the first night(s) of Passover where we sit down and follow a Seder (in Hebrew seder means “order”), and use it as an example. I would tell her, just take it one step at a time, one moment at a time, one task at a time.

I continue with my self-talk, “OK, Elana, pick one thing—just one thing you feel you can handle and start with that.”

My next step would be so important and freeing. I would tell her, “Relinquish control! Do an action, make an effort and know that all results are in G‑d’s Hands.”

We say during the night of the Passover Seder:

“We were slaves to Pharaohin Egypt, and the L‑rd, our G‑d, took us out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm. If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken our fathers out of Egypt, then we, our children and our children’s children would have remained enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt.”

Meaning, it’s true; I can’t handle this and I don’t know how it will get done. But when I tap into “giving it over to G‑d,” I lift a huge weight off my shoulders. I give it over to the Source Who makes anything and everything happen. Instead of my worries and anxiety controlling me and making me feel like a slave, I channel them to G‑d. And the parting words I give over in my pep talk to her as much as to myself: “We have no control, but we have so much power.”

In the morning blessings we say, “Blessed are You G‑d, King of the Universe, Who gives strength (power) to the weary.”

That’s right. We have no control, but G‑d Himself gives us strength and power. He gives us tools and arms us with what we need to handle every situation. When we left Egypt and bondage, the Torah tells us that, “G‑d led the people around [by] way of the wilderness (desert) [to] the Red Sea, and the children of Israelwere armed when they went up out of Egypt (Exodus 13:18).”

You see, the Master of the Universe, He leads us this way and that. He gives us challenges. He leads us deep into the wilderness, but He never leaves us empty-handed (even though knowing He’s leading us should be enough). He always, always arms us.

That means even though I might feel inadequate and powerless, I’m not.

I, you, we, have many powers. We have theInstead of my worries controlling me, I channel them to G‑d power to believe and the power to pray. We have the power to ask for help and to reach out for it. We have the power to study and find out what needs to be done, and get the instructions for doing it. We have the power to learn from life. Experience is itself is a power. We have the power to say yes and the power to say no. We have spiritual powers, physical powers, emotionally powers, intellectual powers, social powers.

I mentally run through my list once more. I accept my emotions and validate them. I start with something small and take it one step at a time. I relinquish control and give over the responsibility of the outcomes to G‑d. I tap into my resources and G‑d-given strengths.

Am I now totally ready for Passover? Is everything done? Did the situation in front of me change from too much to less? No, but with my list, it doesn’t overwhelm me now. I can do it one task at a time in a process of freedom, and leave the bondage of worry and anxiety behind.