Stress is part of our everyday life. But when you add in the process of adopting, stress can feel more intense. No matter what your path to adoption is, there's a lot of work and time involved in the process.
Stress can be positive: it increases our productivity and senses, two very important things during your adoption process. But too much stress can create problems, both physical and emotional. By learning how to handle your adoption stress in a positive way now, you'll have better stress management habits once you're juggling a new child into your routine.
Here are 7 tips for managing your adoption stress in a healthy way:
- Get organized, both with your adoption process, your work, and your time. There are a wealth of free organizational tools and apps out there, or you can keep it simple and put pen to paper. Once you find a system that works for you, stick to it.
- Get some exercise in! Even if it's just a quick 30-minute walk in the morning, it'll help increase your endorphins. There's no need to buy exercise equipment, join a gym, or hire a trainer. Not only is physical fitness good for our bodies and our mind, it's also a great habit to have for your family’s sake in the future.
- Keep a journal: write in detail your feelings and thoughts about stressful events, as one would when discussing topics in therapy. This is an especially useful tool for visual people! Once you've gotten all of your feelings and issues down on paper, you can then brainstorm solutions. OR, you might choose to keep a daily gratitude journal, and write three (or more) parts of your day that you're grateful for.
- Get enough sleep each night; for most people, that's at least 7 hours. When you're sleep-deprived, even the smallest dilemmas seem huge. Lack of sleep can even magnify other stressors. So, make sure to prioritize your rest, because you will have sleepless nights soon with a little one!
- Add healthy stress relievers to your daily routine, like meditation, yoga, prayer, or sitting in nature. These activities will quiet your mind and help you refocus. Avoid using alcohol to relax: it wrecks your decision-making ability and interferes with your sleep.
- Eat healthy foods and avoid processed ones. Think about it this way, if you're eating junk food that you wouldn’t let your future child eat, you probably shouldn’t be eating it either! Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains throughout your day. By getting your daily dose of protein, vitamin C, Vitamin A, and B Vitamins, you're helping to protect your body from the effects of stress.
- Talk about your feelings, hopes, dreams, and worries. Developing a support group of friends, family members, or your spouse may help. If you feel like your emotions are no longer manageable, we recommended that you seek a counselor for professional solutions.
Putting these healthy, stress-busting habits in place now will give you more energy, focus, and increase your overall productivity for your adoption and beyond!