Stress is part of everyday living, and when adding the process of adopting, it can seem like everything is amplified. Regardless of your path to adoption, there is a lot of work and time involved in the process. Stress can be a good thing – it often increases our productivity and heightens our senses, two very important things during an adoption process.
Too much stress, however, can create or increase problems, both physical and emotional. Managing your stress now in a positive way will create good habits for better stress management once your adoption is done and you are juggling a new child into your routine.
Here are a few tips for managing stress in a healthy way:
1. Stay organized, both with your adoption and your time. In Adoption For Life, we provide a lot of good information in the early lessons and throughout for staying organized. You can do this with paper or digitally, but create a system and work it.
2. Talk about your feelings, hopes, dreams, and worries. Remember your coordinator is here for you, and developing a support group of friends, family members, or just your spouse helps too. It’s always recommended to seek a counselor if you feel your emotions are getting to the point that professional tools may be needed.
3. Walk it off! Exercise, even a 30-minute walk each day will help you increase endorphins and is good for your body. You don’t need to join a gym or hire a trainer. Physical activity is good for our bodies and our mind and is an excellent habit to have for your family’s sake in the future.
4. Get enough sleep each night, at least 7 hours. A lack of sleep can make even the smallest crisis seem huge. It can also magnify other stressors. Prioritize your rest. This is extra important now because you will have sleepless nights soon with a little one!
5. Include healthy stress relievers in your daily routine, like yoga, meditation, spending time in scripture and prayer, going for a walk, or sitting near a stream or lake. These are all things that help quiet our minds and refocus us. Don’t opt for alcohol to relax.
6. Eating healthy is a practice to put in place now and for the rest of your life. If you are eating things you won’t let your future child eat, you probably shouldn’t be eating it either. Pack plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your day. This daily dose of protein, vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B will help protect your body from the effects of stress.
Implementing these healthy, stress-busing habits now will give you more energy, focus, and increase your overall productivity for your adoption and beyond!