Practical Ways to Address Stress While AdoptingSeptember 10th, 2018
During the adoption process, you may notice your stress levels rising.
Maybe you drop a spoon full of mashed potatoes on the floor and decide that is the one true evidence proving you are indeed the most clumsy person on the planet.
If you don’t address stress and anxiety, it will find a way to get out.
Thankfully, the Lord has given us many ways to deal with stress. Everything from quiet prayer and contemplation to cleaning your home from top to bottom with a toothbrush is available to you during this time.
Here are a few practical things you can do during your day to address the stress you feel. While you may not be rid of it any time soon, practicing self-care is the best thing you can do.
Set aside time to spend with God.
This is by far the most important thing you can do! The Lord knows you intimately! He is very aware of the anxiety and stresses you are facing while walking this journey of adoption. Luke 12:7 tells us “the hairs of your head are all counted” and Jesus goes on to say “you are worth more than many sparrows”. Think about this for just a moment. The sparrow does not go without. In the verse previous Jesus states “not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight” Oh how amazingly refreshing is it to know that we can “cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares about you” ~ 1 Peter 5:7
The same way you would schedule time to take a shower, set aside time each day to give the Lord your worries. I always feel so much better after a long hot shower. It’s refreshing and rejuvenating to me. In a similar sense, when I spend time with the Lord I am refreshed in my emotions and spirit. Have confidence that the steady, peaceful reminder that you are not in this process alone will comfort you.
Can’t find this time? Perhaps there are other things in your life you need to step away from during this process. When you knew the Lord was calling you to adopt you may have underestimated the toll it would take on your spiritual and emotional health. While you love to serve others, perhaps it is necessary to take a step back. You yourself are in need of care. Think of self-care as being a good steward of what the Lord has given you.
Life hack: instead of watching a movie, go to bed early. Allow yourself time to wind down every evening as the added stresses of the adoption process may cut into your sleep schedule. Many of us find ourselves restless when it is time to sleep because our mind won’t stop racing with worry and “what-ifs”. While you are going through the adoption process, there are several things that can bring about anxiety and stress. It can be emotionally overwhelming for many. This is a great time to journal your thoughts and prayers; clinging to the promises God has given you and doing so will aid in thwarting many negative effects of stress. And as a bonus, you get to see in a tangible way how God is working in the process.
Everyone has different ways of getting a good night of sleep. Use a sound machine. I love to diffuse my favorite essential oil in my bedroom; this really relaxes me. Another remedy for the evening that I love is to indulge in is having a drink of calming chamomile tea before bed. You could also go for a jog (or a brisk walk in my case) or do some stretching before bed. Whatever it is, go the extra step to clear your mind so you can rest comfortably.
Find support from others.
If there was ever a time to surround yourself with prayer warriors, it is during an adoption process. One of the greatest gifts that God gives to us is the gift of community. What a gift to walk this journey with fellow believers who will be lifting you up in prayer and interceding before the throne of God on your behalf as Galatians 6: 2 reminds us. Let them pray with you! It is easy to let yourself withdraw during this time; don’t allow Satan to rob you and those the Lord has put around you the blessing of what He is doing in your life. Check-in at a designated time so you don’t get distanced from the people whom the Lord has put in your life to help you during this process. And don’t be afraid to reach out to those who have walked the path of adoption ahead of you; although their adoption story and journey will be vastly different, the stresses and anxiety of what they felt will be very similar!