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Self-Care for Adoptive Parents [7 Helpful Tips]

The adoption process is an exciting one, but it’s not without its challenges. It can be overwhelming trying to keep track of everything. It’s important that you still take care of your physical, mental and emotional needs if things begin to feel hectic.

Even the smoothest of adoption journeys can still take a toll. After all, you’re devoting a lot of emotional energy and time to take care of the many responsibilities you will undertake during the adoption process. It’s important that you take the time to tend to your own needs to prevent potential burnout.

Your adoption professional can help you step back from the adoption process to get in some much-needed self-care. You can reach out to an adoption professional today, or continue reading below to find seven helpful self-care tips for adoptive parents.

1. Try Not to Hyper-Focus on the Adoption Process

Making the decision to adopt is one of the biggest choices you will make in your life. While there’s a lot for you to think about, constantly thinking about the adoption process or trying to control it will wear you out over time. Things will not happen faster just because you fixate on them.

It can be hard to not let adoption overtake your thoughts. An adoption counselor can help, especially if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed about the adoption process. There are some simple things you can do on your own as well to distract yourself, such as:

  • Working out
  • Starting a new book
  • Pick up a new hobby
  • Socialize with friends and family

Anything that can help you redirect your focus in a positive way so that you’re not obsessing over the adoption process.

2. Look at the Positives

You’ve likely come across many challenges on your adoption journey. The adoption process is straightforward, but can be difficult at times. While it may sound obvious, focusing on the positives can make it easier to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. The adoption process is full of so many beautiful moments that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Having an expectant mother choose you as the family to raise her child is an incredibly humbling moment. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know her and form lasting bond. Holding your baby for the first time and seeing them interact with their birth family later on in their life will all be moments that you will cherish. So, while there may be bumps in the road, there is still so much to look forward to.

3. Spend Time with Friends

Having a support system during the adoption process is a valuable resource. Having friends around that you can talk to about adoption or anything else can be helpful.  Your friends want to support you during this time and will be some of your biggest cheerleaders.

It’s also good to spend this time with your friends before you have a newborn that requires your time and attention.

4. Set Aside Time for Yourself

While it’s easy to get caught up in all of the responsibilities of the adoption process, don’t forget to set aside time just to relax. Even if it’s just for half an hour. You deserve (and need) a physical, mental and emotional break. Whether it’s taking a relaxing bath, reading, listening to music or going for a walk, take the time to recharge and focus on you.

5. Check in With Your Spouse

If you’re married or living with your partner, adoption is a team effort. While it can place a strain on some relationships, it can also strengthen them. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress.  That’s why it can be difficult if you feel like you and your partner aren’t on the same page or experiencing the process in the same way.

Communication will be pivotal during the adoption process. Check in to see how your spouse is feeling and what’s going through their head. Make sure you express your gratitude and appreciation through the twists and turns of the adoption process. Make sure you are healthily communicating your needs and emotions throughout the process as well. Spending quality time together before your child is born will be incredibly important.

6. Take a Trip

Some couples take a vacation before their baby is born. It doesn’t have to big or elaborate trip. It can be as simple as visiting friends or family over a weekend. Anything that changes the pace a little bit and helps you reset. You won’t’ be able to travel as much once your baby is born, so take advantage of this time.

7. Reflect on Your Emotions

It can be easy to get caught up in the demands of the adoption process. You may end up neglecting your own emotional and physical needs. Take some time to stop and think about how you’re feeling. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are you staying hydrated?
  • Are you eating well?
  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Are you dealing with your stress in a healthy way?
  • Do you feel supported?
  • And other questions like this.

Setting aside some time at the end of each day to tend to your physical and emotional needs can make all the difference. If you’re overwhelmed or feeling burned out, you can reach out to an adoption professional at any time to get 24/7 support and guidance.