Stress during the adoption process can seem overwhelming for birth mothers, and this can negatively impact their children. Adoption Choices of Texas is here to share 10 ways birth mothers can overcome the tension and stress that they may feel when making an adoption plan and journeying through the adoption process.
Clearing the mind and getting a new perspective on one’s life is a great way to relieve stress. By meditating, or focusing one’s mind with a method of relaxation, many people are able to restart their day.
There are many different ways to meditate, such as body scanning, awareness breathing, religious meditating and more. Each method will work differently per birth mother. Visit YouTube or an app store for some free meditating services.
2. Find an adoption support group
Adoption support groups are different than other support groups in that they cater to the needs of individuals who are directly dealing with adoption. Birth mothers can learn from other mothers who are going through a similar process to theirs, and they can start to build an encouraging social network. Each state has a variety of adoption support groups to join. Adoption Choices of Texas offers a post-placement support group and you always welcome to contact one of our adoption specialists.
3. Talk to a therapist or psychologist
Maybe you need more than general counseling. At this point, although services given through therapists or psychologists aren’t free, they are a great way to get insights into one’s life that would’ve never been received otherwise. Adoption Choices of Texas can help find the proper support for your needs!
Some therapists are adoption competent, meaning they have received clinical training that helps them understand those involved in the adoption process. Adoption therapists can help birth mothers who have faced trauma, and they can understand the birth mother in ways other therapists can’t. Because adoption has a big impact, birth mothers should try to understand the way adoption impacts them to reduce negativity in their life.
Expectant Parent Hotline (24/7): 855-304-4673 (HOPE)
4. Share your feelings with friends or family
Stress related to loneliness, hopelessness and despair can be hard for a birth mother. However, with the support of her friends and family, she can overcome this stress.
Strong familial and friendly relationships help birth mothers to connect with their community and themselves. They can find new perspectives about their problems from others, thus reducing stress. If none of these relationships exist, birth mothers should strive to make more or reach out to people who already have friendly support groups. Again, a counseling session with your adoption specialists can help!
5. Keep a stress diary
A stress diary is like any other diary, except one writes about their stress. Many people use Microsoft Word, Google Docs or a notebook for their diaries. This can be a great way to vent and plan objective ways to avoid adoptive stress for the next day with ease.
The 3 D’s of how an entry in a stress diary could look is:
- Date the entry on the top of the page
- Describe what was stressful about that day
- Decide the reaction to the stressful day and how the stress is going to be addressed the next day
Birth mothers should try and write in the diary for at least two weeks, although this timeframe is adaptable.
6. Manage your time to do something you love
There are many different ways birth mothers can manage their time. They can set a time limit for each task, create a to-do list, cut out less important, stressful tasks out from their schedule and more. Each birth mother should find a time management plan that works the best for them.
After finding ways to better manage their time, birth mothers should implement activities that they love, so they can relax. For example, they could learn a new skill, or they could visit a spa. They should find some time to do something relaxing at least once in their day.
7. Practice gratitude
By feeling thankful, birth mothers “can connect to something larger than themselves, which is … consistently associated with greater happiness,” according to the Harvard Medical School. Being thankful for the things in life can help birth mothers step around the stress they’re dealing with and get back onto their feet again.
8. Unplug from social media
Social media can be addictive and stress-inducing, especially for birth mothers who may be only seeing negative attitudes towards adoption online. Taking a break from social media, even if it’s just for a day, helps birth mothers find time to do enjoyable activities and to strengthen the relationships of those around them.
After the break is over, birth mothers should try to reduce their time on social media or to follow positive influences for their feed. This will make it easier for them to keep negativity out of their life.
9. Appreciate nature
Similar to expressing one’s gratitude, one can go outside and appreciate the world around them. One can notice the color of the sky, the beautiful plants and the little animals that live around one’s home. Birth mothers can also think about their connection with nature and how it impacts them. Going on a hike or a walking outdoors can be a great way to freshen the mind.
Birth mothers don’t need to exercise in extreme ways to relieve stress, especially if their baby is not born. They can use exercise balls, do yoga, go on walks, do stretches or whatever their doctor recommends. Through exercise, birth mothers can feel happier and better about their own bodies and situations.
Although everyone feels stress differently, hopefully these 10 steps will help birth mothers to feel better about the adoption process. There are other methods of relieving stress found online as well, these are just a few helpful suggestions from your team at Adoption Choices of Texas!