Whether you are just beginning or are starting a second adoption process, stress and worry are part of adoption day-to-day process. Many people, even those who do not consider adoption, have heard tales of the struggle and the anxiety. Embarking on the adoption process is a big decision for couples and families and it requires continued support and dedication.
So when your spouse feels overwhelmed by the paperwork, what can you do to help? Or if you both are just exhausted, what can fix that? Ho do you help your spouse through the process and make it to the end happy and healthy? These aren’t easy questions and of course there is no fix-it for everyone, but we’ve compiled some easy ways that you can support your spouse during the adoption process.
Activities to do Together
Prayer and Meditation – When stress is at all-time highs, the benefits of prayer and/or meditation are well proven to relieve stress and lower blood pressure. In order to make this a routine, suggest to your spouse that you take part together. Picking a set time is a good way to turn this into a habit and it only takes 5 – 10 minutes. Create a comfortable and quiet space and then pray or meditate together. Suggest that the two of you read your favorite Bible passages together or perhaps you share your adoption goals for the day. Centering your minds and hearts before embarking on a day full of adoption paperwork or questions will help you get through it much easier. And you start the day by being supportive and in tune with each other. Win win!
Have Some Fun – Go see a comedy at the movie theater or take in a local theater production. Anything that will make you both have a good, hearty laugh. Just getting those giggles started will really help ease tension and bring perspective. If getting out isn’t too easy, then rent that comedy you’ve been meaning to watch for months, make a big bowl of popcorn, and then turn off the lights and recreate the movie magic at home.
Ways to De-Stress
Exercise – If your spouse is looking particularly overwhelmed or worried, suggest going for a walk. Exercise is the easiest way to relieve stress and feel better! And it doesn’t have to be anything too intense. A long walk around the neighborhood will do just fine. Or, the two of you can go for a jog around the park or perhaps go for a swim at the community pool. Any activity that gets the body moving will help distract the mind from worries. Set up regular walk or workout times with your spouse and make it a habit. This way you can bond while you help each other feel better.
Relaxing – You can also draw a wonderful, indulgent bath. Light some candles, get some fresh flowers, and make the bathroom a peaceful sanctuary. Even if it’s a short bath, taking a few moments will help tremendously. And if you can spare a shoulder rub, even better! Most people store tension in the neck and shoulders, so just a brief massage will help release that stress. While your spouse is relaxing, throw in a load of laundry or take care of the dishes. When even the smallest tasks can fall off the to-do list, the load will feel much lighter.
Check back next week for our next installment on this same topic. We will cover how you can help your spouse focus on self-care and time management.