Many parts of the adoption process are stressful, frustrating and demanding. Waiting for a match seems like an age and then caring for your child can cause you to stress about how you are doing, as well as the demands created by your child. It is very important therefore to build your own resilience. To build the tools and confidence to flourish.
What is resilience?
Resilience is our ability to cope through challenging times and when we face uncertainty. Never has that been more important than now, in modern life. This means we have to find new ways to adapt, to balance parenting and the demands of life.
Factors in building resilience.
Resilience is developed by the combination of a number of factors:
Many studies of resilience show the primary factor in resilience is having supportive caring relationships both within and outside of the family. These relationships contribute if they create love and trust, provide role models, reassurance and encouragement, helping to build a person’s resilience.
There are additional factors including:
- The ability to make realistic implemented plans and carry them out.
- A positive view of yourself, self-confidence in your strength and abilities.
- Communication skills and ability to problem solve.
- Capacity to manage strong impulses and feelings
All of these factors can be can be developed by individuals themselves.
Ways to build your resilience
- Make positive connections
- Don’t think of crises as insurmountable problems
- Accept that change is a part of life.
- Move steadily towards your goals
- Take decisive actions
- Look for opportunities for self-discovery
- Develop a positive view of yourself
- Keep things in perspective
- Maintain a positive outlook
- Take care of yourself.
Habits of Resilient People:
- Recognise that tough things happen to all people
- They choose carefully where they concentrate their attention and are good at noticing positives in their life.
- They ask themselves before they do anything “would it help me or harm me?”
(Based on research and a speech by Lucy Hone, a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience)
Suggested Activities That Build Your Resilience
Listen to music
Attend support groups
Go for a run
Play a sport
Write about it
Walk the dog
Be intentionally positive about how it will turn out
Go to bed early
Call a helpline
Talk to someone
Meet with other adopters
Find new friends
Spend time with pets/animals
Prioritise and break the problem down
Plan to do something different
Go for a swim
Take a day off
See a counsellor
Look up information and advice
Have a laugh
Go out with my friends
Discuss how you feel with your partner/family
Go into the country/park
Ask for help
Go and see a favourite person
Have a meal out
Regular date nights
Spend time with family
Do something out of the ordinary
Play date with other parents