My mindfulness practice predates my experience of miscarriage but it’s a good wellbeing antidote for feeling numb, shocked and blocked which was how I felt after my first miscarriage.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment. It can mean meditating, but it could also mean mindful movement like yoga or pilates, or even swimming or running. It could also be mindfully doing the dishes, changing the sheets or brushing your teeth. As long as you’re tuning into your experience in a non judgemental way and just noticing what comes up, it could include anything. Baking, gardening or craft maybe. It’s about noticing what your five senses are picking up on. What can you see, hear, smell, touch and taste? How are you feeling – warm or cold? Relaxed or tense? Comfortable or not? What emotions are you feeling? Tired or energetic? What’s the space around you like? Are any thoughts, memories, images or ideas passing through? You don’t need to do anything about any of this – just notice. Anything you do want to act on – notice that too and do it later.
When I’d just miscarried, sitting still with anything was hard for me. I preferred mindful running as I could then feel – feel the wind in my hair, the cold on my cheeks, hear my feet battering the pavement and smell the rain. It was easier to allow my difficult and uncomfortable thoughts to be there. The ones like “what if I never carry a baby to full term?”, “What if I can’t conceive a healthy child?”, “What if it’s my fault for waiting too long to start a family?”. And those uncomfortable feelings too – guilt, shame and fear. The ones I blocked out with keeping busy at work during the day, but needed to be acknowledged and felt before I could move forwards. Somehow running made them easier to hold and holding them set me free.
Some exercises to try –
Sit with a notepad and write down every thought that passes through for 3 minutes. What do you notice about your experience?
Sit down with a piece of your favourite chocolate. How does it look? What shape is it? How does it smell? How does it feel in your fingers? Lastly, how does it taste?
Put on your favourite music. Choose just one aspect to focus on – maybe the rhythm, the melody or the words. How is this experience – what do you notice?
Some of my favourite Mindfulness resources –
Smiling mind app