What to do after miscarriage to feel better

It’s not uncommon to feel really lost and unsure what to do with yourself after miscarriage. Not only is it an experience of grieving for someone that you never got to meet, but it’s also something that is done mostly in private. So when it happens to us, we haven’t seen any model for us what healing should look like.

After our second miscarriage I remember looking for anything that would help to make me feel better. I looked in all the usual places first.

Distraction. Comfort food. Work. Alcohol. Constant busy-ness.

It wasn’t until I picked up Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and started journalling though that I started finding some clarity and relief from the overwhelming thoughts and emotions that come after a miscarriage.

How journalling can help after a miscarriage

Writing helps you to create some space between yourself and the thoughts you have about your loss. Rather than feeling like you have to believe everything you think, once you write it out on paper you can start to see that not everything you think is necessarily fact.

Eg. You might get stuck thinking that your miscarriage is your fault, however you may not consciously be admitting this thought to anyone (not even yourself). Writing helps you to see these thoughts clearly and consciously work through them.

Journalling helps you to sort through conflicting thoughts and feelings that you may have about your loss.

Eg. You may have conflicting feelings of grief and gratitude for falling pregnant. Writing these thoughts down can help you to come to terms with the fact that this experience is not black and white. You will feel sad, then happy, then desperate, then joy and back again. That’s okay and perfectly normal.

Writing helps you to process trauma. A miscarriage is a traumatic experience. The pain. The blood. The feeling of being utterly alone in the experience (even if you have someone with you). The desperation of losing someone you wanted so badly. And for some, the horror of seeing your baby. All of these traumatic experiences need processing. The act of writing out your experience can help you to start processing this trauma.

Sometimes we need more than just writing to process our trauma around miscarriage and stillbirth. Don’t hesitate to reach out to someone if this is something you are struggling with. Talking to a specialised counsellor is a great place to start. I offer in-person and online sessions if you don’t have someone in your area.

Helps you to start re-building a positive vision and mindset for the future. When you lose a baby your entire vision from the future feels like it has been ripped away from you. All those plans you made. All those dreams you had. Suddenly they’re all gone. Writing can help you to move from a negative headspace to one more focused on the positives.

Eg. You can use gratitude lists and focused writing on the type of future you want to create to bring yourself back to a more positive and hopeful place.

How to get starting with journalling for healing after a miscarriage

Get yourself a nice journal and a pen

Look, it really doesn’t matter what you write with or on. But in my experience the nicer the journal the more likely I am to write in it. Buying yourself a little gift of a nice journal and pen can feel like one nice thing you can do for yourself when everything else feels really shitty.

Create a ritual around writing

You could write at any time of day or night, but you’re more likely to do it regularly if you create a habit around it. Routines and rituals can also feel comforting when the rest of your life feels so unknown and unplanned. I liked to get up earlier than everyone else, make a cup of tea and write for the first ten minutes of my day. Writing first thing also helps to set you up to have a positive day because it clears your head before the rest of the day’s demands start tugging on you.

Write whatever comes into your head

When you’re just getting started try not to overthink it. Write whatever comes into your mind. Even if that happens to be – “Why am I bothering with this writing. This is stupid. I have nothing to write.” etc etc. Unprompted writing can be really beneficial because it helps you unlock some of your unconscious thoughts and feelings that may have otherwise remained buried.

Use writing prompts if you’re ready to guide your thoughts

When you start feeling like your writing is just going round and round on the same topics or ideas it might be time to start using some prompts to guide your journalling. I’ve shared some prompts below but if you’d like more I have devoted a whole section in my book to prompts for healing. If you’re in Australia you can get the book here. If you’re anywhere outside of Australia you can buy from Amazon here.

+ Where do you feel grief in your body? What does it feel like?

+ What would you like your baby to know?

+ What does your ideal future look like?

So that’s it. You’re ready to get started writing. Let me know how you go and if you ever want to share your story WITH someone (because that’s an important part of healing too) you can always email me.

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