Demystifying Mindfulness

Mindfulness, self care and routines have become common mental health buzzwords. While these concepts aim to increase wellbeing, their abstract nature makes them difficult to put into practice. Sarasota residents Blair Bloomston and Laine Nixon share their tips for breaking down these mental health tools and applying them in real life. Bloomston, the chief development officer at Game On Nation, a firm focused on communication, leadership and team building in Bradenton, has years of experience collaborating with athletes, politicians and other individuals working in high pressure environments. “Mindfulness means being present in the moment and observing your situation as well as your own feelings,” she says, “and there is a peacefulness in knowing that we only need to focus on this moment.” With so many distractions, grounding oneself in the present can feel daunting, but Bloomston suggests embracing a “joy of missing out” mindset. Focusing on what really matters has a powerful impact on redirecting our energy. She suggests limiting screen time as a way to practice mindfulness and self care. “If you’re not posting on social media every day, then you’re not worried about not showing your good life to the world. Instead, you change your mindset to embrace the idea that you are not posting about your good life because you are living it,” she adds.  Nixon, a local visual artist, is also passionate about incorporating mindfulness into everyday life. She enjoys setting aside a designated amount of time each day to work on creative projects, meditation or other activities that add meaning to her life. “I tend to dwell in my problem-solving mind, which is a natural part of being human. Making time for these types of activities helps to calm my nervous system, making me feel grounded and balanced while getting out of my head,” she says. This summer, Nixon started the Practically Dreaming Workshop and the Creative Habits Lab to share her enthusiasm and passion for self-development with like-minded individuals. While the workshop gives participants the tools to help them achieve their goals, the lab provides an accountability group for anyone seeking to carve out a space in their day for new projects or routines. For September, Nixon will offer virtual and in person workshop options and virtual sessions of the lab. “Having a consistent and constrained time block is fun because on any given day you can choose what you are in the mood to work on,” she adds.