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Practical Sabbatical Tips for Every Budget & Time Frame

Taking a break is essential for your wellbeing, this is nothing new. If we simply go by the number of resources available describing the need for rest. I want to call it a sabbatical as I am talking about more than rest here. A sabbatical signifies an extended break from work, and indeed from life, to rest, rejuvenate, and gain new perspectives. With ongoing work and life pressures, a sabbatical is a commitment to prioritising health and wellbeing meaningfully. And as I run a yoga studio, for me yoga plays a significant role supporting physical relaxation, mental clarity, and emotional balance, essential for holistic rest and rejuvenation.

I have summarised a few ideas, referencing a number of relevant books on how you can make the most of a sabbatical, whether you have a year, a month, a week, a day, or even just an hour. Whether you are on a budget, or can splurge on your sabbatical.

The important thing is: your commitment. Your commitment to meaningfully set aside time to prioritise YOU, your health and wellbeing. Here you go & let me know what you think :)


If You Have One Year

If you have a year, focus on deep rest and self-discovery. Travel, explore new hobbies, volunteer, or even take up a course that interests you. As suggested in "Rest to Reset" by Suzy Reading, schedule regular downtime and consider therapy or coaching to support your mental and emotional health. Engage in physical rest through activities like yoga, mental rest by taking up mindfulness practices, and creative rest by indulging in art or music. This year can be transformative, helping you reset your life’s priorities and find new passions. Result: Achieving a profound sense of balance and discovering new interests can lead to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.


If You Have One Month

With a month, plan a mix of activities and rest. Take a short trip, spend time in nature, and disconnect from work completely. Saundra Dalton-Smith highlights in "7 Types of Rest," the focus on achieving different types of rest: take long walks to get sensory rest, enjoy quiet evenings for emotional rest, and engage in spiritual practices that resonate with you. Yoga plays a crucial role in providing both physical and mental rest. Use this time to reset your mind and body by engaging in creative activities, practising mindfulness, and enjoying hobbies you usually neglect, like painting or gardening. Result: You can significantly reduce stress and gain a clearer perspective on balancing work and personal life.


If You Have One Week

In a week, you can still achieve significant rest. Plan a staycation or a retreat nearby. Spend time with loved ones, enjoy leisure activities, and focus on sleep and relaxation. As Tamu Thomas discusses in "Women Who Work Too Much," avoid work-related tasks and digital distractions. Focus on self-care strategies such as gentle exercise, meditation, yoga, and cooking your favourite meals. This brief but intentional break can provide much-needed rejuvenation. Result: A week can recharge your energy levels and enhance your overall productivity and wellbeing.


If You Have One Day

Even one day can make a difference. Plan a day of relaxation: sleep in, take a long bath, read a book, or go for a walk in nature. Unplug from technology and allow yourself to fully unwind. Implementing tips from "Rest to Reset," use this day to practise mindfulness, journal your thoughts, or enjoy a creative hobby without pressure. Including a yoga session can enhance physical relaxation and mental clarity. Result: One day of dedicated rest can significantly lower stress and improve your mental clarity.


If You Have One Hour

If you only have an hour, practise mindfulness or meditation. Take a walk, stretch, or simply sit quietly with a cup of tea. This short break can help clear your mind and reduce stress. Referencing "7 Types of Rest," use this hour to focus on mental and sensory rest by stepping away from screens and engaging in calming activities. A yoga session can is also incredibly refreshing. Result: Even an hour can refresh your mind and improve focus for the rest of the day.


Budget-Friendly Options

For those of us who are budget focused, lean on local and free activities. Enjoy nature walks, visit local parks, or engage in home-based hobbies like reading, cooking, or gardening. Use online resources for free courses, meditation guides, and creative inspiration. Building a supportive community with friends and family can also provide emotional rest and rejuvenation without financial cost. As Tamu Thomas emphasises, redefining success and prioritising your wellbeing doesn’t require spending money. Practising yoga at home with online videos is another cost-effective way to enhance physical and mental wellbeing. Result: Affordable, simple activities can significantly enhance your quality of life and provide necessary rest.


Money No Object Option

If money is no object, consider luxurious retreats, extended travel, and specialised wellness programmes. Book a stay at a renowned spa or wellness centre, join a meditation retreat in an exotic location, or take an extended sabbatical to explore different cultures and cuisines. Engage in high-end hobbies like sailing, gourmet cooking classes, or art workshops. These experiences can offer profound rest and rejuvenation, allowing you to return to work with a refreshed perspective and renewed energy. Including regular 1:1 yoga sessions at a high-end studio, which further enhance your physical and mental relaxation. Result: An extravagant sabbatical can lead to unparalleled relaxation and personal growth, deeply enhancing your overall happiness and life satisfaction.

Sources & Additional Book Suggestions:

"Rest to Reset" by Suzy Reading

This book emphasises the critical importance of rest for mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Reading discusses different types of rest, including physical, mental, emotional, and sensory rest. She provides practical tips for incorporating rest into daily routines, overcoming barriers to rest, and the benefits of regular self-care.


"7 Types of Rest" by Saundra Dalton-Smith

Dalton-Smith explores the concept that true rejuvenation requires more than just sleep. She identifies seven types of rest: physical, mental, sensory, creative, emotional, social, and spiritual. The book offers strategies for integrating these types of rest into daily life, helping readers achieve holistic rejuvenation and improved well-being.


"Women Who Work Too Much" by Tamu Thomas

Thomas delves into the challenges faced by women who often overwork due to societal pressures and the pursuit of perfection. She discusses the impact of overworking on health and well-being, and offers practical strategies for reducing overwork, embracing imperfection, and building a supportive community. The book encourages women to redefine success and prioritise self-care.


"Permission to Rest" by Ashley Neese

Neese's book is a passionate call for prioritising rest in our busy lives. It combines personal essays, contemplative questions, and scientific research to help readers understand the importance of rest and how to achieve it. Neese offers body-focused rest practices and addresses common roadblocks to rest, making it a comprehensive guide for developing a sustainable relationship with rest.


"Rest Easy" by Chronicle Books

"Rest Easy" presents contemporary methods for wellbeing, including mindfulness, breathwork, and yoga. It provides practical information on practices that promote calm and abundance through the power of rest, making it accessible for those seeking gentle encouragement and support.


"The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk

This book explores the connection between trauma and physical and mental health. Van der Kolk provides self-care strategies for healing from trauma, including yoga and mindfulness meditation, which are vital for integrating rest into one’s life.


"The Self-Care Project" by Jayne Hardy

Hardy's book is a comprehensive guide to self-care, covering healthy habits, boundary setting, and self-love. Her friendly and conversational tone offers loving advice and actionable steps to make self-care a priority, especially in a busy life.

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