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  • Jo Gifford

Self-Care and the Micro Sabbatical

Like many women of my age, I am juggling a lot right now.

Aging parent care, parenting my own children, running my business, and navigating perimenopause make for a mix of responsibilities that require a lot of time and energy,

Looking after my nervous system feels like a full-time job, as does advocating for my own breathing space and needs.As spring approaches, with the promise of lighter evenings, longer rays of sunshine, and a shift in energy, I am reminded of the cyclical nature of everything.This too shall pass.

And when it does, I will move into a new phase, grieving so much of what is here, and finding space to heal and find my wings again.

Navigating times of stress is something that we are all so used to in the world we live in.

The last few years have certainly taught us that everything can change in a moment, and that self-care and resilience is paramount for survival.Finding those moments of time to care for the self feels like a challenge right now.While every part of my being longs to book a sabbatical on the Isle of Tiree and spend several months sleeping, reading, and swimming in the blue green ocean, it’s just not possible to do that (yet, but Inner Hebriedes, I am coming for you!).So as the light shines a little longer and our faces turn once more towards the sun, I am seeking ways to build micro sabbaticals into my life.These might be as tiny as taking an hour to sit with a book under my weighted blanket with my phone off, or taking a walk by the lake with a cup of tea.A slightly more adventurous break is the simplicity of taking a weekend by the seaside, to swim in the waves, get salt in my nose, and let the air carry some of my heaviness away to the horizon.Precious moments of self-care feel sacred. 

Whether I can find 15 minutes or 15 hours, those moments matter.They matter for my soul, my heart, and my mental well-being.When I feed my soul, I can be there for those I love who need me right now.

As women, we have been conditioned to sacrifice ourselves for the happiness of others.

Undoing that conditioning takes a lot of rewiring - and doing that by a body of water with my favourite drink is a great place to start.Love from a lakeside café,Jo 

Feeling the need to build some micro sabbaticals into your life this spring? Here are some journal prompts to support you:

  • When do you feel at your most peaceful?

  • What places and spaces help you to relax?

  • How can you find some nourishment in 15 minutes, an hour?

  • What would a longer break look like for you?

I would love to hear your micro sabbatical ideas, and if anything sparks for you to find the space to be your most peaceful, inspired version of yourself.Let me know on Instagram @thejogifford and share what rises for you.


Jo is a wild swimming, weight lifting, cat napping introverted author, writer, and content dev pro with ADHD flailing somewhere in the midlife megamix. You can find all things Jo on Instagram at @thejogifford



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