"Every few years I've found myself burnt out and taken a sabbatical/mini-retirement (usually 1 year off after ~3 working). I am recharged and enthusiastic about what's next but concerned about putting my best foot forward;"
It helps clear your head, especially if the last job wasn't so great or you were in a toxic environment.
It recharges you.
I wrote about this here:
I also believe that you need to own the narrative around your gaps.
One recommendation that I make to my clients — and did myself — is to start a consulting practice.
It's simplest to do under your own name (e.g., Miller Design Agency).
However, you can spin up a more formal biz name as a sole proprietorship or LLC.
Spin up a basic website using WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix so people can find you, see what you do, and contact you.
Now, it's up to you how hard you pursue this new business and land clients.
The point is, you no longer have "gaps." Keep your business up and running (no end date on LinkedIn) and it is always there between jobs.
You took a break from the corporate world to explore a new domain, learn something new, work with some exciting clients (heck, even stealth ones), and you were active.
You wanted this time and made the most of it. Be proud of that!