"There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest.  Use both and overlook neither." – Alan Cohen

It's never easy for the self-employed to take reasonable holidays during the year, and it's generally even harder for the small business owner.  If you're a hoarder and agonise over decisions like I do, it's also somewhat hard for employees to part with annual leave and even to decide where to go!  No matter how hard it may be though, it's extremely important to take a break from work and everyday life at least a couple of times a year.  If you're trying hard to persuade a loved one or perhaps yourself to take a holiday, here are some convincing reasons to do just that:

Stress is a killer

It might be cliché but it's 100% true.  You owe it to yourself, your family and your workplace to destress, unwind and stop thinking about work.  It's hard with technology these days to turn off but it's invaluable to do so.  Do what helps you relax, whether it's laying by a beach in Hawaii, speeding down ski slopes in Japan or shopping up a storm in Dubai.

Holidays are good for your body

Be it a stroll on a beach, around a resort or through a colossal mall, it is common for people to exercise more during the day on holidays as they aren't sitting at a desk.  You fill your days with activities and wear yourself out physically, then sleep better through the nights.  Not to mention all the vitamin D from the sun and fresh air from being outside – it's a no-brainer, holidays are good for your body!

Quality time with your family

In an average week you spend more time at work with colleagues than at home with your family.  It's an essential part of any good relationship to spend quality time together – not time sitting on a couch next to each other, glued to the TV or phones, but actually talking and laughing and creating memories together.  On holiday is a great time to do all these things, to experience a new culture together and have no distractions other than people on the street trying to get you to eat a grasshopper or buy a t-shirt that's 'same same but different'.

Inspiration and broadening your mind

If you own your own business, travel can be priceless in the way it opens your mind to hundreds of new and creative ideas to bring back home and to the office.  It has a way of putting everything into perspective, and may convince you that working fifty hour weeks are doing nothing but wearing you down and putting strain on your health and relationships. 

Health and happiness are two of the most important things in life.  You need to nurture them, and a break is the perfect way to begin - so start planning!