Chances are that in your busy and hectic lives you may not have much time for a hobby currently. That is okay, there are many great hobbies that will last a lifetime. Why is having a hobby so important? Not only does a hobby help to keep you occupied, but it is crucial in helping you maintain a healthy body physically, mentally, and emotionally. Hobbies are great because they allow an individual an outlet to release tension and regroup. We all know the devastating effects of stress. I for one know this in a very real sense. If you try to spend some time each and every week doing something you enjoy such as a hobby, you can help to relieve your body from this negative poison. Hobbies also have the ability to reaffirm an individual’s self worth. Just like it is important to look outside ourselves and serve others, we need to serve ourselves as well. Taking time to give yourself a much needed break and allow yourself to work on a hobby can help you to take care of your self and to feel important as you accomplish a project or something you like! A third great benefit of hobbies is that they can provide a social outlet for individuals. I know I am more independent and am happy quietly sitting at home doing things. I don’t necessarily feel the need to be social all the time. However, hobbies can involve social outlets and can be a fun way to meet people with similar interests and get outside of yourself. There might be local clubs in your community that do things you are interested in so perhaps you should join something. Hobbies can also give you a way to express yourself. Chances are that we might be working in a job out of necessity and our current job doesn’t really allow us to express ourselves too much. By participating in a hobby your true self can shin out and not get buried deeper within your person. You always want to foster an accepting atmosphere for your personality. Lastly, hobbies can provide structure and consistency to your schedule. We as humans are naturally creatures of habit. I know I sure am! So if we build time into our schedules for hobbies we will know what to expect and when to expect it. So now that we know some benefits of hobbies, what are some good lifelong hobbies to have? If you ask my father, he would say his favorite hobby is golf. In fact he recently purchased a golf membership at our local country club and goes about three times per week. This is something he has liked his whole life, but never really had too much time for since raising a family and working full-time. Now that my youngest brother has left for college, my dad has found a lot more time to golf. Other great hobbies that can last a lifetime include: cooking, reading, gardening, scrapbooking, genealogy, playing tennis, painting and stamp collecting.