Alex Dimitriu, MD

Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine

Less Stressful Holiday Hosting

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The holiday season is upon us. Along with the season, come many friends, family, trips, and social gatherings. The holidays can certainly be a spirited, nostalgic time that many look forward to.

But the holidays can also be trying times for many people, especially those who deal with overwhelming stress and anxiety during this time of year. That tension can manifest itself in the form of depression, weight gain, isolation, and so much more. The following are some ideas on how to lessen stress when you’re hosting a holiday party.

Stress Management

In order to keep yourself in good spirits this holiday season, try to maintain some perspective. When planning for a big event, you don’t need to change your routine that drastically.

●      Plan things out before: Dictate to yourself where your event will happen, what you will need, and how long you should prepare. Too many things done last minute is an unnecessary stressor for you and your family. Also, include a budget so you don’t overspend.

●      Take time for yourself: No matter what, remember to take a breather every so often. Look around and reflect on the goodness happening around you.

●      Get your sleep: Sleep is also very important during the holidays. No job should be so big and no event should be so significant that you should miss any sleep.   

Hosting a Big Party

Should you find yourself hosting a big event, keep in mind it should still be fun. There are many sources such as HGTV that can help you during the entire process of planning, preparing, and executing a stellar party at your home. Plan to include the basics into your party, such as easy decorations. Wreaths, tinsel, table runners, and candles are good options. Festive background music is a great addition to a party. In addition to any food and drinks you serve, you’ll want to include some holiday snacks. There are tons of recipes available that taste delicious and can be done together with the family.

Pinterest can also be an excellent resource for ideas involving holiday parties. There are many aesthetically pleasing do-it-yourself options such as placemats and center pieces that can make your party a talking point for the entire holiday season.

Preparing the Feast

Getting a large amount of food for many people can be a daunting task, regardless of what season it may be. Different people have different tastes, and it can be a headache trying to figure out who might want what. Still, there’s no need to worry too much. When faced with preparing a big meal, keep these things in mind:

●      Cook for the collective: Try to stick to typical holiday fare that most people enjoy. These options will likely be crowd-pleasers.

●      Include other options: Understand who will be in attendance. Research any special diets or restrictions guests may have. Including a vegan option is always a good backup.

●      Prepare enough food: Always make sure you have enough food for your guests. If needed, have backup dishes ready and prepared if you see signs you might run low.

●      Invite others to bring sweets: Having others bring their favorite dessert dishes cuts down on your work. It can also be a fun way for everyone to introduce their own sweet options.

Regardless of whether you are hosting a dinner party or just attending one of many this holiday season, remember to just be happy. Take many moments to simply breath and reflect upon the joy this season brings. Through your own happiness, you will be better fit to promote the happiness of others.

By Jennifer Scott

Photo Credit: Pixabay

MENLO PARK  PSYCHIATRY & SLEEP MEDICINE  650-326-5888

CONDITIONS TREATED: anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and treatment resistant depression.

REGIONS COVERED:  We serve clients of the Bay Area, including the communities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Mountain View, Portola Valley, Atherton, Sunnyvale, and San Jose