Over the years getting together with family and friends has become more difficult for me living with autoimmune disorders. Stress plays a huge part of the holidays because I can ask too much of myself and not enough of others. I remember being able to clean, cook, decorate, be a gracious hostess and then clean up the mess after everyone goes home. That isn't so easy today.
Like with many other autoimmune disorders Multiple Sclerosis is no stranger to fatigue. So with some of my tips for making life easier when it comes to entertaining, I hope you can reduce your levels of fatigue and enjoy planning and hosting your next party. Here are five of my tips to reduce your stress and keep you energy up for your next crowd-sized party.
Start a "To-Do" ListHaving a list will relieve a lot of stress. You won't have to worry about forgetting anything. This will help you stay focused, organized and and let other family members know exactly what is going on.
Keep the "to-do" list in a place where everyone can see it. This will give people to a chance to make additions and cross off the things that have been accomplished.
Family members can also put their names down next to the items they can take care of.
Choose the Starting and Ending Times of Your PartyIt isn't a big deal if people aren't on time, unless they have committed to helping you, but it is a big deal when they don't leave. Having fatigue and having guests who don't know when to leave don't mix. Have an end time and start wrapping things up about the last thirty minutes of the day.
Have a PotluckThis is so easy and everyone can get involved. Someone in the family has that favorite cake or potato salad that everyone enjoys eating, so have a potluck so people have a chance to share their favorite food.
Use Disposable Dishes, Silverware and Glasses &
Purchase festive partyware for your tablescape, or better yet, put someone else in charge of bringing it. Choose someone who has a flare for decorating and creating a great tablescape and let them share in the festivities. Let them receive all the compliments on how great things look.
Cleanup will be a breeze. Leave a clean smelling garbage can with a garbage bag for everyone to throw away their trash. Everyone wins if everyone cleans up after themselves.
Have doggy bags on hand so people can take home leftovers.
Have the dishwasher empty and ready to go for all of the items that cannot be thrown away.
Ask for HelpIf your house needs a quick clean-up before the day of the potluck, ask for help. You may have a friend that would love to assist you in getting your house ready.
Remember how much fun it was to clean someone else's home? I remember cleaning the homes of the people who hired me to babysit when I was a kid, it was always more fun.
If you need help with the lawn ask for assistance on that. You may have a friend or family member that has a green thumb and would love to help.
Now it is your turn to relax and reflect on the day. Follow up the next day with your guests. Send an email or a real "Thank You" card to everyone who "helped" you with your party. A note of gratitude will go a long way and they will be more apt to help you in the future.