By Constance Ray @ Recoverywell.org
Hosting a gathering during the holidays can be a warm and enjoyable experience. No matter how large or small your celebration, though, it never hurts to have a few strategies in mind to avoid the stress that comes with entertaining. And if you plan ahead, you’ll thank yourself later.
Once you have settled on when to have your party and whom to invite, try using an online service to send out invitations. It’s much faster and cheaper than mailed invitations. In addition, online invitation services offer RSVP reminders, calendar notations, and even room for guests to comment.
The easiest and best way to throw a party during the holidays is to host an open house.
This option provides a window of time to attend, which will make it easier for your guests to fit your party into their busy schedule. Plus it can give the party a more casual, relaxed feel.
There are two schools of thought on how to go with cleaning your house when a party is involved.. The first is to clean before the party, the second is to clean after the party. A sparkling clean house is much easier to clean up after a party, but then it’s also a little less sparkly. The alternative is a quick tidy beforehand and a deep clean afterwards, but then you are dealing with the stress of cleaning up before throwing a party. Decide based on your comfort level. Either way, if you can, outsource this to make the whole process that much easier.
Rather than putting out a dinner buffet, consider offering up snacks or appetizers. These come together much faster, and you can find a wealth of recipes online. Another option is to order a variety of prepared foods from your local grocery or specialty food store. Remember, too, that no one has to know that it wasn’t you doing all the work in the kitchen. Lastly, try to keep in mind a variety of the most common dietary restrictions so that you have something for everyone on your guest list.
Nobody has time to come up with amazing playlists for parties anymore, and you don’t want to be chained to the stereo all night swapping out CDs or records. Consider this the perfect opportunity to use a streaming music service that you can listen to through your phone or a bluetooth speaker.
Keep your guest list in mind (Adults? All ages?) when planning what beverages to offer. If you decide to offer cocktails, consider a drink that you can make ahead of time, or put out a few standard liquors and mixers. Be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options, in addition to coffee. Try using a beverage cart for self service to avoid standing in the corner making drinks all night. And most importantly, have plenty of ice and cups on hand.
Make sure to get a little time to decompress before your guests arrive. Try taking a walk, taking a nap, reading a book, or sitting down to watch a favorite show. The more relaxed you are as a host, the more relaxed your guests will be.
Perfection Not Required
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of throwing the perfect party, but having everything just right isn’t necessary. And by overthinking it you can easily force yourself into a downward spiral of stress. Try to remember the reason for the season, and don’t get caught up in having everything just so. Take the time to enjoy your guests and your party.
Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:
Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools. Nearly every client who walks through a health professional’s door is experiencing some form of anxiety. Even if they are not seeking treatment for a specific anxiety disorder, they are likely experiencing anxiety as a side effect of other clinical issues. For this reason, a solid knowledge of anxiety management skills should be a basic component of every therapist’s repertoire. Clinicians who can teach practical anxiety management techniques have tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses. Anxiety management benefits the clinician as well, helping to maintain energy, focus, and inner peace both during and between sessions.
In the Zone: Finding Flow Through Positive Psychology is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a how-to guide on incorporating flow into everyday life. According to the CDC, four out of ten people have not discovered a satisfying life purpose. Further, the APA reports that most people suffer from moderate to high levels of stress, and according to SAMSHA, adult prescription medication abuse (primarily to counteract attention deficit disorders) is one of the most concerning health problems today. And while clinicians now have a host of resources to mitigate distress and reduce symptomatology, the question remains: how do clinicians move clients beyond baseline levels of functioning to a state of fulfillment imbued with a satisfying life purpose? The answer may lie in a universal condition with unexpected benefits…
Mindfulness: The Healing Power of Compassionate Presence is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will give you the mindfulness skills necessary to work directly, effectively and courageously, with your own and your client’s life struggles. Compassion towards others starts with compassion towards self. Practicing mindfulness cultivates our ability to pay intentional attention to our experience from moment to moment. Mindfulness teaches us to become patiently and spaciously aware of what is going on in our mind and body without judgment, reaction, and distraction, thus inviting into the clinical process, the inner strengths and resources that help achieve healing results not otherwise possible. Bringing the power of mindful presence to your clinical practice produces considerable clinical impact in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, colitis/IBS, and migraines/tension headaches. The emphasis of this course is largely experiential and will offer you the benefit of having a direct experience of the mindfulness experience in a safe and supportive fashion. You will utilize the power of “taking the client there” as an effective technique of introducing the mindful experience in your practice setting. As you will learn, the mindfulness practice has to be experienced rather than talked about. This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of exactly what mindfulness is, why it works, and how to use it. You will also develop the tools that help you introduce mindful experiences in your practice, and how to deal with possible client resistance.
Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.
We are approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South CarolinaBoard of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).