No matter how much you enjoy doing it, entertaining is hard work — especially after you've had a particularly brutal week. Some weeks, by the time Friday rolls around, all you want to do is put on soft pants and sit on the couch. But sometimes that just isn't possible, because you made plans to host a dinner party (or a holiday) weeks ago and you can't exactly cancel.
Fear not! There are ways to avoid putting the proverbial cherry on top of a total meltdown. Here's how to psych yourself up and actually enjoy yourself.
1. Remember that you love these people.
Most likely, the people on the guest list are friends and/or family, which means that you probably adore them and want to spend time with them. These days, schedules are so busy that the mere feat of getting everyone together is an occasion that should be celebrated, not dreaded. Plus, who knows how to lighten your mood or make you laugh better than these crazy people?
2. Take the pressure off yourself.
People are coming to hang out, not to be pampered like the Queen of England. Things don't have to be perfect and they certainly don't have to be fancy. Skip the centerpieces or floral arrangements, cloth napkins, and anything else that's stressing you out. It's less for you to worry about now and even less to clean up later.
Here's How to Let Go
3. Consider takeout.
If you're really fried, don't cook. Yes, you heard us. If the energy that would go into cooking will zap all you've got, just don't do it. Instead, order in some pizza or from your favorite local (and inexpensive) go-to place. This way, you might even look forward to getting your favorite three-topping pie that you haven't had in ages. Note: You can also make one thing and supplement the rest with takeout — or turn the night into a potluck and ask people to make or buy stuff.
Just Pick Up the Phone
4. Take solace knowing you have backup help.
Know this: Just because you're the host does not mean that you're solely responsible for every minute of hosting time. Have your partner or a friend on standby so that, if you need a minute or two to yourself during the evening, that person can step in and take over.
5. Put on something that's cute and comfy.
Those soft pants are probably not going to get you in the mood for a party, but a loose cotton dress should do the trick! You're always going to be happier if you're wearing something you like and feel good in, versus something that's too tight or makes you feel frumpy.
6. Pamper yourself the day of.
Whether it's taking a nice hot bath, getting a quick manicure, or going for a blowout, just do something nice for yourself the day of. It will lessen your stress levels and put you in a happier state to really enjoy the get-together. When will you ever find the time? Just put it on your calendar and you'll be sure to do it!
7. Keep an end in mind.
This does not have to be a rager. If you would feel better knowing that everyone will be out by 10, then make it happen. Get your helper on your side to start giving everyone the signals that it's time to leave. Of course, if you're having fun, there's no need to wrap things up early!
How do you psych yourself up for company when it's been a week?