If the thought of holiday entertaining already has you feeling overwhelmed (the elaborate decorating, the hours of grocery shopping, cooking, and — worst of all — cleaning!), then you're in need of Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo's wisdom. This "head coach for happiness" chatted with us about how to make the holidays more enjoyable.
Her biggest tip was shockingly simple: allow your guests to help.
"A lot of times the hostess thinks, 'I have to do all this myself'. Here's the thing: no you don't," she says. If you're having trouble accepting help or — heaven forbid — soliciting it, consider this: guests also benefit.
Dr. Lombardo explains, "we find engrained in happiness research that giving people a sense of purpose and being grateful for what they've done makes them feel better about themselves." It's a double win.
Before you throw the vacuum cleaner into grandma's hands the moment she walks in the door, keep in mind that it's not about passing off the work, but about assigning guests simple and specific tasks that make a difference, such as hanging up coats or drying the pots and pans. And whatever you do, don't let your inner perfectionist get in the way. It will only sabotage the help. Nothing feels worse for a guest than loading the dishwasher only to have the host reload it.
Bottom line: when everyone helps, everyone wins — especially the host. Now exhale and take on the holiday hosting duties with joy!