The day has been long. You have woken up before sunrise and its already way beyond sunset. The day is nearly over, even before you realised. The rush of meetings, hardpressed deadlines, unprecedented official or personal chores, boss' mood swings, the children's annual sport event, your spouses new job jitters - your day never had a moment of calm. You are surprised at sudden hunger- when did you have that last hurried bite? To top it all, you have forgotten all about the important dinner guests today! And you are already out of steam....
Herez how to go about it...
- Calm down: There is always a way out, so convince yourself that you can breeze through this one too.
- Mentally classify the guests: If they are close friends, you could be more relaxed; but if they are clients, colleagues or seniors from work- you need to make some plans.
- Write it down: Quickly jot down what you plan tonight; keep the menu small as you would need a lot of energy for an elaborate arrangement
- Shop: Go to a mall or store that has a smaller queue. Don't overdo the shopping. Just go as per the requirements of your list.
- Hydrate yourself: Drink a couple of glasses of cool water after reaching home. Quickly take a warm shower (it helps, any season)
- Breathe in life: Lie down on a flat surface, a carpet or a comfortable bench (not a bed or couch) and breathe deeply. This breathing should inflate your stomach during inhalation and flatten it during exhalation. Do this for 10 minutes (keep a timer if necessary)...it relaxes you immediately.
- Dress up: Wear something light & comfortable for the evening. Try to look relaxed and presentable (take deep breaths, whenever you can)
- Implement the plans: Start dinner preparation as per your plans and try not to deviate much, in an impulse to impress.
- Get help: If you can get friends or family members to pitch in, request them to do smaller chores like fixing the table, arranging some fresh flowers, switching on some soothing music etc. Or better still, invite them to the kitchen to help you.
- Post preparation: If you finish the dinner preparation in time, grab a chair, get a glass of juice or water and mentally prepare yourself for the conversation you are going to have. As you've had a busy day, you will automatically tend to think of it & the conversation might revolve around it. Instead try to think of something positive about your guests and make it a point to discuss about the same.
- Smile: Take care to smile adequately (not too much or too less) and make them feel at home. Introduce humor into your conversation as everyone could use some at the end of a day. Listen more, do not lead the conversation towards yourself or how tiring your day was, lest your guests feel unwelcome.
- Graceful see off: If your guests want to bid an early goodbye, do not insist on their staying back longer (for all you know, they might have had a long tiring day too); see them off cheerfully without showing your haste to crash.
- Cleanup: This is the most difficult part of the entire evening, especially when all your tiredness comes flooding back. Don't crash on that inviting couch but finish off this chore as soon as possible. Help is a must-get. If you don't have help, try to finish only the amount you can manage before you are completely burned out.
- Relax again: Dip your feet in some warm water before you retire for the day. Try adding some herbal/olive oil into the water for better sleep and a fresh new you in the morning!!