Comfort Anywhere

How to Be a Stress-Free House Guest

There’s nothing like spending time with your loved ones during the holidays. For many of us, the holidays are our only opportunity to see family, but familial stress can detract from even the most exciting festivities.

You can do your part keeping holiday stress at bay by trying to be a less stressful house guest. Small changes could have an outsized impact on how you and your family get along this year.

Be Giving

Minimizing holiday stress begins before you walk through the door. When you’re staying with someone else — whether it’s a family member or a friend — you can set an appreciative and relaxing tone by arriving with a gift, especially during the holiday season.

The gift doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. A nice bottle of wine or a fresh bouquet of flowers will do.

Be Present

Once you arrive and start settling in, don’t be the person who immediately asks the host for their Wi-Fi password. Scrolling through your social media timeline or responding to emails tells your host you’d rather be somewhere else, doing something else.

This holiday season, keep your smartphone in your pocket and focus on living in the moment. Simply being more attentive to your family will make everyone feel more at ease, especially your host.

Be Conscientious

Hosting guests is a stressful job, so be thoughtful throughout your visit. Even if your host is reluctant to hand over major responsibilities — like meal preparation — try to find small ways you can help.

Whether it’s maintaining a tidy sleeping area, picking up the check at a restaurant, taking short showers, keeping noise to a minimum, lending a hand in the kitchen or simply following all house rules, assisting your host will alleviate some of the stress that comes along with having you visit.

Be Thankful

Although there are many things you can do to be a stressless house guest, hosting someone has a certain level of stress no matter what you do. So be sure to write a thank-you note to express your gratification shortly after you return home. Although handwritten thank you notes may seem antiquated, they are always well received.

When writing your note, don’t make it too generic. Include a specific thing or two you enjoyed during your visit. Detailed and sincere thank you notes aren’t forgotten or tossed out; they become physical reminders of treasured holiday memories together.

Remember, when you stay with someone else, you’re invading their personal space to some degree, but there are things you can do to be a better house guest and minimize your host’s stress! Try doing them this year and you might be invited back next year!