Vacation traveling has returned, and along with it, there are invitations to be a houseguest at the home of family or friends. Given the high price of gasoline, hotels, and restaurant meals, some of us may communicate our willingness to be someone’s houseguest even before the idea of inviting us occurs to our potential host.
Having House Guests Can Be Stressful
Much has been and will continue to be written about the stress of having house guests. Expressions of sympathy are offered to our friends whose summer home is booked from Memorial Day to Labor Day as a vacation get-away for their family and acquaintances.
Hosts often take on the tasks of endless meal preparation, loading and unloading the dishwasher and washing machine, and making sure the guests are entertained, impressed with local restaurants, and are not bored if the weather undermines outside plans.
Being a House Guest Can Also Be Stressful
Being a guest has its challenges as well. You need to be sensitive to the ways of other households, you don’t have your usual comforts of home and familiarity, and you may not have access to the foods that make you feel good and that you are choosing to eat these days. And your host may insist you eat everything served especially those who spend countless hours shopping and preparing the food. What can you do?
Obviously, the undemanding house guest will not send a list of essential foodstuffs and may be embarrassed to pack them in her luggage. But food choice incompatibility is almost inevitable: the host may be serving sandwiches at lunchtime and nightly high-protein meals grilled to perfection whereas you want protein at lunch and healthy carbs for dinner.
Your host may favor high fat foods which can make sticking to your difficult. For example, if your host serves pasta with cream sauce, sausage and cheese omelets for breakfast, and lobster rolls swimming in mayonnaise, it puts the guest in a tough situation. Do you eat the foods that are incompatible with your eating and weight loss goals, or go hungry because you don’t have access to what you want to eat?
Planning Ahead of Time and Getting Involved
The good news is you can offer to prepare some of the meals, do some of the grocery shopping, and bring food you’ve prepared. It’s a win-win for everyone, potentially including other guests there as well.
Focus On The Experience of Togetherness
Houseguests mean that time can be spent together relaxing over a Sunday newspaper or taking a slow walk along a beach picking up shells. It allows family members who no longer live near each other time to share memories and make new ones.
And the same is true for the house guests who can enjoy a mini-vacation with friends and family and interact in ways not possible in more structured and time-limited settings of dinners or parties. This may be especially true when a family is expanded through marriage and births or when a friendship is relatively new. Family relationships ands friendships can deepen when spending time together in the same home.
Take Care of Yourself As A House Guest
Simple steps can be taken by the house guest to counteract the stress of possible inconvenience, discomfort, or food choice incompatibility. Eyeshades and earplugs to counteract the early sunrises and sounds of awakening birds, your own pillows (if the right softness is important and you can take them with you), requests before you arrive to be able to go to the supermarket to buy foods that the host might not keep in the house.
This requires some delicacy but can be justified by mumbling something about medical issues or a special diet. Offer ahead of time to buy tickets or make arrangements to take hosts to events or a restaurant in the area so you can do activities you enjoy and avoid cleaning up the kitchen every night after lots of cooking if it’s not your thing.
Don’t overextend your stay. Benjamin Franklin said that fish and guests should be removed after three days, but the same could be said for being with your host. Leave while both of you would have liked the visit to be extended. This makes the return visit all the more desirable.
If you’d like support and guidance for your mental and overall wellness on your path to your weight loss and wellness goals, we can help: we’re here for you! We invite you to sign up for a complimentary consultation to learn more. We look forward to meeting you