I love hosting. I always have. Cooking for other people gives me pleasure and I always feel a sense of pride when I see my friends having fun and mingling with each other, even if they don’t know each other.
As someone with bipolar disorder and undiagnosed but highly probable anxiety, I have a hard time putting myself out there. Throwing a birthday party always makes me a wreck because I am convinced that no one will come (but they do). I also always worry about whether they have a good time and that if they don’t, they won’t want to hang out with me anymore. (Anyone with me?)
But overall, it can be really, really fun. So here’s my tips for having a good time at your own party and becoming an amazing host.
Picking a theme is almost always a great idea. It also makes it easier for people to participate. I’ve hosted cupcake parties, wine and cheeses, craft making parties, brunch and pj parties and murder mysteries. It’s also always great to plan one or two dishes that wow your guests. There are so many great recipes online and on Pinterest. My boyfriend often says I am too ambitious but I always love the results. You don’t even need to spend too much money. Just choose simple ingredients that look great aesthetically.
Create the Right Atmosphere
Your party environment should be conducive to having fun. Ensure there is plenty of seating and spaces for people to congregate. Don’t put the music too loud (unless it’s a dance party, although your neighbours might hate you!) Plan some interactive activities like card games or charades or Cards Against Humanity. If you invite a friend who doesn’t know anyone, make sure to introduce them and bring them into conversations. Make sure you provide some drinks (alcohol and non) in case someone forgot or couldn’t afford it. Clean up before people arrive. Provide directions and tips on parking. There are so many little touches you can make to ensure everyone has a wonderful time.
Take Care of Yourself
This is seriously the most important piece of advice I can give you. If you aren’t having fun, then nothing else matters. Invite people that make you happy and don’t feel obligated to invite friends of friends unless you want to. Don’t spend the whole time in the kitchen. It’s fun to be creative, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself for everything to be perfect. Don’t be too ambitious so that you aren’t stressed (I never actually follow this piece of advice, but I am trying.) Let your guests fend for themselves a little – you don’t need to try to talk to everyone at great length. Do take people up on their offer to help clean. And finally, don’t feel bad (politely) kicking people out when you want to go to bed. I know that for myself, I get tired easily due to my medication. I also can get over stimulated. I can’t often spend hours with people partying until the wee hours of the morning. I need time to recharge and be alone. I also need time to unwind before bed. You do you and take care of yourself. Your mental health comes first.
That’s all I have! Leave me your party tips in the comments below!