Planning for Visitors - Tips and Thoughts



  • Having family and/or friends visit is always something I look forward to. It keeps me feeling connected and included. Living regional, having visitors is a big deal. Usually the visitors have travelled some distance, and may require more than a light snack, or they may need to stay. Being prepared can make or break the experience. The flip side to this welcomed event is ME/CFS. I become anxious the moment I know we are to have visitors. Something that should be an easy task to prepare for, can turn into the biggest mountain to climb. I want to be a good host and enjoy it. What is realistic? What is sustainable? Is there a way to manage having visitors without downsides and how do I get to that happy place of feeling confident to invite family/friends, without the anxiety and stress? How do you do for others, when you can't often do for yourself? 😵



  • When we have visitors I rest up the days before. We keep meals simple. A casserole or bake which can be self served or barbecue eg. sausage sizzle (well person does the barbie) with 2 simple to make self serve salads. Our fridge is always stocked with ice water, juice, milk and soft drink (diet/non diet) so that the guests can help themselves. Obviously if you are on your own you will need a well person to help with purchasing and preparing of food. Relax and let them help you!



  • @donnamarie Thanks for the reassurance. One of the hardest things is reinventing your life and the way you do things. You are right in saying let them help you. I do struggle with accepting my limitations. Being prepared is always the key and if I am to rid myself of the anxiety then I suppose I need to keep it all simple. Maybe my lesson to be learnt in living with ME/CFS is to stop trying to ''keep up appearances''. I'm sure there isn't any expectation of me, from my guests: it may be that my own expectations of me are not realistic. I finding this a huge struggle for me. I really do feel that ME/CFS has robbed me of the person I like to be and aspire to be. I love your practical approach to having visitors and that it's ok to ask for their help. I needed to hear that.😌



  • I agree with Donna Marie about the prior rest and letting others help. But also understand how you feel about asking for help, I struggle with this every day, I previously was the one helping others and find the role change difficult, but continue to work on it.

    This is not an option for all due to the financial cost, but our son and partner are coming up for my husbands birthday in June. They originally were staying with us but we have now booked them some Abnb accommodation so I can rest more, stress less and hopefully get out for a few activities with them.



  • @Looch Yes, role changing is difficult and if it is your nature to be the one helping others then trying to turn that around whilst still retaining the essence of who you are, is a continuous battle. I never considered looking at Abnb ... it certainly could take the pressure off and give more personal space to everyone. This could be an answer, as it would give me more rest time, without leaving them feeling awkward and that could be a sustainable way of having visitors; brilliant. Finding that happy medium is definitely what I should be considering without feeling guilty. Thanks for the tip. I'm now also considering whether an outside guest cabin/house, could be an answer for the long term. You've got my mind wandering to other possibilities: just have to find a way to make that happen.🤓



  • @crashdummy said in Planning for Visitors - Tips and Thoughts:

    @Looch Yes, role changing is difficult and if it is your nature to be the one helping others then trying to turn that around whilst still retaining the essence of who you are, is a continuous battle. I never considered looking at Abnb ... it certainly could take the pressure off and give more personal space to everyone. This could be an answer, as it would give me more rest time, without leaving them feeling awkward and that could be a sustainable way of having visitors; brilliant. Finding that happy medium is definitely what I should be considering without feeling guilty. Thanks for the tip. I'm now also considering whether an outside guest cabin/house, could be an answer for the long term. You've got my mind wandering to other possibilities: just have to find a way to make that happen.🤓
    @crashdummy
    Yes that’s a good idea as living rural often there is no other places suitable near by, that people can stay in. The only thing with having the outside guest house outside is the work involved to do it, hopefully you can relogate all the physical work to someone else entirely. Also as long as it is not going to cause you more anxiety by a need for it having to be just so...
    I really understand where you are coming from.
    I use to entertain a lot with having people over and they could stay and I took pride in having things clean and just so....
    I had to change that thinking, it took me awhile though to change my thinking!!
    I too used to get anxious and stressed before someone came as I just couldn’t keep things the way I use too nor could I make all the types of dishes I use too.

    I find Roasts are good....they are simple as once you’ve done the initial work it cooks itself and then can use the cold meat for Sanger’s or with salads the next day.
    Plus who doesn’t like a roast even vegetarians can have plenary of roast veggies and beans! 😄
    Also Meals like simple stir fries in bulk, that you can get a lot of dishes out of are good and keep it basic... by the veggies already cut up just for this occasion, it saves on energy.
    Also if you can get the groceries delivered to you.
    I know these things are an extra cost... yet they save your energy and time. For special occasions it’s so worth it!

    There’s nothing wrong with asking them to bring something along either.... if they are coming from a long distance they have good eskies these days to!
    I hope you have support from your visitors as in understanding as best they can ME/CFS. If this is the case they will happily help you. If they do not understand, yet still love and care about you, they will happily help you anyway!
    If they don’t want to be supportive and help out, then do you really want them in your home for a night or two anyway...hehe..... they definitely go to the local motel! 😁

    Plan plan plan ... the number one priority is YOU and your health as if you are totally spent then no one will be able to enjoy your company as you’ll have to go to bed!
    Time to put yourself first .... give it a go, it does make a difference and it dose t mean you then cannot still do so much to help others.
    It works after awhile once you get a plan in place... you can help others as we all seem to love doing and still be kind to you as well.
    🤗🦋🌸



  • @Tess Thanks @Tess. How will my visitors really understand ME/CFS if I don't communicate to them that I require help and asking to bring food along is quite acceptable. I really need to think laterally on this whole issue. Traditional entertaining isn't feasible. As far as guests staying, then yes I am going to need to delegate the tasks and jobs for creating a guest space. It's funny, I seem to be able to delegate on the home front without any anxiety, yet requesting help outside isn't easy. I really appreciate the replies: this issue for me is deep seeded: thanks for the support🤓



  • I'm housebound and the only visitors I have (and they rarely visit) are my sister's family. They do understand how sick I am, so that's easy, but it's still a lot of work to have them here. I tend to start making lists a couple of weeks before they're here, or thinking through what's needed.

    I have no choice but to let them do most things themselves, like making their own beds and getting their own towels. I try to do a bit of a meal plan and have food delivered, but I'm dependent on them to make meals. Luckily, my sister is a bit of a control freak and she prefers doing it all herself. But, most people are pretty happy to pitch in and make their own meals, especially if it's a communal/group activity and if they see it's something they can do to help you.

    I think one of the hardest things with chronic illness is there's so little that people can do to help, but they usually appreciate being given jobs to do, because they don't feel quite so helpless.



  • @Coggles77 It's lovely your sister takes the initiative when she visits and understands how sick you are. I am also housebound and understand the effects of this, on a persons life. It is a lot of work to plan for visitors and have them in your home. I like the perspective that "people usually appreciate being given jobs to do". I have found it hard to ask for help and haven't considered that perhaps those around me or visitors may feel helpless having a family member or friend with ME/CFS. You have highlighted that asking for help, allows the visitors/family/friends, the opportunity to provide practical help, easing their feelings of helplessness. This is a very good point. I appreciate your thoughts and tips; I'm trying to reinvent my whole approach to maintaining an open door to visitors. Housebound/Bedbound/Isolation/ I'm sick of it. Maybe I should have "Pamper ME BBQs" as a cheeky way of inviting my family/friends. HeeHee Thanks for sharing @Coggles77 🤓



  • @crashdummy There are already some great suggestions here.
    A couple of things that I’m working on are allowing guests to make cuppas etc (“goes against the grain” but it makes things more manageable for me and the guests feel that they are helping).
    The other is letting guests know ahead of time approximately how long I will be able to have them visit and that I will need to go and take little rest breaks to have a “brain rest “.
    I’m always learning as I go 😊



  • @Bluebellblossom Hi @Bluebellblossom - Thanks for your suggestions. It is a good point you make, about limiting the time of the visit and letting the guests know in advance. I really understand the term" goes against the grain" and I am becoming more aware that I am not alone is this. It seems you are on the, trying to work it all out journey, as well. 🤓


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