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Nine Tips to Keep Anxious Company Calm

welcome matDuring the holiday season, many people find themselves hosting out of town guests. For the most part, these encounters go smoothly with people generally going out of their way to make those visiting comfortable.

However, for people who tend to be anxious, visiting others can be quite stressful. For those who host, here are some holiday tips for helping people who may worry too much feel welcome and at ease:

  1. Welcome your guests and tell them how happy you are to share your home.
  2. Immediately show your guest where they will be staying, what bathroom to use, and where the towels are located.
  3. Make sure you let guests know where they can safely store their belongings (one time we forgot to warn our guests about shutting their bedroom door and a shoe disappeared outside never to be found again—puppies :)).
  4. Just like a good hotel, let your guests know that you have extra toothpaste, shampoo, or conditioner just in case they forgot something (and keep a small supply handy).
  5. Tell your guests how they can adjust the temperature or warmth in their room either with more or less blankets, a thermostat, or a window.
  6. Make sure your guests know where they can get glasses for water, crackers, or snacks if they are hungry. Now that food is often unavailable during air travel, you never know what your travelers’ appetite will be like when they arrive.
  7. Allow time to unwind— people appreciate a few moments after they arrive for checking email, communicating with loved ones, or checking in with work. And many people need down time before they sleep by reading a book, surfing the net, or watching the news.
  8. Be sure to let guests know of any household rules, routines, or schedules that may affect their visit.
  9. Relax and enjoy. Feel lucky you have a home to share for even a short time. Make the time together comfortable and memorable.

Welcome mat photo available from Shutterstock.

Nine Tips to Keep Anxious Company Calm

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D.

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults and children with obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as personality disorders, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and learning disorders. Dr. Smith is a widely published author of articles and books to the profession and the public, including: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2E), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies, Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, Depression For Dummies, Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth, and Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be? Her website is:

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APA Reference
Smith, L. (2011). Nine Tips to Keep Anxious Company Calm. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Dec 2011
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