LONDON, August 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Psychologists highlight dangers of new 'Hostess-itis' phenomena
Dinner party stress is a rising phenomenon, with Brits believing that hosting a dinner party is a more stressful experience than visiting the dentist, going for a job interview and taking a driving test.
This dinner party anxiety, or Hostess-itis, stems from the amount of pressure we place on ourselves to host the perfect party. With 47% of people spending at least three hours preparing food in advance of their guests arriving, and 15% said that despite the preparation, they spent the entire evening in the kitchen and did not have the time to mingle with guests.
The research carried out by Coppenrath & Wiese, which surveyed 1736 UK adults also revealed that 1 in 20 Brits were so anxious that they had a panic attack while hosting a dinner party and 14% vowed never to hold another one again.
Psychologist Donna Dawson says: "Hostess-itis is a perfect way to describe the anxiety and panic that overwhelms us when putting on a dinner party, as we are afraid that we will be judged and found lacking. Seduced by celebrity TV chefs into thinking that whipping up a wonderful meal in minutes should be easy and fun, we rush about on a surge of adrenalin, inflicting headaches, stomach ache and even panic attacks on ourselves in our attempt to make everything perfect. The secret is to slow down, accept that not every item of our meal needs to be cooked from scratch, and to realise that it is more important to enjoy this precious time with friends. One pre-emptive action that we can take is not to invite those so-called 'friends' who are likely to judge us or make us feel anxious in the first place!"
Bernard Maher, commercial manager for Coppenrath & Wiese commented on the findings: "I'm worried that as a nation we're putting too much pressure on ourselves to host the perfect dinner party. I urge hosts to alleviate this stress and 'let yourself off the hook' for the starter and dessert courses. Frozen desserts, for example, are ideal for dinner parties as they can be purchased in advance. This will give hosts more time to spend with guests, and help them relax during their main, as they know all the hard work is done."
5 WAYS FOR A STRESSFREE DINNER PARTY:
- Choose your guests wisely - don't invite people who clash or are argumentative
- Serve yourself -present vegetables, side dishes and sauces so guests can serve themselves
- Be prepared - buy your ingredients and prepare in advance - frozen desserts are ideal
- Cater for one extra - if anything gets burnt or dropped, you have a back-up.
- Remember why you're doing this - to have a good time, so relax. Your friends will understand and forgive you for any culinary disasters.
For more dinner party tips and advice, please visit http://www.coppenrath-wiese.co.uk.
SOURCE Coppenrath & Wiese