For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

The holidays are a wonderful time to be in a relationship. In addition to the fact that it’s #EngagementSzn, there are holiday drinks to be drunk, holiday movies to be watched, and cozy winter dates to be enjoyed. As a couple, there’s a lot of stimulation and activity around this time of year — which means that post-New Year’s might feel kinda boring in comparison. Jalesa Tucker is a contributor for One Love, a foundation that specializes in teaching young people about happy and healthy relationship behaviors, and she gave us some great tips for beating the post-holiday relationship blues.

“The post-holiday blues are a mix of unmet expectations, readjusting to work, and the contrast effect, which makes everything that happens after the holidays fall short in comparison to the ramped-up cheer of the holiday season,” Tucker says. “These blues are common, but they can have some unexpected effects on people in relationships.”

This relationship stage is normal, but Tucker believes that there are a few activities couples can do together to continue the happiness of the holidays while bringing their relationship closer.

1. Create a joint bucket list. “Planning is one of the most satisfying ways a couple can come together and chart out new experiences,” Tucker says. No matter what interests you or your partner, think about ways to experience your passions together. Another way to approach making a bucket list is to think about things you and your S.O. might want to learn together. For example, if you both want to learn Spanish, plan to take classes together, or take things one step further and plan a trip to Peru. “Going on a bold trip will alleviate the contrast effect since you’ll be filling your calendar with loads of fun adventures to take on together,” Tucker explains.

2. Collaborate on a DIY project. Tucker suggests that another way to grow closer as a couple is to create something together. If you cohabitate, think about ways to spruce up your living space in a creative way; if you live separately, consider taking a cooking or gardening class. “Research shows that people who share hobbies and activities with their S.O. are happier than couples that don’t, since working on projects releases chemicals that make people happy in much the same way that love does,” Tucker says.

3. Be independent. “Independence allows you to have the space and freedom to follow your passions without needing to include your partner,” Tucker tells us. “While going out without your partner may seem counterintuitive, nurturing relationships with family and friends outside of your relationship is the hallmark of a healthy relationship.”

There are plenty of things to look forward to after the excitement of the holiday season ends. As a couple, you’ve probably learned a lot about each other through meeting close friends and family during this time. Now, you two can use that extra knowledge (and these tips!) to take your relationship even further.

How do you and your boo keep things going during a slump? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)