We know how it goes: The presents have been opened, all the wine, cheese, sweets, and seasonally appropriate cocktails have been consumed, and now you're staring 2018 dead in the face with nary a thing to look forward to (OK, maybe we're being a tad overdramatic).
If you're like us, you probably are suffering from the post-holiday blues—aka a dull and constant semi-depressive fog which can only be attributed to nearly two weeks of merry-making; enjoying (or becoming exhausted by) family, friends, and in-laws; and of course, the inevitable traveling headaches that come along with visiting loved ones near and far. Mainly, January is a rough month to settle into because, for the past two or so months you've most likely had any number of holiday and end-of-year excuses to put off starting that healthy lifestyle, or organizing your closet, or getting your finances in order, promising yourself that 2018 would be the year you fix all of your problems.
Don't worry, this isn't a post on how to confront all your problems head-on first thing in 2018 (phew), as we all need a little reprieve and time to ease back into the real world after a couple of weeks of relaxation. We understand that you need something to look forward to (because the winter months seem a lot less sweet and romantic post-holidays) as the dreaded month of January bears down on you with the weight of a thousand pounds of dirty city sludge. So, here are some fun ways to pretend that seasonal affective disorder and post-holiday blues don't exist, even if for a few hours.
1. Plan a weekly game night.
These days, a lot of cities have bars brimming with a plethora of board games just asking to be played. Get a group of your friends together and plan a weekly (or bi-weekly) game night to help break up the week. Tuesdays getting you down? Not when you can look forward to dominating your partner and all of your friends playing Settlers of Catan! Switch it up from time to time and make some of your game nights just a one-on-one spar/date night with your boo. Try focusing on a new game every time, especially if they're games you're not familiar with so that you have the extra bonus of learning something new!
2. Throw an impromptu post-holiday party.
Surprise your friends (and downstairs neighbors!) by inviting as many people as you can squeeze into your home for a knock-down, drag-out party akin to those you had in college (pony keg, anyone?) with a after-holidays spin. Perhaps acting about 10 years younger will revive some of the optimism you had for 2018 back when you were on the other side of your holiday vacation. Set up a photo booth with whiteboard and have everyone write what they're looking forward to in the new year!
3. Take a road trip.
Venture outside of your city, but don't plan where you're going—just hit the road Friday after work and explore some little towns on the outskirts of where you live. Bonus points for doing no research and finding the quirkiest restaurants and watering holes. Adventuring with your partner—especially when it's spontaneous—can lead to some excellent anecdotes and memories!
4. Start a couple's book club.
Really, it's just another excuse for you and your partner to hang out with friends, but an excellent one nonetheless. Besides the obvious benefits of reading more, if it's a really immersive book, it can help the time pass more quickly—spring will be here before you're done with your fourth book! A fun added layer? Create a themed food menu around whatever book you're reading: If the book takes place in India, serve samosas and chana masala! Hemingway on the docket? Mix up some classic rum daiquiris!
5. Cook together.
Sure, we could tell you to take a cooking class together (and that's certainly fun!) but it can also be expensive. Why not just take it upon yourselves to commit to cooking together a couple of times a week, and experimenting with some new recipes? Try chicken mole from scratch (it's not as daunting as it seems), and enjoy a margarita while you cook. It puts the fun back into weeknight dinners, instead of the same-old tired rotation of meals you eat every week.
6. Join a social sports club together.
There's nothing like meeting new people and making new friends to lighten your spirits and remind you why you love your partner so dang much, plus the added bonus of physical activity doesn't hurt! Even if you just join a bocce league, having that weekly outing together gives you something to look forward to.
7. Do one new (fun) thing every weekend.
So you have your routine in the winter—maybe a quick brunch with your honey, and then back to the couch for two days of binge-watching TV, ordering food, and having a bottle of wine. While that's certainly a cozy hibernation of sorts, it can also fuel depression in the winter months. We know it's hard to force yourself to get out of the house when it's so gross out, but why not make it into a fun game? Every weekend, either you or your partner choose an activity they've been wanting to do with you but haven't yet, and alternate so the next weekend the other person gets to choose. No complaining allowed! It could be dragging them to an exhibit you've been wanting to see (that you know they'll secretly enjoy), hiking a new trail, taking a workout class, or even just exploring a new neighborhood you've been wanting to check out!