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Here’s How 7 Gen Z Couples Navigate The Post-Holiday Hangover

The holidays are in full swing, besties. It’s the season of DIYing the most creative gift for your SO, catching up on all the shows you missed during finals week, and updating your IG Notes with the perfect holiday-themed message. My personal fav — “In hibernation, text if needed.” (But please, don’t text. I’m exhausted.)

While the holidays typically bring us all good energy (especially for those who have gift-giving as their love language, hello), there’s that dreaded period after the holidays. You know what I’m talking about? That period where all the NYE parties have ended, the twinkle lights have been taken down, and everyone’s heading back into their busy schedules filled with way too much studying and internship work. 

That gloomy period after the holidays can cause strain on many different parts of life. But, from my experience, especially in relationships. I like to call this phenomenon a “post-holiday relationship hangover.” It sounds scary, I know, but fear not — there are ways to combat this potential vibe killer. And lucky for you, I’ve talked to all sorts of couples to get their take on what they’re doing this holiday season, so the relationship hangover doesn’t swoop in. 

Alexis, 21: “Be Intentional With yOur Communication.”

“To alleviate any stress in our relationship after the holidays, my partner and I are very intentional with our communication, especially as we get back into the swing of things. I think having clear communication about post-holiday intentions makes a huge difference. I love knowing what my partner’s goals are and sharing mine with them. This way we can hold each other accountable and it creates something for us to look forward to.”

Kiera, 22: “Plan Adventures as a Couple.”

“We plan fun adventures for the new year. We are together constantly during the holidays and it’s hard to get back into a routine after seeing each other all the time. The big thing we try to do is plan something we can look forward to together throughout the new year. Whether it’s planning to attend a concert or festival or something as simple as a date day. Looking forward to fun events and knowing we have times already planned to see each other make the post-holiday season a little less sad.”

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Rachel Claire / pexels
Emileigh, 21: “Make Each Other a Priority.”

“Being together at school as a couple shows a different side of the both of us. In no way negative or positive, we both take school seriously and make it a top priority. We’re spending the holidays together and it’s nice to be able to disconnect from school and fully focus on each other. After the holidays, we can’t ignore the fact that we’ll be hit with school again. So continuing to make each other a priority, we take breaks between tests to just have a night off and relax. Or we like to get dinner and a movie so we can be in each other’s presence and rekindle the spirit.”

Nicole, 24: “Plan A Date Night In.”

“After the chaos of the holidays, like the stress of seeing a lot of family and endless socializing, I think it’s super important for my partner and me to have a night in of just peace and quiet. We love to unplug as much as we can whether it’s playing a board game or simply doing nothing together to help us decompress.”

Breanne, 22: “Reflect on the Past Year.”

“A thing my SO and I like to do together after the holidays is to reflect on all of the good things that came out of the year. Whether it’s our favorite memory or a funny story, we like to just enjoy what we experienced together the previous year. We also talk about all of the exciting things that  are coming up in the new year — like our upcoming vacations, anniversaries, or birthdays. Talking about all the future things allows us to feel excited and not get into a funk as we transition back into work and school.”

Ryan, 21: “Do Something Sentimental Together.”

“My partner and I make an effort to do something sentimental together right at the end of the holidays to end things on a good note and hopefully make the transition back to real life less mundane. I love to cook her favorite meal, go driving around to look at what’s left of the holiday lights, or plan a picnic.”

Josh, 21: “Get some One-on-One Time.”

“The holidays have been so hectic, my partner and I haven’t had any time for just us. Of course, we’ve been hanging out, but more in groups and it feels like our energy is going toward everyone else. I feel like after the holidays we won’t really have a relationship hangover, I feel like we’re actually going to be revived. We’ve been so booked and busy, I’m hoping after the holidays we’re going to able to spend way more time one-on-one and actually be able to plan dates!”

Avery Worley is a national writer for Her Campus. She has written across all verticals but takes a special interest in the wellness section, especially mental health, sex and relationships, and all things astrology. Beyond Her Campus, Avery attended New York University's Publishing Institute and is getting her Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. When she isn't writing, you can find her exploring NYC with her latest romance novel in hand and relating way too much to "mirrorball" by Taylor Swift. If it's the fall, she's definitely rewatching Gilmore Girls.