7 ways to look forward in the New Year - MetroFamily Magazine
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7 ways to look forward in the New Year

by Casey Shupe

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

The hectic holidays are over — now what?

For me, personally, the first of the year is like going from 100 mph to zero in one day. I’ve spent the last few months preparing for the holidays – decorating, shopping, wrapping, cooking and planning festive activities (plus all the usual parenting stuff). Then it all comes to a halt!

The first full week of January means back to reality, back to business and back to school (all parents rejoice with me)! While many of us look forward to the first part of the year as a fresh start, some find coming back from the “most wonderful time of the year” brings on the post-holiday blues.

Here are some ideas to help you look forward to the New Year and combat any negative feelings that may come your way.

  1. Get back in the routine. It’s no secret that I love a good plan and the comfort of routine. But between late-night festivities, sugary snacks and long to-do lists, routines often fall to the wayside during the holiday season. Getting back to quality sleep, self-care, exercise and eating right can get you back on track and feeling good about yourself and the New Year ahead.
  2. Get organized. You may not have the time or motivation to go full Marie Kondo on your home, but you can start by tackling one closet or drawer at a time. Have the kids clean out their toys and donate gently used items to local nonprofits, like the Sharing Tree, which provides those in need a dignified, no-cost shopping experience. You can also make some extra dough by selling your used children’s items at the Just Between Friends Consignment Sale coming up this spring. They even have the option to donate any items that don’t sell to the Sharing Tree and Infant Crisis Services. You win, your kids win and the community wins!
  3. Volunteer. The more we give, the happier we feel – it’s science! According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering reduces stress and increases positive, relaxed feelings by releasing dopamine. Giving back lifts the spirits, provides a way to spend time together as a family, teaches great life lessons and, of course, benefits the community. Check out these top family volunteer opportunities in the OKC Metro.
  4. Enjoy some winter-themed fun. If you missed out on these holiday happenings before Christmas, don’t worry. You still have time to check them out through January 9, 2022. The OKC Zoo Safari Lights feature larger-than-life drive thru light displays and over 50 themed light sculptures. After driving through, you can re-enter the zoo to experience even more! You can also enjoy a Nordic experience that includes climate-controlled ice skating, Olympic curling, alpine climbing, skiing and snowboarding at Winter Glow at Riversport Adventures. You also still have time to enjoy the Free Automobile Alley Lights and Free Bricktown Canal Lights through January 9, 2022. Even the Devon Ice Rink is open until January 30, 2022. For other ideas, check out 50 things to do this winter under $5.
  5. Get outdoors. With all its state parks, Oklahoma has so many great places to hike! Just a short drive from OKC and with Medicine Park nearby, my family’s favorite is Mount Scott. To help you plan your family’s hiking adventure, check out the top Oklahoma State Parks for families. Other ideas to get your family moving and outdoors include checking out some biking trails or attending the Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake. If hiking or biking isn’t your thing, plan an outdoor movie with plenty of blankets and snacks!
  6. Discover some culture. Plan to take a Saturday afternoon Free guided tour at the OK Contemporary where gallery guides lead tours that encourage curiosity or participate in a Free See You Saturday at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame where you can create crafts and explore exhibits. Another option is to check out Weekend FAMily Fun at the First Americans Museum, which features hands-on activities for families.
  7. Plan a vacation. Anticipating a trip can be almost as enjoyable as going on the trip itself! My family is planning our first adventure to the Grand Canyon over the summer. Planning and discussing the trip is a fun way to get the family involved and create excitement about what is to come. Planning to stay in Oklahoma? Here is a guide to Prime Oklahoma Vacation Spots.

The gift of a new year is a true blessing. No matter how you plan to spend it, remember to look for happiness in moments, both big and small.

Casey Shupe is an Oklahoma native and graduate of Oklahoma State University with a masters in business administration. She is the events manager for MetroFamily and has previously worked in the non-profit and corporate business sectors. Casey is married to her college sweetheart of 18 years and is mom to a pre-teen and teenager.

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