The December and Christmas holiday period can be fun, but it can also be stressful. There are parties and get togethers with family and friends, but there is also shopping, cooking, cleaning and a seemingly endless number of tasks, errands and jobs to prepare for the holidays as well.

Here are 5 easy ways to remember to be mindful over the holidays.

GO OUTSIDE

Take a short walk every day. Not only does walking clear your head, the cold air can sharpen your senses. Remember to pay attention to the world around you — the crunch of the snow under your shoes, or the wind rushing through the trees.

USE YOUR NOSE

Enjoy the smells particularly associated with the December holidays. This could be the scent of the Christmas tree or Chanukah candles, or food and drink such as mulled wine or mince pies. Take a few moments each day to really experience the olfactory bouquet around you.

SLOW DOWN

Slow down before meals. Grab five minutes for yourself and think about one good thing you have enjoyed during the day. Then practice your breathing exercises.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE DECORATIONS

Pay attention to the twinkling lights on Christmas trees and other decorations. Breathe in deeply and let yourself relax as you contemplate the colours and textures of the decorations.

EAT MINDFULLY

We have a tendency to overeat during the holidays, and to skip breakfast or lunch if we are having a large meal in the afternoon or evening. If you are concerned about overeating, skipping is the worst thing you can do. It actually makes it more likely you’ll binge later on.

Remember to taste, really taste, what you are eating instead of just shovelling it in on auto-pilot. That way you’ll avoid overeating and get more enjoyment of your food.