By Nicole Baker

Nicole Baker’s goal with this segment is to give you easy, practical everyday tips on staying well, safe and happy.

She will spotlight stories that bring you a dose of wellness during our newscasts, and you’ll find longer-form stories streaming monthly on CBSN Baltimore.

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s how vital our well-being truly is – mental, physical and emotional.

It’s that time of year where we may find ourselves in a mood or suddenly sad for what we think is no real reason, some call it the winter blues, but doctors might call it Seasonal Affective Disorder.

A recent poll showed that 49% of people would rather just skip the holidays instead of dealing with the stress of it all.

So when you dash that in with the ups and downs of the holiday season, which can be triggering for some, you can see how simple it is to be totally overwhelmed.

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Local experts say stress, anxiety and social isolation will make Seasonal Affective Disorder worse for you.

Sleeping too much, eating too much, having low energy and wanting to be alone are some of the signs to watch out for.

“As the days get shorter and the days get gloomier and darker some folks are very sensitive to that change in light and so they find that they will feel much more down, sometimes sad, sort of sometimes have a full blow depression, low energy, inability to get out of bed, no desire to go to work or be with their family, and that really is sort of related to the darkest days of winter,” Dr. Drew Pate of Lifebridge Health said.

Something you can do to get through, according to Dr. Pate, is simple and totally free: let the sun in.

“Get outside, being near a window especially for 30, 45 minutes in the morning. If you work in a closed-in office building, there are full-spectrum lights you can buy to expose yourself for a half-hour or so a day, or use at home while you’re getting ready, but you want to make sure that you’re kicking starting your brain with some light because that can kind of counter the effects of winter blues,” Dr. Pate said.

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Staying active and cutting back on alcohol can do wonders for your mind and heart. Dr. Pate says these tips are crucial to remember for kids too – except the alcohol part, of course.