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Making a new year's resolution list? Don't forget about one thing

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Tim Mossholder - Unsplash.com
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Many people commit to improving themselves when the new year rolls around. For some, these resolutions don’t stick. A northern Illinois health expert said focusing on one thing first can make everything else fall into place.

Danielle Angileri, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Health Northern Illinois, said people should make their mental well-being a priority.

“We all have mental health, right? We might not all have mental illness, but our brain is a part of our body,” she said. “And it's just as important as our physical health. And I think even sometimes more so. Because if you have the motivation to do things for your physical body, that comes from your brain.”

She said journaling can be used as a mental health check tool.

“So maybe you're writing one thing a day that you're grateful for,” she suggests, “or you're writing on your feelings, just to kind of track those and see, like, what's helping you what's hurting you, and building coping skills around those.”

She said this exercise can put a spotlight on the things people can’t fix on their own and may inspire them to ask for help.

NAMI Northern Illinois offers support groups for those seeking that extra motivation.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.