For a long time now, our school counselor has talked with our elementary students during her guidance lessons about junk thoughts.

For the past two months, heck, the past 8 months, I’ve done a good job of keeping those at bay. My fitness level is up, my weight is down, and I’ve felt like I can conquer a lot. The two challenges have been good for my mental health for sure.

This month, not so much.

I’ve not been able to get on the treadmill with any regularity. I’ve not been eating as well either. The stress of the job has ramped up as well. We had conferences last week, with no school on Friday. Monday was a regular day of school, that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were early out days. We missed school this Monday due to snow. Tuesday our schedule was messy because of things going on and Wednesday was an early out for PD. So students really have had no consistency with school since last Monday and it shows with attitudes and behaviors.

Staff has been grumpy too. Nothing major, but I feel the stress around the school and district. I’ve not had the same support system in place for eating and exercise, thus, I’ve slipped a little bit, gained a few pounds.

And the junk thoughts have started to creep back into my mind. “Your going to fail with this program.” “You are over eating, again.” “You can’t keep this up.” “Why aren’t you working?”

It’s not always fun in my mind.

So, I’m working to get back to exercise because that seems to be my happy place. Yesterday was especially bad, and I came home, ran three miles, and felt somewhat better. Today, I ran to the next town over and got roses for tomorrow (anniversary slice), and that felt good. My wife and I vented, had a drink, then took a nap (not sleeping well either).

My eating has been garbage, so I’m getting stuff out from January. 120 grams of protein, 2100 calories, and go. Slowly, I’ll get back.

But the junk thoughts are there and that’s the hardest thing to get through. My mind tends to move negative. Today, our precept talked about how we become what we think. That one got me focused on my own thoughts.

We keep trying keep those junk thoughts at bay.

I’ll keep writing.

I’ll keep reading.

I’ll keep working to do better.

Because that’s what we do.