Setting Healthy Boundaries at School

September is here which means school is now in session! After a long summer break it can be hard for many of us to dive headfirst back into schoolwork, reuniting with old friends, and managing extracurricular activities. It is important to remember that keeping our mental wellbeing in check is crucial to having a successful school year. One of the best ways to ensure we are taking good care of ourselves is setting healthy boundaries at school.

What Are Boundaries?

We’ve all heard of the term “boundaries” but what does it really mean and how do we apply them to our own lives? Boundaries are the expectations and needs that you express to people in your life to ensure you feel safe and comfortable. It is being able to say no to things that make you feel uncomfortable and knowing when to say yes to things that you can tolerate or enjoy.

Why Are Boundaries Important?

The school environment can be complicated and overwhelming, filled with schedules, homework, pressure from family and friends, societal expectations, and much more. So it is important to be aware of what we want and what we don’t want. In other words, we should prioritize the things that make us feel happy, the things that are important to us, and the things that make us feel comfortable and safe. If we don’t prioritize our own needs we run the risk of overstretching ourselves to help others, set unrealistic workloads, put ourselves in uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations, and end up ignoring what is important to us. There’s nothing wrong with helping people or putting in extra effort when needed; however, we can only give to others once our own needs have been fulfilled first.

What Are Some Examples of Boundaries?

There are so many different types of boundaries and each one is unique to the needs of the person setting them. Here is a list of a few types of boundaries that may help you deal with issues as this new school year begins:

-Turn off your phone if it’s a distraction during class or when doing homework
-Ask your friends to stop if they make you feel negative or uncomfortable
-Ask family members to minimize interruptions when completing schoolwork
-Designate specific times for fun and specific times for schoolwork
-Make sure you have enough time to balance school and work
-Self-care is important, make time to take care of yourself when needed

What Happens if I Don’t Set Boundaries?

Setting boundaries ensures that we are respecting our time, our values, and our mental well-being. If we don’t respect ourselves and if others don’t respect our boundaries, we run the risk of neglecting our self-care, becoming overwhelmed, building resentment, or ignoring what’s important.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of other people, having limited time for homework, feeling bullied, or you feel like your needs aren’t being respected, then this could be an indication that it is time to set some boundaries.

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