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Middle school and high school often have more intense academic expectations, so school breaks are great opportunities to focus on your mental health and rest up.
Boundaries and respect are very important in providing a foundation of trust between parents and teens. As you are on break without school restrictions, you have more time to dedicate to your hobbies, jobs and friends. Every family has different needs, and boundaries can look different. Take a look at our Boundaries info sheet to learn more about what they are, why they’re important, and how to set them.
Review the Boundaries info sheet and think about what your hard and flexible boundaries are. When you are ready, talk to your parents about them and see how you can work together to respect your boundaries as well as theirs.
This discussion can be a big hurdle but will be worth it in the end. Here are some things you can discuss regarding your boundaries and expectations. You don’t have to cover each thing on the list; this is just to help get the conversations started. It’s important that you explain why your boundary is important to you. For parents, they may be prioritizing your safety, while you may be prioritizing your autonomy and independence.
Since this may be a great time for a brain break, you can focus some of your time on recuperating through resting and wellness activities:
Taking trips over school breaks can be exciting but can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Here are some tips to help you deal with travel anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.
Think about what you will be doing to get to your destination and what you will most likely be experiencing. From there, you can think about coping mechanisms for the parts you feel most nervous about.
Although a break from school is great for relieving all the pressures of schoolwork, it’s important that you stay connected to avoid feeling isolated and disconnected from your support systems.
If you feel alone and need someone to talk to and don’t know where to go, you can always access NAMI’s Teen and Young Adult HelpLine by texting “Friend” to 62640 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. You don’t have to be in crisis to connect.
Here are some additional helplines:
Trevor Project: LGBTQ+ hotline available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Crisis Text Line: Mental health support available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Now that school is out, you might have to take on the responsibility of your younger siblings while your parent(s) are at work. This can be a big blow to any plans you have or want to make with friends. Depending on the age of your sibling(s), your level of care will be different. Talk with your parents about expectations and boundaries regarding this role. Not all parents will have flexibility, but it doesn’t hurt to come up with a schedule that supports you making time for yourself.
Examples of support to help make time for yourself:
However you decide to spend your school break, we hope that you consider some of these suggestions to find what works best to support your mental health.
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