Boundaries and oversharing in the workplace, tips on Managing Your Weight without dieting, and a Successful Start to a New School Year.

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Volume 15, Issue 3

Managing Your Weight

You don’t necessarily have to diet to manage your weight. If you are at a healthy weight (discuss this with your doctor), managing your calorie intake and portions can be as simple as:

Increasing your intake of produce (fruits and veggies)

Stocking your kitchen with nutritious food ahead of time—you’ll be more likely to fix healthy meals

Reducing your portions by just 10 to 20%.

Using a measuring cup when serving portions

Buying a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps per day

Increasing your protein intake at meal and snack time. This will help you feel full longer so so you may be less likely to overeat

Drinking 8 glasses of water each day

Thanks for Sharing – But That’s Too Much Information!

Today, a culture of personal sharing has developed with online social programs such as Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube. Circulating vacation photos, noting one’s favorite restaurants, disclosing one’s location on a day off, and broadcasting one’s emotions are some of the ways many people express themselves online. This is often extended to the workplace, where sharing personal information with co-workers is a generally accepted practice.

It is understandable that many of us look to our job for social connections. Our most productive hours of the week are spent on the job. Disclosing personal information is not always out of place at work; there can be benefits. Sometimes telling a co-worker a little about ourselves can help break the ice. Having a friendly, respectful relationship can enhance our working relationships. A pleasant, congenial working environment enhances morale and productivity.

Healthy Boundaries in the Workplace

Healthy boundaries protect us and those who listen to us. Without these boundaries, excessive personal sharing on the job will disrupt the working environment and harm us. We have a responsibility to protect our privacy, our reputation and our workplace performance. Some characteristics of healthy boundaries in the workplace include:

  • Accepting when another says ‘no, I don’t have time to listen right now’;
  • Sharing personal information gradually as relationships at work develop mutual trust;
  • Respecting different views, whether we agree with them or not;
  • Refraining from seeking advice on personal problems from co-workers.

TMI! (Too Much Information!)

Sometimes people share things with co-workers that are better left for their personal friendships, and outside the workplace. TMI involves revealing too often and/or too much of one’s private life. There is a big difference between telling someone that you took your mother to dinner and spending 20 minutes talking about the distressing childhood events that led you to hate your mother!

Over-sharing—either talking too much about personal matters and opinions, or giving intimate details that are not suitable for a workplace environment—can do a lot of damage. Over-sharing:

  • Cannot be reversed—we can’t take back what we have already said;
  • Is grist for the gossip mill;
  • May offend others;
  • Is a distraction to others who are trying to focus on job tasks;
  • Wastes work time on personal conversations;
  • Causes a loss of reputation.

From the perspective of protecting our job and career, the last three points may be the most important. When employees spend time on personal conversations, work doesn’t get done. It is distracting to both the talker and those who are listening. It is even distracting to those who are trying not to listen —those who are trying to work in spite of the distraction from the side conversation. It ultimately affects work productivity, performance, concentration and accuracy.

Supervisors and co-workers may begin to lose trust in an over-sharing employee. The thinking goes like this: “If he will say this much about his dad to me, what is he willing to say about me to others?” Supervisors may be less likely to consider an over-sharing employee for a special project or assignment, extra hours or overtime, if they aren’t sure they can trust the employee, or if they believe the employee is an under-performer who distracts others from performing well. An over-sharing employee may even be passed over for a promotion because of sensitive private information that the employee has shared. One’s professional reputation can be negatively affected by personal stories shared inappropriately at the work- place.

Setting Boundaries with the Over-Sharer

It is usually safe to talk about topics of general interest; these are least likely to cause discomfort on the job, including subjects such as the weather, sports, local events, travel and other general topics of shared interest. These are topics that usually don’t attract polarizing opinions. Family stories


Having a friendly, respectful relationship can enhance our working relationships. A pleasant, congenial working environment enhances morale and productivity

A Successful Start to a New School Year

Starting a new school year can quickly become overwhelming. Consider the added responsibilities and time demands of buying school supplies, arranging transportation, coordinating meals, adapting to school schedules and accommodating children’s needs for guidance with homework. These all add to the stress of a demanding

work day. These changes in routine are an adjustment for parents; however, children tend to take even longer to adapt to schedule transitions. Try these suggestions to help your child(ren) and family smooth- ly transition into a new school year.

  • Attend orientations, parent-teacher nights, or request a tour of the school. Parents and children can acquaint themselves with the schedule, procedures, policies, expectations, staff, activities and curriculum. Students have the opportunity to learn to navigate the hallways in a new school building.
  • Research the school’s website. Here you may be able to print out calendars, complete and submit health forms, or learn more about faculty members, student programs, tutoring opportunities, and other resources.
  • Write out and post the calendar for the school year for the family to view. This will serve as a daily visual reminder to help everyone prepare for schedule changes and be aware of events, days off, early dismissals, sports events, and meetings with teachers.
  • Discuss and coordinate activities and schedule with family members. Discuss with your child the amount of

time that will be needed to complete homework. As a family, brainstorm about the programs and extracurricular activities each member may be able to participate in throughout the school year. Communicate regularly about transportation needs and changes in activities.

  • Practice your routine. Set and maintain a regular bedtime schedule for the whole family. Then, have everyone wake up in plenty of time to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, prepare lunches, pack bags, and head out the door.
  • Consider teaching your child to use an alarm. Teaching your child to wake up on his own will help him to become more self- sufficient and responsible, while reducing your stress as a parent.
  • Prepare meals/lunches ahead of time. To save some time in the morning, consider packing lunch boxes with your child the night before. You can demonstrate how to make quick, healthy lunches and snacks, and your child can add his/her input on food choices.
  • Plan a family event to celebrate the new school year. Ease the annual transition with a game night or a barbeque to celebrate everyone’s contributions and de-stress. Create a family tradition by making a “back-to-school” celebration part of each new school year’s routine.

If you are facing difficulties in helping your child transition into a new school year, have questions or would like more ideas on making the new school year a success, PAS offers Parenting Consultation   and

counseling services as a free and confidential benefit available to your family.

Personal Assistance Services (800) 356-0845   •

Feautured Service Parenting Consultation

Caregivers of children can receive telephonic consultation with a team of consultants whose expertise includes child development, behavior modification, speech-language, sensory processing, education (both special and gifted), and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) processes. The parenting consultants provide information and guidance in understanding typical and atypical development and suggest strategies and resources to address those concerns.

Examples of what our team of professional can provide include:

  • Information on discipline, sleep issues, reinforcement strategies, potty training and temper tantrums
  • Guidance in determining if overall behavior is typical for the child’s age and environment
  • Assistance in identifying the potential cause(s) of behavior patterns
  • Simple, positive parenting strategies that really work
  • Information on developmental milestones such as language development, motor skills, sensory perception, and feeding skills
  • Guidance and resources to determine when school age children may need an Individualized Education Plan
  • Assistance in advocating for special or gifted services for children in daycare and school settings

A Service of You EAP (800) 356-0845

PASWord Express © 2012 is published by Personal Assistance Services, 9735 Landmark Parkway, Suite 17, St. Louis, MO, 63127-9968

(800) 356-0845. Material may not be reproduced without written permission.

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