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Crowdsourcing: how to compartmentalize

So I have problems with work. Or rather, my attitude towards it.

As I've been working with a therapist, it's come to my attention that I've learned a lot of really unhealthy behaviors from my parents about one's relationship with one's job. Every. single. person. in my family is a workaholic. We obsess about work when we're at home. Even if we don't love (or in my brother's case, like) our jobs, we guilt ourselves into being all about it 100% of the time. There isn't anyone in my immediate family who doesn't work 50+ hours a week...my mom is part time and she's still working that much. No one makes us do this. None of us are lawyers or doctors. It's because our identities are intrinsically linked with our jobs, and at least for me, my self-worth is tied to how I well I feel I've done at work.


I drag my emotions home every day. I'll spend hours obsessing over what I did/didn't do right. And I'm exhausted by it. It's too much to live like this. My hours are insane enough without thinking about my job every waking hour or waking up at 2 am and thinking about it some more. Right now my brain is begging to obsess over a situation with a student that I wish I had handled differently. It's never enough to say "I'll do better tomorrow." Instead, my thought process is always "If I were a better teacher, then x, y, or z wouldn't have happened." Not only is it affecting my personal life, but I feel like I'm becoming resentful towards my job because of how much energy I'm devoting to it in the off hours. I don't bring a lot of grading or lesson planning home except on weekends, but my mind never stops thinking about it.

I need to learn how to shut off my work brain and be more present for my family. My baby is due in November (ETA: what the hell, I originally typed my baby was due in March), and I don't want to curse him/her with the same unhealthy attitude towards work. I also would like to, you know, start enjoying life and be able to talk about things other than my job, because unless my kids have done something hilarious at school, no one wants to hear about it.

So help me, GT. How does one separate work from life? What do you do you shut your brain off at the end of the day?

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