For Gwyneth Paltrow, self-care is one of the keys to being a present parent.
“When my kids were younger, I put them first to the point where I exhausted myself,” the actress, 44, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue of raising daughter Apple Blythe Alison, 12, and Moses Bruce Anthony, 10.
“It led to me being short-tempered,” she adds. “I thought, ‘What if I gave myself permission to take a 20-minute nap and let them be on their iPads and not beat myself up?’ “
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Paltrow points out that she’s not alone in feeling this way. On her website Goop, she says, “We did a piece on post-natal depletion that went viral.”
“So many women were writing in saying things like, ‘I feel like I can’t recover, what can I do about it?’ ” the actress and mother of two continues.
Though she’s just developed supplements to help cope with that type of everyday exhaustion (she currently takes her Goop Wellness vitamin pack called Why am I so Effing Tired?), Paltrow insists that her daily wellness strategy is simple.
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“I would say honestly every day what I do for my health is make sure that I really connect and hug my children. And lie with them at night,” she says.
“Nothing fills me up more. They say that if you strengthen and amplify your family and love connections, it’s the best thing for your health, so I always try to make sure that I do that every day. It’s not hard — they’re pretty cute!”
For more from Gwyneth Paltrow, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.