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Before I had kids, I just didn’t think about self-care very often. I didn’t have to: When I wasn’t at work, my time was my own. If I needed to sleep, exercise, or hang out with my friends or husband, I just did it.

That all changed after I became a mother almost seven years ago. Overnight, my self-care routine turned into zoning out in front of Facebook at 2 AM while I nursed a baby.

It took me a few years to accept that I needed to take care of myself, but I wasn’t sure how. Most of the mothers I ran into at the park were getting pedicures to relax and unwind, so I gave it a shot. After wincing through many pedicures, I finally realized that I don’t really like strangers touching my feet.

But I had to do something. I was tired all the time. I was gaining weight. I was becoming increasingly anxious, and I started yelling at my kids. After a bit of research, I found my way to mindfulness, a particular way of noticing and acknowledging my own experience without judging it or wishing it was different. Not only did my mindfulness practice help me not yell at my kids so much, but it also helped me pay attention to what I actually want and need from my precious time alone.

You can read more of this post over at Seleni.org.