The `Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides` actress - who has a five-month-old son, Leo, with husband Javier Bardem - has now learned to not be a "workaholic" and no longer feels guilty about taking time out to switch off from her career.
She said: "I think we all change every day but after years of being a workaholic and always being tired, I`ve changed rhythm and found a more happy equilibrium.
"I don`t feel guilty when I don`t work now. Before, when I went home to Spain from America, I`d forgotten how to holiday properly - how to lie on the beach and relax.
"I`d go and lock myself in the bathroom with my Blackberry and check for work emails. My family knew about this and always tried to hide my phone."
Penelope, 37, also admitted she feels she has "won the lottery" with her career success and the opportunities it has given her.
She added to Closer magazine: "I feel I have won the biggest lottery.
"I`m doing what I love as my job and I am so grateful for the things that I have.
"I never forget that to have a house and food on your plate is not normal for so many people."