Updated: December 05, 2021

Getting up for 7 am shifts has always been very difficult for me. I would always wake up late, roll out bed, throw on my scrubs, put my hair up into a messy bun, and run out the door. No breakfast, no time to myself or anything.

Then I discovered morning routines and started to implement them slowly into my life. Soon, it became another stressor with so much to do in the morning and never having time for it without waking up at 4 am. So once again, I had to take a step back and reevaluate my routine so that it could work every day, including my work days. 

Below, I laid out an example of a routine you can do and fit in before your shift (note this assumes that you live within a half hour of your workplace, and you may need to adjust accordingly based on your drive time!) 

5:30 am: wakeup, turn on my first timer (set this in advance and start with your morning routine written out somewhere you’ll see it with the times next to it like this is laid out) 

5:30- 5:40 am: Slow stretches while listening to something you enjoy! For me, I love listening to affirmations, either recorded by myself or others, and motivational morning podcasts. But others may like some relaxing music, the news on TV, or just silence! Find what works for you and do whatever stretching your body needs first thing in the morning 

5:40- 5:45 am: Make breakfast. Do as much prep for this as possible the night before so it’s easy to set up! 

5:45- 6:00 am: Eat, drink coffee, and enjoy while writing in your journal. I think a journaling practice is one of the most helpful ways to help you with things like burnout and stress but also help you start your day with motivation! (See my post about morning and evening journaling practices!) 

6:00- 6:10 am: Meditate. You can use an app or find meditations on youtube or even sit in complete silence! But use this time to watch your mind and notice what thoughts and feelings come up. 

6:10- 6:30 am: Get ready for work. This could involve taking a shower or not depending on what you prefer. Keep listening to music or podcasts while you do this! 

6:30 am: Leave for work feeling energized and refreshed! 

Sources: 50 State Boards of Nursing, University Websites, U.S. Department of Education, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ranking Methodology.