Establishing a morning routine as a nurse practitioner

Establish a morning routine

Who just rolled their eyes when they read the words “morning routine”?!

I bet some of my fellow nurse practitioners are not fond of creating a morning routine. I will admit, I am a morning person. I love to wake up at least an hour and a half before my kids or husband wake up. I love sipping on my coffee and going about my morning in a calm and relaxed manner. I generally get more tasks done before 8:00am than most people accomplish in a day.

Not a morning person?

I haven’t always been a morning person. I used to roll out of bed, tired and groggy. I would be rushed to get myself and my kids ready for the day. This way of starting my day left me feeling overwhelmed and like I was already running behind. I decided to change my habits and start waking up at least 15 minutes earlier. Over several months, the time and consistency increased. Now I wake up early (after 7 hours of sleep), feeling rejuvenated and motivated to take on the day!

If you don’t sleep well during the night, it would be a good idea to start working on your sleep habits. I think most nurse practitioners know the positive impact sleep has on our health. We know what we should do to get better sleep, but in case you forgot, here is an article written by Mayo Clinic, “Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep.” Once you start sleeping better, it is time to create a productive morning routine that fits your life and needs.

My morning routine.

My morning routine looks like this: wake up at about 5:00am. Start the coffee pot and sit down to write out my goals and complete a gratitude list. Then, I work on The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner, creating content for all my fellow burned-out nurse practitioners.

The next thing I do is exercise. Some days I will go for a run, or I will do a strength training workout using an app on my phone. My daily exercise routine is consistent, especially when I get it done first thing in the morning. I feel energized and ready to take on the day. I used to make a lot of excuses and not get exercise accomplished after work like I told myself I would.

By the time I am finished with my workout, my kids are usually getting out of bed. The next 45 minutes consists of getting ready for work and making sure my kids get ready as well. Then I drop my kids off at school before 8:00am and head to the primary care office!

Importance of morning routines as a nurse practitioner

It took me some time to establish my morning routine, but I continued to improve and adjust as needed. I love being able to get my self-care done at the beginning of the day. It makes me feel motivated and ready to take on the day. Sometimes this is the only time of day I have to myself but is my time to implement self-care. And as The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner I strongly encourage nurse practitioners to implement self-care!

If you are not a morning person, that is ok. I still encourage you to wake up at least 15 minutes earlier so you have some time for yourself. If you want to have more time in the morning to sip your coffee or exercise, try going to bed earlier at night. Work on going to bed 10 minutes earlier and slowly increasing the time.

Morning routines don’t have to be perfect or complicated. Routines are best when you can customize for your life! Comment below and let me know your morning routine or how you want to improve your routine!

Erica D the NP is a family nurse practitioner and burnout coach. Erica created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help overwhelmed APRNs create work-life balance, overcome nurse practitioner burnout, and advocate for themselves. The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner offers online courses, coaching, and support. Learn more at

For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at

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